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The Vietnam War, Conflict on the US - Research Paper Example

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The Vietnam War, Conflict in the U.S. Instructor name Date A result of justifications emanating from Cold War and anti-communist feelings, the Vietnam War became the yardstick by which the limitations of the U.S. military are measured…
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The Vietnam War, Conflict on the US
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Download file to see previous pages The U.S. spent great sums over 10 years on military actions in Southeast Asia. The money spent sending a military force overseas takes away needed funds for domestic purposes and usually accrues a debt that must be repaid, with interest over time, generally over many generations. Borrowing to fund wars increases the National Debt which damages the entire economy. The geopolitical realities resulting from the War created a multitude of undesirable effects. The U.S. lost political capital from the people of South Vietnam during the conflict when it incessantly bombed North Vietnam, an unexpected development that was detrimental to the war effort. The U.S. also lost credibility both at home and among all foreign nations following the outcome of the War. The neo-conservative “war-hawk” philosophy was born during this era. Evidently the people who lived during and witnessed the Vietnam era did not learn the obvious lessons the War provided. The tough lesson learned from U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia was that having the stronger military force does not ensure victory. Although an estimated three million enemy soldiers was killed compared to approximately 58,000 Americans the “big dog” of the fight ultimately ran home humiliated and beaten with its tail between its legs. Due to the unprecedented media coverage of the conflict, the awful truths of the war were broadcast which caused the U.S. to quickly lose credibility in every country including its own. (Howell, 1984). “The extensive bombing campaigns and numerous offensives caused massive amounts of destruction on the Vietnamese and their property which only served to alienate the indigenous community. It galvanized the enemy and opponents of the war in both Vietnam and America and led many to question the ethics of the campaigns.” (Olney, 1990 p.80-85) The limits of American supremacy were plainly evidenced by the abuse of its military dominance. The U.S. gained many enemies while losing prestige and respect worldwide. Moreover, if the U.S. had never involved itself in Vietnam, the limitations of its armed forces would not be as evident and the U.S. would still today be considered as mightier and more effective than it really is therefore would carry more political influence than it currently does. However, this unfortunate truth is probably soon to be a moot issue because the U.S. status as the world’s lone superpower is a short-lived situation. Great sums of money are needed to assemble and sustain a military force to maintain the “superpower” status, money which the U.S. could not afford then and does not have now. The biggest threat to national security is not the “red menace” as was warned of during the Vietnam era or the terrorist “evil doers” of today. The National Debt (external), presently topping $13 Trillion, is seemingly a concern in theory only to elected leaders. However, it threatens to not simply weaken the military but to plunge the country into a “third world” status. The U.S. is still considered a sound investment and has a limitless ability to get loans without difficulty, but these loans must be repaid, with interest. “Saudi Arabia, Japan, China and other countries own a large piece of America, a potentially disastrous prospect. One or a combination of creditor countries could cause a sudden and shocking reduction of the economy which would further increase the debt.” (Okimoto, 2009) The Vietnam War divided America along philosophical battle lines. The older faction of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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