President Barack Obama uttered it four times in his speech at West Point about the way forward in Afghanistan.
It was the V-word that is often linked with the Q-word that conjures up the ghost of a past war that still is a raw wound in the American psyche.
Invoking Vietnam is usually avoided when trying to make the case for war. But apparently Obama believed saying it out loud would help convince the American public of the need to send 30,000 more troops to a war that has lasted eight years.
Obama addressed critics who suggest Afghanistan is another Vietnam and that the United States should cut its losses and rapidly withdraw. “I believe this argument depends on a false reading of history,” he said.