In 2021 the United States declared an end to its military operations in Afghanistan and announced the withdrawal of US troops. While many in the media have heralded this as the end of America's "longest war," many others would argue that America's military engagement in Vietnam was just as long and just as fraught – both for those who fought and for the country in conflict. Additionally, as the Taliban quickly conquered the whole of Afghanistan in August 2021, observers from the US president down to veteran soldiers faced the echoes of Saigon in April 1975.
This panel brings together expert voices to discuss the end of the US war in Vietnam and the end of the US war in Afghanistan in comparative perspective. Our panelists are:
Prof. Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi, an assistant professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. In addition to her expertise on Vietnam War refugees, her interdisciplinary research engages critical refugee studies, settler colonial studies, and transpacific studies.
Prof. Gregory A. Daddis, Director of the Center for War and Society Director and the USS Midway Chair in Modern U.S. Military History at San Diego State University. Among his several books on the Vietnam War is Withdrawal: Reassessing America’s Final Years in Vietnam (Oxford UP, 2017), and he is also a military veteran and UNC alumnus.
Ahmadullah Sediqi worked with U.S forces and DEA in Afghanistan for four years, and after his services he was granted a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) in 2014. He also works with the No One Left Behind Project as an SIV ambassador and is a board member with the Afghan Cultural Center-US.
Prof. Jeff Jones, an associate professor at UNC-Greensboro, has written on the Soviet War in Afghanistan and postwar reconstruction in comparative perspective.
Sponsored by the Carolina Asia Center & UNC's Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and Eastern European Studies.