The Legacy of Vietnam - Term Paper Example

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Professor History January, 2012 The Legacy of Vietnam The Legacy of Vietnam written by George Herring explains the chronology of the later years of the Vietnam War and the various implications it had on the American popular behavior, global politics, and the immediate indo Chinese region…
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The Legacy of Vietnam
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Download file to see previous pages The withdrawal of forces implied no direct involvement, but the US still planned to safeguard ‘Saigon’ through military and economic aid. Although Nixon’s regime uncompromisingly worked for “Thieus’s” (South Vietnamese Premier) cause but because of certain issues raised by the US Congress, the aid to the South Vietnam was cut by half. Reduced aid further weakened South Vietnam’s position. This period was also marked by the premature resignation of President Nixon. The advance by the North Vietnamese communist army was swift and the conquest was completed in 1975. One of the prime implications of the conflict was economic. The war had brought a wave of inflation that the US had not witnessed in years with money flowing into Indochina for the ‘Anti Communist’ cause. Although the North Vietnamese were ostensibly victorious in unifying Vietnam, their victory was accompanied by the drainage of its State treasury. The country had been ecologically damaged and all other institutions apart from the army had been moribund during the war years. The war had ironically turned Vietnam into one of the poorest countries of the world with fourth largest army in the world. The political implications were also major and they transcended the immediate region of Vietnam and also affected the proximal regions. The following chaos in Laos and Cambodia form an integral part of the ‘legacy’ of the war. The new unified Vietnam was facing its own problems with the culturally disparate north and south struggling to maintain a same national identity. In the post war years, America has made deliberate attempts to erase the lost Vietnam War from its consciousness. This made the veterans position rather flimsy as their efforts and sacrifices in the war were being rendered futile and meaningless by the public. This forced exclusion of Vietnam War has in a way alienated the war veterans who have suffered from isolation, drug abuse and many psychological disorders. Moreover, the views of the public on the war are very variegated which make the Vietnam War a fairly complex issue to understand. With the loss of the Vietnam War, the writer believes that the American policy makers have become more and more security conscious over the years. Taking the increased involvement of the USSR in the Afghan region as an example, the Americans spent millions of dollars on harnessing fundamentalist guerilla warfare in the region. Similar examples can also be seen in the leftist revolutions in the Central American region. The conclusion perhaps holds the crux of the article. The writer with the entire historical contextualization is trying to assert that the Vietnam War was in fact a paramount event in the history of international politics. It was marked with the exposure of the vulnerability of a Superpower that was far more superior militarily and economically from its opponent but had to suffer a humiliating defeat. The writer believes the contemporary world is not the world that was easily manageable by the imperial powers as in the 1940s. The political intervention of the powerful nations is not as easy as it used to be in the earlier half of the century when the superpowers defined the political map to suit their strategic interests. In the new era, America needs to accept its weaknesses and accommodate situations that might not be as palatable ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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