Tale of Two Quagmires: Iraq, Vietnam, and the Hard Lessons of War, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Tale of Two Quagmires

Iraq, Vietnam, and the Hard Lessons of War, 1st Edition

By Kenneth J. Campbell, Richard A. Falk


160 pages

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Paperback: 9781594513527
pub: 2007-02-15
Hardback: 9781594513510
pub: 2007-02-15
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315631776
pub: 2015-12-03
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Is Iraq becoming another Vietnam? Author Kenneth Campbell received a Purple Heart after serving 13 months in Vietnam. He then spent years campaigning to get the US out of the war. Here, Campbell lays out the political similarities of both wars. He traces the chief lessons of Vietnam, which helped America successfully avoid quagmires for thirty years, and explains how neoconservatives within the Bush administration cynically used the tragedy of 9/11 to override the "Vietnam syndrome" and drag America into a new quagmire in Iraq. In view of where the U.S. finds itself today -- unable to stay but unable to leave -- Campbell recommends that America re-dedicate itself to the essential lessons of Vietnam: the danger of imperial arrogance, the limits of military force, the importance of international and constitutional law, and the power of morality.


“The plethora of best-selling new books on the Iraq War today merely catalogues the tactical errors and leaves the false impression that had the war been fought differently, victory would have been achieved and U.S. interests advanced. Campbell's lucidly written comparison of the wars in Vietnam and Iraq shows how costly this illusion is, a deception consciously fostered by American leaders and cheerleading members of the Fourth Estate.”

—Lieutenant General William E. Odom (U.S. Army, retired), Senior Fellow with the Hudson Institute and former Director of the National Security Agency during the Reagan Administration.

“Campbell cuts through the rhetoric and obfuscation that passes for debate over Vietnam and Iraq, offering in their place measured, thoughtful, clearsighted analysis. Anyone who wants to understand two of the greatest debacles of my generation, how they relate to each other, and what we might do to avoid future such failures needs to read this book.”

—W. D. Ehrhart, author of Vietnam Perkasie: A Combat Marine Memoir

“A Tale of Two Quagmires is a passionate and thoughtful analysis of the old war in Vietnam and the new one in Iraq. Kenneth Campbell understands war as a veteran and as an historian. The book is an invaluable aid to understanding the past and the present.”

—Marilyn B. Young, Professor of History, New York University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Richard Falk Preface Chapter 1: The Great Debate No, Iraq is Not Vietnam! Yes, Iraq Is Vietnam! The Strategic Essence of a Quagmire The Quagmire Process Chapter 2: Personal Encounter with a Quagmire Philly Corner Boy Volunteer for America To the Nam Up North Down South Antiwarrior Chapter 3: The Vietnam Quagmire Entering: Deception about Purpose Sinking Deeper: Deception about Progress Hitting Bottom: Deception about Methods Blocking the Exit: Deception about the Difficulty of Withdrawal Chapter 4: The Lessons of Vietnam The Five Schools Institutional Prevention The "Vietnam Syndrome" Thirty Years of Success…until 9/11 Chapter 5: The Iraq Quagmire Entering: Deception about Purpose Sinking Deeper: Deception about Progress Hitting Bottom: Deception about Methods Blocking the Exit: Deceptions about Withdrawal Chapter 6: Last Exit from Baghadad Broken Army The "Essential Domino" Falls Any Solution? The "Wise Men and Women" The Lessons of Iraq Notes Bibliography Index

About the Series

International Studies Intensives

International Studies Intensives

International Studies Intensives (ISI) is a book series that springs from the desire to keep students engaged in the world around them. ISI books are meant to offer an intensive introduction to subjects often left out of the curriculum. Our authors are from a range of disciplines and employ many different methodological approaches to teaching about international issues. Yet each and every ISI book packs a wealth of information into a small space, and does so in ways that students find compelling and instructors find useful. ISI books are relatively short, visually attractive, and affordably priced. Examination/inspection copies for course adoption may be requested from the Webpage of any book in the series. Book proposals for the series should be directed to the co-editors: shareen.hertel@uconn.edu and mbutler@clarku.edu.

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