Vietnam War: Why the US Lost in the War - Research Paper Example

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Vietnam War Why the US lost in the War? Subject Date Introduction The Vietnam War turned out to be a protracted, costly military conflict in which the United States participated. The war that pitted the communist administration of North Vietnam against the American-backed South Vietnam exposed the weaknesses of the United States, especially in dealing with small but adamant military organizations in the world…
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Vietnam War: Why the US Lost in the War
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"Vietnam War: Why the US Lost in the War"

Download file to see previous pages The paper explores the reasons behind the American defeat in Vietnam. Arguments Poor military strategy America’s poor military strategy, which stemmed from the country’s historical perception that it was “invincible” cost it the war1. The military appeared to take victory for granted and eventually fell victim to the perception that it could achieve anything it resolved to, regardless of the dynamic nature of the war. In 1965, General Westmoreland put to test the strategy of search-and-destroy, by commanding his troops to locate and eliminate the North Vietnamese soldiers. The military leadership was certain that it would succeed in gradually weakening the enemy through attrition, it was largely unsuccessful. Nonetheless, the strategy of a prolonged military campaign to thSis effect proved difficult to achieve, and only served to weaken the American military and fuel discontent not only within the force but back home2. Lack of Political support The United States lost the Vietnam War because of lack of public support for the operation3. Military campaigns, the world over, have historically been made successful by public approval; the lack of civilian support always culminates in unattractive outcomes, low morale and eventual defeat. The Vietnam War eroded the American public support for it to the very low. North Vietnam prolonged the war, and increased the American casualties, as the foreigners could not identify them. The misfortunes that visited the American soldiers on the battled-field quickly entered the public domain through unregulated media of the 1960s and early 1970s. The end result was the fear of a long-drawn war whose cost fell squarely on the American public. The most important factor in winning the public support for the Vietnam War would be highlighting the successes on the ground; nonetheless, in Vietnam this was neither the case nor the reality on the ground. There were no apparent pointers to the American success, which could be used to gain public support for the war4. Additionally, the eroded public support made it impossible for the military to carry out any significant measures that could tilt the balance in their favor if not present a military success to the superpower. And in a democracy such as the American model, political leaders could not take popular will for granted, as it would have cost them their seats. Secrecy, maneuvers or lies which were proposed by some would not be of any benefit either. The American government failed to seek adequate public opinion on the war before embarking on the campaign, hence its cowardly withdrawal from the region after almost a decade of protracted and unfruitful conflict. Weak Saigon government Owing to the failure on the part of the American government to strengthen the Saigon government to stand on its own, the southern ally increasingly became more dependent on the major ally. An increasing role of the American military in South Vietnam complicated the situation for an easier exit strategy, which would have been achieved had the Southern government demonstrated its grip in the region. The American intervention in 1965 was conceived inappropriately, and immediately, though it came at the right time in rescuing the Southerners from collapse. Unfortunately, the dependency the Americans inadvertently nurtured extended ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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