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The Vietnam War - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Vietnam The Vietnam War refers to a cold war era marred by military conflict that took place in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos between the year 1955 and 1975. The war was primarily fought between the communist North Vietnam and the anti-communist South Vietnam (Addington 45)…
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The Vietnam War

Download file to see previous pages... The Vietnam People’s Army, on the other hand, practiced conventional warfare (Henriksen 16). The US and South Vietnamese forces typically relied on air superiority, as well as superior firepower for searching and destroying communistic operations through airstrikes, artillery and ground forces. It is undeniable that the upheaval in Vietnam during the 1960s had serious repercussions as both sides suffered immense losses of both lives and funds. This paper will examine the conditions in Vietnam that precipitated such upheaval, focusing on the social, economic and political conditions in Vietnam during the 1950s. The 1950s in Vietnam were critical years to the war. Political Conditions The most notable causes of the Vietnamese upheaval of the 1960s were largely political-based. One of the most critical situations that precipitated the upheaval in the 1960s was the involvement of the US government in the affairs of South Vietnam. The US had initially backed France in its pursuit to take over Vietnam. However, upon the defeat of France, the nation (Vietnam) split into two; North and South (Henriksen 38). The US government sought involvement in the war with a view to deter a communist takeover of South Vietnam. The US was quite weary of the insurgency of communism in South Vietnam, and thus engaged a containment strategy or counterinsurgency to deter South Vietnam’s takeover. All this occurred from 1950 when the US sent its military advisors to the then French Indochina. The US government was adamant that the North intended to convert the South into a communistic state, thus warned the Southern political elite of the same. This precipitated animosity between the North and Southern leaders and in turn increased tension between the two states resulting in massive upheaval.  After France acceded defeat by the Vietnamese, the US government, under the administration of President Dwight Eisenhower, embarked on building a state from the South Vietnamese political entity by fabricating government there. The US overtook the governance of South Vietnam through controlling the local government. This allowed the US to attain its mission, i.e. war against the communists to deter South Vietnam’s takeover. Furthermore, in addition to the US sending its military advisers to South Vietnam, it also dispatched the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to engage in psychological warfare with the North. The involvement of the US only angered the North who reciprocated through guerilla tactics against the South. In addition to helping South Vietnam to deter communist takeover, another key political reason for the Vietnamese upheaval in the 1960s was the US’ guarantee to support capitalistic South Vietnam to deter the reoccurrence of the Chinese takeover by communists. The US government throughout the administrations of Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy all guaranteed South Vietnam of their undying support. The US had rather selfish reasons for backing South Vietnam. According to the US government, under the administration of the aforementioned presidents, if the US deserted South Vietnam, its word would thus be considered as unreliable by other governments, both friendly and unfriendly. Therefore, because its credibility was at stake, the US advocated the war against South Vietnam. Social ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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