- Trump has said that the Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan wars were unnecessary.
- There are varying reasons as to why America chose to start those wars.
- It is hard to justify the Vietnam War.
US President Donald Trump has repeatedly questioned why America went to war in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. This is according to a new disclosure by an insider close to the president, as revealed in a new CNN report. He apparently sees the three wars as needless.
Of course, many Americans supported the idea of war at the time that they began, but as the wars wore on and casualty rates climbed, it became clear that America was fighting a war that couldn’t be won with guns, in some instances. This is an aspect shared by many Americans today.
Looking at the statistics, over 6,000 Americans have died while battling in Afghanistan, and over 2,000 in Iraq. Over 50,000 US soldiers perished in the Vietnam War.
The Afghan War was Justified
The Afghan war began after terror groups based in the country intensified attacks against the United States, including in foreign nations. It was the epicenter of the al-Qaeda terror group, which carried out the September 11 attacks. Over 2,900 people died following the attack.
The Iraq War Is a Different Story
The official story behind the Iraq invasion is that Washington was looking to extinguish Saddam Hussein’s alleged nuclear program. Evidence of his nuclear project was eventually deemed insufficient to justify invading his country.
Going by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s statement at the time, “we do not want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” The Bush administration later on admitted that it had acted on wrong intelligence.
Unofficially, there was always the consideration that eliminating Saddam Hussein would serve as a lesson to world leaders looking to antagonize the United States. It would serve as a demonstration that the US military had the capability to go after its enemies, however powerful.
In other words, it was part of a deterrence measure to dispel elements of weakness following the brazen 9/11 attacks.
The Vietnam War Was an Ideological One
The Vietnam War was an attempt by the US government to counter the spread of communism. There were, however, some secondary interests that included economic policies.
Just before the Second World War, the American foreign policy was intended to prevent the spread of communism. It was based on the Domino Effect theory. There were fears that the extension of communism across Asia would eventually lead to the US being surrounded by hostile nations if the trend went on unabated.
There were presumptions that Asian countries would eventually become satellite states of powerful nations, such as the then-Soviet Union or China. Many nations in Eastern Europe had already fallen under Soviet domination, and so this was expected.
Of course, America eventually left the war after a humiliating defeat. It is historically one of the most inessential wars that America has ever engaged in due to the sheer number of casualties versus the actual benefits of engaging in the war.