Superpowers Defeated: Vietnam and Afghanistan Compared / Edition 1

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Was Afghanistan the Soviet Vietnam? Was Vietnam the American Afghanistan? During the Cold War, military conflicts in Vietnam and Afghanistan validated the crucial importance of war in global power dynamics. After approximately a decade of intense effort, military intervention proved too costly in human and material terms to be politically sustainable for the USA and USSR. In the end, both superpowers were thwarted in obtaining their original war goals and withdrew in disgrace. As a result, the parallelism between the US experience in Vietnam and the Soviet experience in Afghanistan is now a widely accepted truism. But is it so?

This book is an attempt to provide a greater degree of substance to the apparent truth that Vietnam and Afghanistan are analogous events, but also to explore the important differences between these two watershed events.

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Editorial Reviews

Countering the conventional wisdom that regards the Vietnam and Afghan wars as analogous, Borer (political science, Virginia Polytechnic and State U.) emphasizes the differences over the similarities in what have been termed the American Afghanistan and the Soviet Vietnam. In his analysis of the concept of political legitimacy within each players' domestic politics, the author reminds readers that while Vietnam left the US battered the Soviet loss in the Afghan War was a significant factor in its dissolution. Distributed in the US by ISBS. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780714644097
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 4/29/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

1 The Nature of the Armed Struggle 1
2 The Arena 19
3 Analysis and Reality 30
4 The Faith's Galaxy 43
5 Recruitment 57
6 Individuals 74
7 Organization 103
8 Command and Control 116
9 Maintenance 133
10 Communications 148
11 Deployment 180
12 Intelligence 190
13 The Campaign 207
14 The Enemy 225
15 The End-game 240
16 The Dynamics of the Dream 249
17 Epilogue 267
Sources 277
Index 283
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