How This All Ends: Nixon's Path From Vietnam, Obama's Afghan Gamble and Forging Peace From War
Schanz, Marc Vincent
This thesis is a conflicts study - but rather than primarily examining origins or conduct, it aims to explore and illuminate the causes and conditions for reconciliation in wartime, successful and unsuccessful. This study takes in-depth looks at two periods of history in two Asian conflicts -- the Vietnam War in 1972, and the United States' intervention in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2012, and how their similarities and differences hold implications for reconciliation and peace in the midst of war. The scope will cover specific time periods of these conflicts -- 1972 being a pivotal year of the Vietnam War, directly preceding the Paris Peace Accords, the other an eventful period of the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan -- President Barack Obama's surge of combat forces from 2009 to 2012. The thesis is organized in four chapters, with the first, "Introduction," laying out the premise, that the two periods are vital to this study, and some background on policies and assumptions in both the Vietnam and Afghanistan conflicts. The second chapter, "The Penultimate Act," explores events, conditions and actions which conspired to make 1972 a decisive year in the Vietnam War, and what results were borne by these events. The third chapter, "The Good War," will explain President Barack Obama's "surge" in Afghanistan from 2009-2012, the policies and assumptions driving the decision making about the period, and the goals and the results of the adopted policies. The last chapter, "Conclusion: The 'Limits of Our Capabilities'," will examine similarities, differences and key lessons from the two conflicts.
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