Essay On Us Involvement In The Vietnam War

opinion Essay
1062 words
1062 words

Why did the United States get involved in the Vietnam War? Ask this question to a cross section of Americans, a housewife like Bobbie Lee Pendergrass who wrote a moving letter to President Kennedy looking for answers not about the death of her brother, but the reason why he fighting in Vietnam. Most Americans couldn’t even tell you where Vietnam was on a map much less why we sent so many soldiers to fight a civil war half way around the world because most Americans did not think that communism was not an immediate threat. The United States government’s reason was that they wanted to stop the spread of Communism and the expansion of nuclear weapons so they supported a military government in South Vietnam which was under the leadership …show more content…

Arthur E. Woodley, Jr., a special forces ranger in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969 was a typical soldier, young wanting to escape where he lived, willing to join the military, but not fully understanding the gravity of what they were in for. He spoke of how he changed, became like them, a monster able to torture another human being just as the Vietcong had done to American solders. These words said by Woodley, Jr.” I came to the realization that I was committing crimes against humanity and my-self. That I really didn’t believe in these things I was doin “(Johnson, 288) shows that emotional pain is something all vets bring home with them. Many solders as well as their families didn’t recognize the person that they have become when they do come back home. Many find that they hate who they have become. Woodley also believed that he war was a just war because he felt that our government would not lie to him. Now home he might realize that his trust was honorable, it was …show more content…

Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara knew that our soldiers were not fighting for America, but for a country that they knew little about, Mcnamara said, “We find ourselves . . . no better, and if anything worse off. This important war must be fought and won by the Vietnamese themselves. We have known this from the beginning. But the discouraging truth is that, as was the case in 1961 and 1963 and 1965, we have not found the formula, the catalyst, for training and inspiring them into effective action (Johnson (278) There is no formula for a war that the American people do not support. Another reason why the United States failed was because our government wanted to seek negotiations. They thought that Hanoi or the VC will respond to peace overtures now. . . . The ends sought by the two sides appear to be irreconcilable and the relative power balance is not in their view unfavorable to them (Johnson,

In this essay, the author

  • Explains why the united states got involved in the vietnam war. most americans didn't think that communism was an immediate threat. they supported a military government in south vietnam under ngo dinh diem.
  • Opines that president kennedy's decision to aid vietnam was a difficult one that all five presidents struggled with.
  • Analyzes how mcnamara's candor about the complexities and inability for the united states to succeed seemed to fall on deaf ears.
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