Frederick Kagan, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, opposes Senator Hagel's comparision with Vietnam. Writing for the LA Times, he reminds the increasingly war-weary American public:
Despite what you may have read, the military situation in Iraq today is positive -- far better than it ever was when we were fighting guerrillas in Vietnam or when the Soviets were fighting the Afghan mujahedeen. (...) Yes, the Iraqi insurgents have inflicted a steady stream of casualties on U.S. troops with improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, and car bombs, but they are not able to hold ground or attack prepared U.S. forces and fight them toe-to-toe as the North Vietnamese and mujahedeen did regularly. (....)
Another piece of good news from Iraq is that the insurgents are offering a mainly nihilistic message. Most skillful revolutionaries promise concrete benefits from their victory. Insurgents frequently work not only to terrorize local villagers but to help improve their lives in small ways. The Iraqi insurgents offer only fear. (...) Perhaps the best news from the region these days is that the Iraqi army is finally producing units able to fight on their own. According to Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, there are now more than 170,000 "trained and equipped" Iraqi police and military personnel, and more than 105 police and army battalions are "in the fight."