Why do ghosts play such an important role in our perception of fear? It is true some claim encounters with them and others are willing to follow them, but not many in the world have actually seen them. However, the idea of possibly seeing a ghost is scary enough to inspire goosebumps for billions of people around the world. Perhaps what scares us the most is that they are not physical beings. Sometimes the stories of people seeing them are scary enough to traumatize us or inspire nightmares at night. Those stories can haunt us. Every time we are alone at home and every time there is a power outage, the memories of these stories come rushing back. Those ghosts know when to haunt us. There are no easy fixes and no "Ghostbusters" to call to help us. In a TV commercial in the movie "Ghostbusters," Dr. Stantz, Spengler and Venkman ask the audience to call their number for any "supernatural elimination needs." Considering that stories of those who see ghosts may not be quite believable, they often say, "We're ready to believe you." It sounds like a simple marketing sentence, but it is, in fact, the first step to help those being haunted by ghosts.
There are also ghosts lingering in foreign and national security policies worldwide. The U.S. had a few of them. While approaching these issues maybe we should first be ready to understand the roots of the phenomenon. Ghosts, in the form of residual elements, may have a serious impact on the foreign policies of countries. They may haunt presidents in their handling of foreign and national security affairs. We may sometimes name them traumas and syndromes. The Vietnam War is one of these ghosts. Nobody in the U.S. wants to see another Vietnam War in their lifetime. There were mistakes in planning the war. There were miscalculations in implementing those problematic plans.
Likewise, there is a lack of planning for the potential domestic and international outcomes of most wars. As a result, wars and their lasting effects stretch on almost indefinitely. In its aftermath, the Vietnam syndrome constrained U.S. policymakers. The American public lost trust in policymakers in Washington, D.C., and policymakers did not want to be part of another conflict. Since then, the ghosts of the Vietnam War have remained vivid for the policymakers. Those who engaged in decision-making mechanisms during this war wrote books and made many speeches to deal with this "ghost." After several decades there is still no end in sight and historical analogies continue to relate the Vietnam War to other military interventions by the U.S.