When George McGovern hears about President Obama's plans for Afghanistan, he reluctantly reaches an unavoidable conclusion. "I can only think: another Vietnam," the 1972 Democratic presidential nominee writes in the Washington Post. "I hope I am incorrect, but history tells me otherwise." After 9 years at war, he asks: "Why waste these fine soldiers any longer?"
McGovern, a World War II veteran, revisits his vociferous opposition to involvement in Vietnam and uses Lyndon Johnson's story as a cautionary tale for Obama. "Johnson had a brilliant record in domestic affairs, but Vietnam choked his dream of a Great Society," he cautions. "The war had become unbearable to so many Americans—civilian and military—that the landslide victor of 1964 did not seek reelection four years later."