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HIS 352 - Project 2 US Vietnam War - Persuasive - Essay Example

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Reflections on the Vietnam Wars: Guerillas versus Great Powers Introduction Being obsessed by the communist aggression in Vietnam, the successor of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, undertook resolute steps in 1965 towards preventing what had been considered pending serious damage to the American international influence and prestige, namely the real probability of losing South Vietnam (King, 1980, p.332)…
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HIS 352 - Project 2 US Vietnam War - Persuasive Essay
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Download file to see previous pages Since 1954 every American President has offered support to the people of South Viet-Nam. ...I intend to keep that promise” (Pentagon Papers, 1965). Johnson’s determination resulted in the US air forces being sent in bombing campaigns over the North Vietnamese territory while the US marines were dispatched to the South (King, 1980, p.332). The further Americanisation of the Vietnam War, in turn, brought about two important developments – America’s failure in Vietnam and the rise of a noisy and mobilised anti-war movement (Reitano, 2004, p.30). This paper argues that the US escalating involvement in Vietnam had been justified insofar as it was intended first and foremost as a countermeasure against the communist aggression in South Vietnam, thus being part of the overall US Cold War strategy of containment. On the other hand, the efficiency of the North Vietnamese forces in combating the technologically superior US forces, just as the French colonial troops a decade ago, is believed to have stemmed from four crucial factors, as follows: the versatile guerrilla tactics employed, disregard for the casualties, better motivation, as well as the extensive Soviet-Chinese support – military advisors, equipment, weaponry, etc. ...
Apart from the opposing, mainly ideology-driven interpretations, most scholars have agreed that the roots of American involvement in Vietnam should be sought in the US Cold War strategy of containment (Ruane, 2000, p.2). Thus, according to Herring (George C., cited in Ruane, 2000, p.2), the US involvement was neither been a result of wrong judgement nor of personality quirks of the policy-makers, although both had existed in abundance. Rather, it had been a “logical, if not inevitable, outgrowth of a world view”, which the US government, along with the ordinary Americans, bred and accepted for over two decades (Ruane, 2000, p.2). Robert McNamara, then Secretary of Defence, explicitly referred to the “North Vietnam’s belligerency” and the Soviet back-up as a “major communist effort, meticulously planned and controlled, and relentlessly pursued by the government in Hanoi” (Pentagon Papers, 1964). On the other hand, the very nature of the Cold War – a struggle for global influence conducted through a number of proxy wars and indirect confrontations – required the presence of US advisory missions and military equipment supplies at any place across the world where the Soviets attempted, in a way or another, to turn the tables on their rival. The US president, Lyndon Johnson, in turn, made it equally explicit in 1965 – “The confused nature of this conflict cannot mask the fact that it is the new face of an old enemy” (Pentagon Papers, 1965). Therefore, following the series of attacks launched by Vietcong forces across South Vietnam between January 1st and 7 February 1965, including the seizure of Binh Gia, a village located some forty miles from Saigon, which resulted in two hundred ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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