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The Vietnam Wars - Research Paper Example

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Vietnam War: 1965 Analysis of the impact of US intervention upon the conduct of the war Subject Date Why Lyndon B. Johnson sent US ground troops to Vietnam Before 1965, the United States took a less active role in the conflict between the Viet Cong and South Vietnam…
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The Vietnam Wars

Download file to see previous pages... The president used the constitutional powers in the office to order the deployment of US ground troops to the region in the end of the first quarter of 1965. The action, notwithstanding, President Johnson's objective for his country’s participation in Vietnam was not driven by the quest to win the battle, but for the military to stabilize South Vietnam's forces and government control of security situation in the region. Butterfield suggests that the ability of the Viet Cong "to build up their effort was consistently underrated" by the United States2. In light of this, President Johnson ordered what would turn out to be unpopular among Americans, when the country found itself mired in a deadlock with the warring factions of Vietnam. Although, the country participated in aerial bombings of the enemy North, President Johnson was of the opinion that the bombardment be restricted to defending South Vietnam. By restricting the battlefields, the American troops would not carry out a significant ground invasion of the North to eliminate the communist icons and structures nor would they seriously destabilize the Ho Chi Minh Trail or the major infrastructure used by his government. Impact of the 1965 American intervention in Vietnam The eight years of America's participation in Vietnam witnessed its military campaign fluctuate from enormous escalation of firepower to slow withdrawal. The American approach to the war, also evolved in its implementation, from a general “Search and Destroy” mission, which was intended to wear the enemy, to complete "Clear and Hold" strategies. The end result was based on pacification initiatives. Whereas, critics continue to argue that America’s poor performance in Vietnam was bound to happen, owing to the then prevailing political, social, and military issues, others are of the opinion that America’s involvement should not be regarded as such: that the “winning strategy” of the US military was to decisively prolong the conflict in order to wear down the North Vietnamese military3. Nevertheless, the North Vietnamese strategy of implementing a complex program of insurgency and long-drawn guerilla war proved an elusive goal for the superior American military, hence its eventual defeat and de-escalation4. America’s attrition strategy The 1965 US intervention in Vietnam greatly impacted the conduct of the war. Unlike previously, when the country played a limited role of offering military advice to the South Vietnamese military, American forces took part in combat, complete with ground troops. From 1965 to 1968, the main strategy of the United States was taking control of the combat in South Vietnam from the local South Vietnamese Armed Forces (SVAF). The American ground forces based their successes on the "Search and Destroy" missions, while the Air Force carried out air raids under the Rolling Thunder bombing crusade. Although, General Westmoreland was confident these strategies would wear down the Viet Cong forces and guerillas, political challenges driven by fear of attracting more states to the battlefield, such as China and or Soviet Union prompted the Johnson government to limit their combat to a strategic protection of South Vietnam. And whereas, Soviet played the role of a “diplomatic channel between Washington and Hanoi. . . Moscow always seemed unwilling to pile pressure on North Vietnam to give up its ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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