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Vietnam War - Essay Example

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In the Vietnam War, the US was unable to understand what a revolutionary war was and that was the reason why US strategies failed painfully in gaining victory.The people of Vietnam and the country’s leadership were so full of revolutionary fervor that they were mentally unbeatable…
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In the Vietnam War, the US was unable to understand what a revolutionary war was and that was the reason why US strategies failed painfully in gaining victory (Vickers, 1993, p.126). The people of Vietnam and the country’s leadership were so full of revolutionary fervor that they were mentally unbeatable. That was why they could persevere the prolonged attacks of a very powerful enemy. Another factor that the US rulers failed to understand was that “third world governments seeking US assistance against insurgencies frequently are governed by elites benefiting from social inequality and the exploitation of a majority of the population” (Vickers, 1993, p.125). South Vietnam government was also not an exception to this. The rulers of South Vietnam who sought American help to oust the communists were immersed in corruption and anti-people governance. At the same time, a spirit of social equality motivated the North Vietnamese communist rulers. But the American hatred towards communism was so blind that the nation ignored the social realities inside Vietnam. A second factor that escaped attention of US decision makers was that in a revolutionary insurgency like that was waged against in Vietnam, the appropriate strategy might have been “low intensity conflict doctrine” (Vickers, 1993, p.125). This might have been a feasible strategy for America, which had all the resources to wage a prolonged war. But it has been critiqued that the US leaders had no clear vision in this regard and they were also unable to contain “domestic dissent at a manageable level” because of that (Vickers, 1993, p.125). In immediate retrospection, even when the war was raging, American people could see that “its leaders had lied; its soldiers had committed atrocities” and the result was that “its society…nearly imploded” (Wiest, 2008, 86). The tight grip that was maintained on the military by the US political leadership during Vietnam War, and which became a hurdle before victory, is still being maintained in the US (Vickers, 1993, p.125). This is said to be so because “elites (in America) are unwilling to anything but “cosmetic” reforms” (Vickers, 1993, p.125). But the brighter side has been that the “Vietnam War changed America forever” (Wiest, 2008, p. 6). It helped American society to develop independent thought and abandon the then prevalent notion that America could never be wrong (Weist, 1993, p.6). References Vickers, George.R., US Military Strategy, In The Vietnam War: Vietnamese and American Perspectives, By Jayne Werner and Luu Doan Huynh, New York: M.E.Sharpe, 1993. Wiest, Andrew, The Vietnam War, New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2008. Read More
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