The frequent use of the Vietnam analogy to describe the situation in Iraq underscores the continuing relevance of Vietnam for American history. At the same time, the Vietnam analogy reinforces the tendency to see current events within the context of the past. Politicians and pundits latch onto analogies as handles for understanding the present, but in so doing, they obscure more complicated situations. The con�ict in Iraq is not Vietnam, Korea, or World War II, but this article considers all three in an effort to see how the past has shaped, and continues to affect, the world the United States now faces.

This content is only available via PDF.