Deja Vu, Dien Bien Phu?

US War Dead in Iraq Exceeds Early Vietnam Years
By David Morgan

"PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – The U.S. death toll in Iraq (news – web sites) has surpassed the number of American soldiers killed during the first three years of the Vietnam War, the brutal Cold War conflict that cast a shadow over U.S. affairs for more than a generation."

Will Iraq become the next Vietnam? More US soldiers have been killed in the two years we've been in Iraq than in the first three years of combat in Vietnam. Will this war end similarly.

There are definitely differences. First of all, we have nearly tens times as many soldiers in Iraq than we had in Vietnam in 1964. By percentage, more of today's soldiers are living. Also, there isn't a major force facing us this time. Guerrillas, while deadly, do not an army make. Unless a nation with a sizeable military joins the Hussein loyalists, Iraq is unlikely to become another Vietnam. Furthermore, if it did, we'd be more like France than ourselves this time. International forces would likely get involved as we did 40 years ago. However, I think the international community lacks the resolve and pig-headed stubbornness that drove us then.

Anyhow, I don't expect to see a casualty explosion like experienced after 1965. If this conflict does get out of hand, I hope the soldiers receive better treatment than their predecessors.