Kerry releases Vietnam debate papers

WASHINGTON, July 15 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. John Kerry says transcripts of lawmakers' meetings during the Vietnam War offer useful lessons for the discussing the Afghanistan war.

"Some of the parallels are almost eerie," said Kerry, D-Mass., "and I think all of us can learn an enormous amount from the way our predecessors dealt with questions very similar to those we face today," The Boston Globe reported Thursday.


The Vietnam meetings held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, now led by Kerry, show how senators wrestled privately with some of the most vexing questions about conflict, including basic issues such as what the war was about, how much it would cost in lives and dollars, and what victory might look like -- all questions relevant to Afghanistan, Kerry said.

Kerry, a combat-decorated Vietnam veteran, said he is still a strong supporter of the Obama administration's strategy in Afghanistan, but the growing involvement there needs the kind of vigorous debate the foreign relations panel engaged in during the Vietnam era.

"Their questions are honest and poignant," he said. "There's no grandstanding, no posturing, just real debate. We have a burden to match that level of gut debate and discussion."


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