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By – Dave Philipps

Looking at the withdrawal of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and in Vietnam nearly 50 years ago, a reporter sought to tell an overlooked part of history before it was too late.

Call it journalistic pessimism. This spring, even before President Biden announced the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan, I began to think about how Kabul might compare with Saigon just before it fell in 1975. Were there clear differences? Important similarities? Maybe even lessons to be learned?

I began digging through The New York Times’s archives, reading all the dispatches out of Saigon starting shortly after all U.S. combat units left South Vietnam in 1973.

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