More than most post-1970 conflicts involving US forces, the conflict in Iraq has been fought out against a background of frequently invoked memories from the era of the Vietnam War. The essays in this book offer a series of perspectives on connections and parallels between the Vietnam War and the 2003 invasion of, and conflict in, Iraq.
The contributors particularly examine the impact of the Vietnam analogy on the War in Iraq, assessing the military tactical lessons learned from the Vietnam War and exploring the influence and persistence of its legacy in US politics, culture and diplomacy. The volume holds up to original interrogation some commonly held assumptions about historical analogy, and several distinguished authorities on the Vietnam War era, in particular, offer their thoughts on the value and applicability of Vietnam-Iraq parallels. If most contributions point out some obvious dissimilarities between the two eras, notably the transformed post-Cold War international environment, the similarities, particularly those relating to the problems of cultural misunderstanding, are also apparent.
Vietnam in Iraq will be of great interest for all students and researchers of the Iraq War, strategic studies, international relations and American politics.
'…contains some fascinating details and insights on the role of politicians, the military establishment, public opinion, and private corporations. The main benefit of the book is to give the comparisons between Vietnam and Iraq historical context.' Lawrence Freedman, Foreign Affairs
Introduction 1. The Final Chapter? The Iraq War and the End of History 2. The Vietnam Laugh Track 3. Unraveling the Domestic Foreign Policy Consensus: Presidential Rhetoric, American Public Opinion, and the Wars in Vietnam and Iraq 4. Iraq and Vietnam: Military Lessons and Legacies 5. ‘A National Symphony of Theft, Corruption and Bribery': Anatomy of State Building from Iraq to Vietnam 6. "Vietnam", Victory Culture and Iraq: Struggling with Lessons, Constraints and Credibility from Saigon to Falluja 7. Europe’s Vietnam Syndrome: America and the Quagmire of Iraq 8. No More Vietnams: Iraq and the Analogy Conundrum 9. Vietnam and Iraq: Strategy, Exit and Syndrome 10. Falling Dominoes: The United States, Vietnam and the War in Iraq 11. The Iraq and Vietnam Wars: Some Parallels and Connections