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The Parallels between Afghanistan and the Vietnam War


Published December 9, 2021

H. R. McMaster explains strategic empathy and strategic narcissism and connects these principles to the involvement of the United States in Afghanistan. By drawing on lessons learned from the Vietnam War, McMaster gives further insight into current national security concerns. Ultimately, McMaster shows how strategic competence is essential to successfully overcoming our adversaries and achieving our goals.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does the situation in Afghanistan compare to America’s involvement in other wars?
  2. How has the United States perceived its adversaries’ interests, goals, intentions, and capabilities?

Additional Resources:

  • Watch H. R. McMaster’s video series Battlegrounds: International Perspectives on Crucial Challenges to Security and Prosperity. Available here.
  • Watch H. R. McMaster’s video series The Fight to Defend the Free World. Available here.
  • Watch “Deterrence by Denial: The Taiwanese Example,” with H. R. McMaster. Available here.