While President Obama's war council deliberates its strategy toward Afghanistan, the ghost of Vietnam is often invoked as a warning.
Afghanistan, U.S. and coalition forces have been fighting in Afghanistan for eight years and until recently the war had been overshadowed by the one in Iraq. In March, Afghanistan will become America's longest war, surpassing the Vietnam War.
The Vietnam War, which cost 58,000 American lives, is the one most often invoked when U.S. troops are committed overseas.
While some say Afghanistan is "Obama's Vietnam," experts say there are several major similarities and differences between the two wars.
Eric Margolis, a veteran journalist and former Army soldier who served during the Vietnam War, said the biggest problem the United States is facing now -- as in Vietnam -- is fighting the mostly poor, rural insurgents who live among Afghans.
"It makes it very difficult to drive them [insurgents] out because they can stay there forever. ... They're at home. When we attack villages where they are, we kill a lot of civilians, causing an uproar and turning the people more against us."