US and Vietnam War
Signed at the International Conference Center in Paris on January 27, 1973, the agreement served as little more than a protocol for the return of American prisoners of war and military disengagement…
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The final contingent of the U.S. commitment departed Vietnam 60 days after the signing, but the level of violence between Vietnamese adversaries did not significantly decline; no peace came to Vietnam.
In the United States, Watergate was changing from amber to red, and as his presidency unraveled in 1973, President Richard Nixon's secret commitments to South Vietnam's President Nguyen Van Thieu were rendered meaningless. Less than two years later, faced with funding a $722 million budget supplement, the U.S. Congress showed little interest in providing military equipment or financial support to America's longtime ally, South Vietnam. On April 30, 1975, South Vietnam ceased to exist.
For most Americans, the last images of the war were of the dazed U.S. Ambassador Graham Martin carrying a folded American flag under his arm during the final evacuation from the U.S. Embassy; or perhaps the chaos surrounding the evacuation of U.S. personnel and Vietnamese families from the Embassy rooftop.
No one seemed interested in such critical questions as the nature of the war, why the United States chose to fight the way it did, how North Vietnam had prevailed, the relationship of political objectives to military strategy, or the lessons that could be derived from the public diplomacy and secret negotiations that had characterized so much of the conflict. The dire situation would change as scholars gained access to a series of significant declassifications of primary source documents located in archival depositories in the United States, Vietnam, China, and Russia, and as principal architects of policy-the so-called "best and brightest"-began to reflect and write on their roles during the period. In 1995, former Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara broke his own long silence on the subject with the admission that "we were wrong, terribly wrong" (McNamara & Van De Mark 1995). Another principal architect of Vietnam policy, political scientist Henry Kissinger, has generated several books that address why the United States fought in Vietnam (Kissinger 1999). We approach our topic chronologically by examining 30 years of war from 1945 to 1975-beginning with the historic Vietnamese proclamation of independence and ending with the fall of South Vietnam in April 1975. We have identified what we believe are important components of this unfolding saga, and we begin from the intellectual premise that truly understanding why the United States fought in Vietnam requires that we comprehend the roots of the conflict (before it became America's war in Vietnam) from the perspective of countries other than the United States- specifically, Vietnam, China, and the Soviet Union. After all, it was the United States that chose to fight in Vietnam's war (Young 1991).
The disciplines of history and political science have illuminated many important aspects of the war, including presidential personality and leadership, war powers, public opinion, the role of the media, advisory processes and interactions, political dissent, and congressional-executive relations. Political science has also contributed significant theoretical advances on
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However, the French too were waging a war against the local people, who wanted to be rid of the colonial yoke. Soon after the world war, the fighting for the colony by the French continued, but by the year 1954, after their defeat at Dien Bien Phu, they were forced to agree to the Geneva accords, whereby Vietnam was divided at the seventeenth parallel, and elections to reunify the country were to be held by 1956.
The rulers of South Vietnam who sought American help to oust the communists were immersed in corruption and anti-people governance. At the same time, a spirit of social equality motivated the North Vietnamese communist rulers.
All military engagements are expensive. More importantly, many young people lose their lives and of those who come home alive, many are eternally altered emotionally and physically. The Vietnam War proved that neither military nor financial supremacy guarantees victory.
The Vietnam War was subsequent to the First Indochina War in which both warring sides elicited support from allies such as communists for the North and the US and other anti-communist countries for the South. The war entailed two key groups, i.e. the Viet Cong or the National Liberation Front (NLF), which was a communist-controlled group with light arms that focused on guerilla war tactics and anti-communist forces within the region.
Although, there had been social hostilities in the region spanning two decades, the American involvement in Vietnam between 1963 and 1975 marked the end of incrementalist policies and the escalation of the operations into full combat against the Northern Viet Cong forces.
One perfect example was Rambo: First Blood II in which the starring (Sylvester Stallone) was a war veteran sent to a country called Vietnam and while there he leaves other army officers behind who are then captured and the guilt forces him to go back to rescue the remaining Prisoners of War (POW).
These steps were actually the logical continuation of an earlier American commitment being made by previous administrations; thus, having addressed the audience at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 7, 1965, Johnson made his point – “We are there because we have a promise to keep.
iterature on the subject have gauged the impact of the Vietnam conflict not only on casualty statistics and geographic coverage but also on its length, intensity and global repercussions.
The Vietnam conflict with its scope is the embodiment of the Clausewitzian approach that
The military actions were held on the territory of Vietnam, where Vietnamese were at home and American soldiers faced many traps. If a person is a stranger in the jungle it is very difficult for him to stay alive for a least a couple of days. A half of
These deaths saw complaints and disgruntlement from the American people and so of the future leaders in the US and the pressure led to the withdrawal and end of the war.
There was also the fact that millions of
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