Vietnam War and Iraq War Comparison
All stats/dates sourced from wikipedia or basic google searches.
Vietnam War, 1955 to 1975 (20 Years), Main U.S. Combat Operations 1965 to 1975 (10 years).
U.S. Casualties: 58,220 Dead. 1,687 Missing. 303,635 Wounded.
Result: North Vietnam and Viet Cong victory
--Withdrawal of American forces from Indochina
--Dissolution of South Vietnam
--Communist governments take power in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos
Territorial Changes: Unification of North and South Vietnam into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Cost: ~$150 Billion (Adj. for Inflation, 1.2 Trillion in 1955 Dollars, 600 Billion in 1975 Dolalrs).
Iraq War, 2003 to 2011 (9 Years)
U.S. Casualties: 4,476 Dead. 10 Missing (9 Rescued). 32,102 Wounded.
Result: Coalition combat operations concluded, low level internal sectarian conflict ongoing
--Overthrow of Baath Party government and execution of Saddam Hussein
--Democratic Election of new government
--Ongoing Insurgency, foreign terrorist operations, and sectarian violence
--Continued presence of American troops in advise and assist role until the end of 2011
--Some suggestions that the Iraq War and subsequent democratic elections was a partial factor to democratic uprisings in Egypt, Libya, Syria and elsewhere.
Cost: Estimated to be anywhere from 1 to 1.5 Trillion Dollars.
In the future, how do you think these two Wars will be viewed by historicans living well beyond current-day partisanship? Will Vietnam continue to be seen as a major defeat?
Will Iraq be considered a victory, by both Bush and Obama, in creating and then leaving a democratic country (weak and at risk, but as VP Biden says today, confidant in it's abillity to defend and represent itself, with the U.S. not rushing to leave but leaving responsably). Will the political battles internally over the causes and rationale for the War, and eary total mismanagement of the efforts, over-power any potential positve effects that may be attributed to it, such as (already in some corners) credit to Bush and Obama both for Iraq as part of the cultural uprisings in the region for Democracy and dethroning of Dictatorships?
In 200 years, how will the Iraq War be viewed by historians, both millitary, and general? IS it possible, if Iraq is able to maintin it's Democracy (allied to us or not), and Libya and Egypt form stable Democracies (again, allied to us or not), that the Iraq War could (despite the fights over it's cause) be viewed as the Unitd States most successful (if financially costly) Millitary action since WWII?
Obviously, much depends on the outcomes of many things still in flux. But putting politics aside (if possible), and realizing that the Iraq War has now be run by both parties (Bush for 6, Obama for 3), is it possible in your view that this conflict may look better well down the road than it does in today's politiclly fiery environement?