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Why Did the US Become Embroiled in Vietnam - Essay Example

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The Vietnam War became one of the painful moments in the history of the United States. Between 1965 and 1975, the war in Vietnam was one of the most contentious issues of American domestic and international politics…
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Why Did the US Become Embroiled in Vietnam
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Download file to see previous pages From unanimous support, the American public gradually moved to complete rejection of the U.S.’s involvement in Vietnam. Simultaneously, political scholars and the common public tried to discover the main causes of the U.S.’s intervention in Vietnam. The current state of political science offers multiple explanations to the U.S.’s decision to intervene Vietnam. From political to economic and international relations explanations, public opinions of the Vietnam War vary across individuals and countries. More often than not, the Vietnam War is believed to be the sign of the U.S.’s power arrogance, although it is possible to assume that the Vietnam War also resulted from the domestic bureaucracy and balance of power concerns in America during the Cold War. That the Vietnam War remains one of the most controversial aspects of American history cannot be denied. Much has been written and said about the causes and consequences of the Vietnam War. More often than not, the Vietnam War is claimed to be a result of the U.S.’s power arrogance. In other words, the United States used its intervention to Vietnam to reaffirm its political and military superiority and used the Vietnam War to achieve its political objectives. However, the relevance of other interpretations cannot be disregarded. The U.S. embroiled in Vietnam because (a) domestic bureaucracy misinterpreted the seriousness of the political situation in Vietnam and (b) the rapid expansion of communism in the Vietnamese territories shifted the balance of power in the international political arena. All these interpretations have their strengths and deficiencies and all of them deserve professional attention. The arrogance of power is one of the most common explanations of the Vietnam War. Put simply, the Vietnam War is believed to be the sign of the U.S.’s striving to reestablish its military and political superiority in the East Asian region. The arrogance of power philosophy implies that, as the biggest and most powerful nation in the world, America wanted to use its power by all possible means and at every possible opportunity (Anonymous 126). Actually, the arrogance of power word combination was borrowed from the speech delivered by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman J. William Fulbright, who warned the Senate that the U.S.’s embroilment in Vietnam would result in the escalation of violence in China (Anonymous 126). In his speech Fulbright expressed doubts as for whether the United States was able and willing to overcome arrogance of power that had weakened and destroyed earlier nations and people (Anonymous 126). In Fulbright’s view, the U.S.’s involvement in Vietnam meant that the country and its leaders could distinguish power from virtue and, instead, believed that its superiority and power were but a product of God’s favor (Anonymous 126). The arrogance of power interpretation of the U.S.’s embroilment in Vietnam suggests that, throughout its history, the United States existed in the atmosphere of an ongoing conflict between Puritanism and democracy and, at times of heightened emotions, Puritanism would break through and border on unreasonable moralism (Lobe). As a result, arrogant in its power, the United States would view its military operations as a quest for morality, freedom and democracy – the philosophy that has continuously guided all American operations until present. Despite the growing amount of evidence supporting this view, this interpretation is not without weaknesses. The main criticism relates to the relationship between arrogance and the beginning of the Vietnam War. On the one hand, at the heart of American intervention was more than one ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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