The American Involvement Of Vietnam Essay

The American Involvement Of Vietnam Essay

Length: 1418 words (4.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The increasing American involvement in Vietnam can be traced to at
least three flawed attitudes. The first was a belief that the United States
was on the side of right and justice and that the communists were the
aggressors. The second was the assumption that Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Cong
had little grass-roots support in the South and that the people of South
Vietnam welcomed American protection. The third was the unshakable confidence
in the military’s ability to accomplish anything it wanted owing to the
superiority of the American fighting man and his technology-a belief
instilled by a long history of wars fought and won by U.S. troops. This
combination of self-righteousness and arrogance blinded America to the
realities of the situation in Vietnam.
America was sure that its military intervention in South Vietnam was morally
right. Defenders of the war saw the conflict in terms of the forces of evil
(communism) against the forces of good (freedom). Supporters of intervention
believed that to refuse aid was to abandon the peaceful and democratic nation
of South Vietnam to “communist enslavement” (“Public Hearings” 977).
President Johnson painted a picture of a “small and brave” nation beleaguered
by communist aggression. The president asked “only that the people of South
Vietnam be allowed to guide their country in their own way” (Johnson, ”War
Aims” 976). Congress had already agreed; in its Gulf of Tonkin resolution in
1964, it accused the communists of carrying out an unprovoked attack on
American naval vessels and said that this attack was only part of a larger
attack on the “freedom” of the South (971). Some of the fighting men tended
to see the war in black-and-white terms, with the communists as evil and
Americans as good...

... middle of paper ...

that it took the “devastating” Tet Offensive of 1968 (a coordinated attack by
the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong on more than one hundred towns and
cities in the South) to impress upon it the reality of just how costly and
difficult it would be for the United States to win the war.
In the End, it was two misguided assumptions that embroiled the United States
in the military and political chaos of the Vietnam War: the self-righteous
belief that the political system that worked for Americans would work for
everyone else and that the South Vietnamese welcomed American military
intervention; and the arrogant assumption that sheer numbers and firepower
would subdue a popularly supported insurrection. When we emerged, ten years
later, these attitudes had been severely shaken. It would take many years for
the United States to begin regaining its self-confidence.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about The American Reaction to Involvement in Vietnam

- The American Reaction to Involvement in Vietnam In the early 60s, most Americans were very ignorant about Vietnam. They just saw it as a little concern. They were an extremely confident nation who had never lost a war to date, and whose resources were limitless. So they naturally assumed that all their weapons and firepower would ensure victory in a couple of months. Patriotism was very strong in America at that time. Many people remembered the McCarthy trials of the 1950's, so people were extremely aware of the anti-Communist feelings in the country in the early 1960's.Most Americans believed the 'Domino Theory' during these years, and so most were in favour of m...   [tags: American History, World History]

Better Essays
860 words (2.5 pages)

An American War Essay

- American involvement in Vietnam was largely in response to Cold War polices and Strategies. Kennedy took a much more laid back approach to Vietnam than Eisenhower did. He only wanted to support the South and not give them direct military aid by getting involved. Kennedy believed that the nations themselves should bear the burden of fighting the war and America would merely give them supplies and political support. However, the administration’s attempt to help the South largely failed because neither the South Vietnamese nor the Americans knew how to deal with guerrilla warfare....   [tags: American Involvement, Vietnam, Cold War]

Better Essays
988 words (2.8 pages)

America's Involvement in the Vietnam War Essay

- America's Involvement in the Vietnam War Vietnam is a time in American history that most of us would like to forget, but really, we must learn from it. Vietnam is a time where we didn't look at the whole picture, it was 'perceived through the lens of Cold War politics.' (MP:420) With the new ?domino theory,. Americans feared for their safety and the safety of the 'free world.' If they didn't step in, they would inevitably lose the world to communism. Many Americans believed our involvement in Vietnam began around 1965?the beginning of combat with American boys....   [tags: Vietnam War American History Essays]

Better Essays
799 words (2.3 pages)

Failure in the Vietnam War Essay

- Failure in Vietnam Draft The Vietnam War was destined to fail from the very beginning. Motivated by politics alone, the United States interfered with a smaller states’ freedom from colonialism, just as the Patriots vied for during the Revolutionary War. The defeat of American involvement in Vietnam can be attributed to five main factors: the remaining aftereffects of World War II created fear of communism and a motivation based on the ever shifted soil of political favoritism, which led to hasty decision making and US negligence of caring to the needs of the very people they were attempting to save, The American Army remained underprepared for the climate and terrain, massive differences...   [tags: American involvement, political circumstances]

Better Essays
1976 words (5.6 pages)

United States' Involvement with Vietnam Essay

- United States' Involvement with Vietnam Although there are no specific, reasons as to why the USA became increasingly involved in the war, I can name many different reasons and aspects as to why they did. These reasons all link together in some way. These reasons range from long term to short term, and from financial, to political, and finally to full scale war. The origins of involvement can be traced back to the 19th century when the French had added a huge part of South East Asia to their already growing empire, this area was known as "Indo-China"....   [tags: American History, World History]

Better Essays
964 words (2.8 pages)

United States' Involvement in the Vietnam War Essay

- United States' Involvement in the Vietnam War There are many reasons for American intervention in Vietnam whether it is political causes, economic causes or military causes. The Americans want to secure capitalism all over the world and get rid of communism. The French used to run Vietnam in a capitalist manner. After the Second World War France attempted to secure and control Vietnam once more. France refused to recognize the democratic republic of Vietnam that had been declared by Ho Chi Minh and fighting soon broke out against the Vietminh and the French troops....   [tags: American History, World History]

Better Essays
785 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on United States' Involvement in the Vietnam War

- United States' Involvement in the Vietnam War Source Based Source one tells us that the American Anti-war movement was small in 1964 and was the view of the minority of people. The writer splits the population up into three groups, neutral, pro-war and anti-war. Pro-war was the biggest group as American patriotism appealed to the public at this early stage. Source two tells us that support for the war declined between 1964 and 1971. It tells us that even at its lowest level support are still at a relatively large 25 per cent of the population that were polled....   [tags: American History, World History]

Free Essays
2823 words (8.1 pages)

Essay on America's Involvement in Vietnam

- America's Involvement in Vietnam From the early 1800’s up until 1931 Vietnam was controlled by France, Frances rule was then ended as they were forced to pull out of Vietnam due to the start of WW2, France left a ‘puppet ruler’ named Emperor Bao Dai. This left Vietnam vulnerable to invasion which was an opportunity Japan could not refuse and took advantage of Vietnam’s situation by invading. This sparked the return of a well known Vietnamese communist, Ho Chi Minh who was an exile during Frances rein, but thanks to WW2 was able to stage his return and help battle the Japanese and regain Vietnam’s freedom....   [tags: American History, World History]

Better Essays
831 words (2.4 pages)

United States' Involvement in Vietnam Essay

- United States' Involvement in Vietnam The sources provide are useful in many ways, however some can be considered more useful than others. From the 3 sources it seems to suggest that electoral reasons were the main causes of helping Vietnam fight against communism. President Johnson speech to the public before the start of Operation Rolling Thunder seems to suggest that he was pressured into helping Vietnam's fight against communism. This is because every president since 1954 helped South Vietnam by the use of armed forces....   [tags: American History, World History]

Free Essays
723 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on United States' Involvement with Vietnam

- United States' Involvement with Vietnam The Americans became involved in Vietnam after the Second World War. Vietnam was part of the French empire. Then, during world war two it was occupied by the Japanese. The Vietminh were formed to resist the Japanese. France tried to reclaim Vietnam at the end of the war but the Vietminh fought back. The USA lent its financial support to France by giving them five hundred million dollars a year. When France was defeated, the USA sent money and military advisers to the non-communist government of South Vietnam....   [tags: American History, World History]

Free Essays
502 words (1.4 pages)