Not only does the current debate over a U.S. military surge in Afghanistan remind me of the debate just over two years about a surge in Iraq, but lawmakers and defense officials were also having trouble separating the two in a first day of hearings on the matter.
"This is my second surge that I've defended before Congress," said a smiling Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who acknowledged that this plan logically flows from the experience in Iraq.
"I think it has much in common with the way we began to draw down in Iraq," Gates told Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), as they discussed the handover of power from the U.S. to the Afghan government starting in July of 2011.
"First of all, those transfers are going to take place in the most uncontested places in Iraq, in Afghanistan," Gates said, quickly catching his errant reference to the last surge.
Even Senators had a hard time keeping the two wars straight as well.
"We need greater participation by the Iraqis and the A.N.A.," said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), who managed to mention the Iraqis and the Afghan National Army in the same breath.
"The end state in Afghanistan looks a lot like what we see in Iraq," Gates added.
Iraq also was on my mind for other reasons, that being one of the witnesses sitting next to Gates, which was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
It was in a hearing of the same Senate Armed Services Committee just over two years ago on the Iraq Surge, where Clinton had gone toe-to-toe with then Iraq Commanding General David Petraeus, who now is the overall head of the Iraq and Afghanistan efforts as CENTCOM Commander.
Back then, Clinton had blasted the Petraeus led surge and reports of success as requiring a "a willing suspension of disbelief."
Now, 26 months later, here she was, on the same team as Petraeus and Gates, arguing for a surge in Afghanistan.
But she had to catch herself at one point in an exchange with Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC).
"Did all of you realize this is the last best chance to get it right in Afghanistan?" Graham asked.
"We also realized how said it was that we were trying to make that decision eight years later," Clinton said quickly, taking a not so subtle jab at the Bush Administration, and causing a few heads to sort of jerk back in the committee room.
"It would have been sad to have lost in Iraq," Graham replied, "It would have been devastating."
"We'll talk about that offline sometime," said a smiling Clinton to some laughs.
Everyone knew what that exchange was about, and why Iraq was still on the minds of lawmakers, even as they were debating what to do in Afghanistan.
They may be different wars, but they're all part of the same political argument.