When Kabul fell in August — as Taliban fighters swarmed Kabul and Afghan civilians tried to escape by clinging to the last departing planes — many Americans recalled a similar scene from half a century earlier: the 1975 Fall of Saigon, which marked the Vietnam War's end.

The coincidence is more than just a matter of spectacle. In clear, disturbing ways, the United States's failed campaign in Afghanistan mirrors the Vietnam effort some 50 years ago.

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A soldier looks at a banner attached to a military vehicle outside Myanmar's Central Bank during a protest against the military coup, in Yangon, Myanmar, February 15, 2021.

REUTERS/Stringer

Remember Myanmar? It's been over five months since the military — the Tatmadaw — seized power in a coup, sidelining the quasi-democratic civilian government led by former human rights icon Aung San Suu Kyi. Anti-coup demonstrations quickly arose around the country, and the Tatmadaw tried to put them down just as swiftly, responding with brutal violence that killed over 800 civilians.

And although the media has largely moved on, the situation is getting worse in ways that aren't only bad for Myanmar's people, but also for its neighbors.

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