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Iran, Russia, Other Adversaries Hope US has New ‘Vietnam Syndrome’—Analysis

In the wake of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the United States is now charting a new course in which it will refrain from military interventions and “nation-building.”

That is what US President Joe Biden has said.

“This decision about Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan, it’s about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries,” the president said.

So what are media and commentators saying in Tehran, Moscow, and elsewhere? Since Iranian media tend to reflect the views of the regime, it is easy to know what Iran is thinking by reading its state-linked media such as Tasnim or Fars News.

A recent report on Tasnim news presents a two-for-one in this respect by quoting a Russian military expert in Iranian media. According to this report, a senior member of the committee on the policy of the Federation Council in Russia analyzed the US decision. He compared the US ending military operations in Afghanistan with the withdrawal of the military forces of the United States from Vietnam. “The 20-year American military operation in Afghanistan was completely meaningless and fruitless.”

In this context, he argued that the withdrawal from Vietnam and the collapse of South Vietnam led to the so-called Vietnam Syndrome, which he argued “deeply affected US society and caused a rift. The United States now has the ‘Afghanistan Syndrome’... The most important feature is the loss of American faith in military power and the impact of its actions. Of course, this time, the loss of confidence in US military action is not limited to the United States and is seen around the world.”

Alexei Pushkov in Russia argued that the US has a new geopolitical calculation to make on the world stage. It is soul-searching having wasted some $2 trillion on the Afghan war. In fact, the real figure spent in Afghanistan and Iraq is estimated at between $5t. and $8t.

What does this mean? It means that Iran and Russia think they will be able to do as they please for the next few years, as the US will not want to use its military. (JPost/ VFI News)

“God, we ask that you bless global leaders to act in accordance with Your will.”