History Repeats Itself: The Disturbing Similarities Between the Military Withdrawals in Afghanistan and Vietnam

In Vietnam during January 1973, the United States Military began their gradual withdrawal from their war with the vicious Viet Cong and PAVN unfolding there in order to end their involvement then begin the process of Vietnamization. On March 29th, 1973 their withdraw is complete and control is handed to the ARVN. Within 2 years of total withdraw in 1975, Saigon falls to the communists and so the mass execution of the remaining Americans and their sympathizers begin immediately. Millions of dollars worth of the United States most cutting edge equipment and technologies are left behind then are summarily turned on the very people they used to defend. The mass chaos that ensues sparks a refugee crisis. So the United States launches Operation Frequent Wind to evacuate all US civilians and as many Vietnamese allies as possible. While many were evacuated by the United States and its allies those that were left behind met most gruesome ends at the hands of the Viet Cong as well as their PAVN allies. The evacuation of people wanting to leave ended bloodily with communists firing into crowds of people running away and attempting to shoot down the aircraft evacuating them as well as sink the ships awaiting them, then proceeding to bury the dead in mass graves near Tan Son Nhut Air base, part of Saigon International Airport, which evacuees would later discover. Others were kidnapped and drug off to camps like in the case of 8 Americans whom were considered ”counterrevolutionaries” that one day disappeared from the evacuation lines and were never recovered or heard from again. 2 US Marines are killed in the evacuation operation as well as 2 more that were lost at sea and never found. Those saved were relocated to the United States as part of the Operations New Life and New Arrivals.

Similarly on February 29th 2020, in Afghanistan, the United states begin to withdraw from war again in a disturbing dejavu but with a different enemy: the Taliban, the ruthless fanatical former overlords of Afghanistan. The evacuation of US citizens and American supporters began on August 15th 2021 when Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul fell to the Taliban and ending on the 30th of August when the last US soldier left with mass casualties on all ends. The evacuation site was the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, which served as the staging area for Operation Allies Refuge. As crowds of people rushed to leave, a suicide bomber detonated his payload killing 13 US Servicemen and 159 Afghan civilians, wounding many others. 11 Afghans fleeing died by being trampled by the stampede going to the airport. 2 unknown gunmen whom intended to fire upon the fleeing people were killed by US troops before casualties could be inflicted. The 2nd part of the operation was to relocate the displaced people to America. Shortly after US troops left, Taliban leaders, flanked by Badri 313 Battalion entered the airport to announce ”Afghanistan is finally free”.

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