The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

The US in Iraq = Soviets in Afghanistan?

My favorite part in a good editorial from the Daily Star's Rami Khouri, from a few days ago:

The allusion is often made to America's failures in Vietnam; the better analogy is the Russians in Afghanistan. A generation has passed, and the Americans in Baghdad in 2005 have become like the Russians in Kabul in 1985 - mighty foreign warriors, armed to the teeth, technologically superior, full of determination and staying power, clear on their mission and their resolve, willing to kill hundreds at a time ... but unable to walk into a local grocery store and buy a chocolate bar from the people they are trying to liberate and protect.

A very apt analogy, and a rather worrying one considering the failure to win the Afghan war was perhaps one of the biggest factors in the downfall of the Soviet Union.