Lawrence’s purpose in writing this book was concise and to the point. In recent history, due to the fall of the Soviet bloc, new information has been made available for use in Vietnam. As stated in the introduction, “This book aims to take account of this new scholarship in a brief, accessible narrative of the Vietnam War… It places the war within the long flow of Vietnamese history and then captures the goals and experiences of various governments that became deeply embroiled in the country during the second half of the twentieth century” (Lawrence, 3.) This study is not only about the American government and how they were involved in the Vietnam conflict, but highlights other such countries as France, China, and the Soviet Union. Lawrence goes on to say that one of his major goals in writing this book is to examine the American role in Vietnam within an international context (Lawrence, 4.) Again, this goes to show that the major purpose of Lawrence’s study included not only ...
- Robert J. McMahon, ed. Major Problems in the History of the Vietnam War. New
The Vietnam War (1954-1975) was, and continues to be, a contentious issue around the world. Many analysts of the war attribute it to Lyndon B. Johnson, who was president of America from 1963 until 1969, because under his administration, the American Army became involved in combat in Vietnam. Although there were many facets that lead Johnson to make his decision and there were three other presidents, in power during the course of America’s involvement in Vietnam, who also played key roles, it was Johnson who made the decision to escalate US intervention in Vietnam.
The single most important factor in understanding the United States involvement in Vietnam is fear. In the years leading to the Vietnam Conflict the United States was immersed in paranoia toward Communist Russia and the communist movement as a whole. This paranoia has its roots in the depression of the nineteen thirties and was fueled by the exploits of men like MacCarthy and other politicians who saw this as an opportunity to further their careers or push policies. This paranoia was the most important factor in the entrance of the US into the conflict in Southeast Asia.
John F. Kennedy did not support the conflict in Vietnam. He had always been a firm believe in the containment of communism. When JFK was first...
Thus far the Vietnam War has shown to be a highly complex situation. Many of times, I have found myself agreeing with Lyndon B. John’s decisions to escalate the war. First and foremost, the United States had made a promise of freedom and tranquility to the people (whom were not part of Viet-Cong) of Vietnam. As an American, it is my opinion that the United States had to uphold its word, essentially its credibility. Secondly, withdrawing troops from Vietnam when the situation was really out of control would make the United States appear weak. In midst of the Cold War, the one thing that was not going to prove true was that the United States was weak. Although these reasons were and are valid, the anti-war movement in conjunction with the Tet offensive required President Johnson to make a decision that changed the perception of the war; he chose to call a halt on the bombardment in Vietnam. The purpose of this essay is to further analyze how the continuing anti-war movement and the Tet Offensive were the reasons that “America’s fate was effectively sealed by mid-1968.”
Foster, Gaines(1990, January). Coming to terms with defeat: Post-Vietnam America and the post-Civil WarSouth. Virginia Quarterly Review. Vol.66, pp 17.
The Military History of the United States: The Vietnam War, the Early Days, Marshall Cavendish, New York, 1992: 9, 22, 25, 38.
Since the civil war in the United States there have been many events that could be described as having the biggest impact on our national identity. There are countless ways that the American people have evolved since then. To me, there is no stronger test of a country’s unity and ability to succeed under pressure than war. The United States has weathered many wars and has gone back to help save the countries they defeated. World War 1 established the US as a formidable opponent and a world power. World War 2 confirmed the superiority of the United States military and the unstoppable patriotism of its people. The Cold War showed that the government could negotiate peacefully instead of directly waging yet another conflict. The main problem with being seen as a powerful nation is that there is an expectation that we look after our allies and lesser-developed countries. This is where we made a critical error that led to the Vietnam War. Which, I believe is one of the most crucial points in the history of the United States.
United States' Loss to Vietnam
There were many reasons for the USA's loss in the Vietnam War. There
is no singular reason for the USA's loss; instead there are many, and
each of these contributes to the end result. Some historians believe
U.S.A Involvement in Vietnam War Direct U.S. military involvement in The Vietnam War, the nation's longest, cost fifty-eight thousand American lives. Only the Civil War and the two world wars were deadlier for Americans. During the decade of Vietnam start in 1964, the U.S Treasury spent over $140 billion on the war, enough money to fund urban regeneration projects in every major American city. In spite of these enormous costs and their accompanying public and private disturbance for the American people, the United States failed, for the first time in its history, to attain its stated war aims. The goal was to preserve a separate, independent, non-communist government in South Vietnam, but after April 1975, the communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) ruled the whole nation. (Wittman, Sandra M. "Chronology of the Vietnam War." Vietnam: Yesterday and Today Oakton Community College. Skokie, Illinois. 16 May 1996: n.p.) The initial reasons for U.S. involvement in Vietnam seemed rational and compelling to American leaders. Following its success in World War II, the United States faced the future with a sense of ethical rectitude and material confidence. From Washington's perspective, the principal threat to U.S. security and world peace was monolithic, tyrannical communism emanating from the Soviet Union. Any communist anywhere, at home or abroad, was, by description, and enemy of the United States. Drawing equivalence with the unsuccessful appeasement of fascist dictators before World War II, the Truman administration believed that any sign of communist aggression must be met quickly and vehemently by the United States and its allies. This reactive policy was known as containment. The Vietnam War proved devastating...
The Vietnam War was the most controversial war in American history. Costing more than 47,000 U.S. lives and $140,000,000, the war had momentous impact on the country, politically, economically, and socially. More significantly, the United States failed to achieve its stated war aims, for the first time in history. The goal was to preserve an independent, noncommunist government in South Vietnam, but by the war’s end in 1975, all of Vietnam was under the communist rule of Ho Chi Minh’s Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The U.S. emerged from the war disgraced: a global superpower had been bested by the nearly third-world nation of North Vietnam. But how? Antiwar sentiment among the civilian population contributed to the American defeat, but the most fundamental fault lay in the flawed reasoning behind U.S. involvement.
The Vietnam War was the longest and most expensive war in American History. The toll we paid wasn't just financial, it cost the people involved greatly, physically and mentally. This war caused great distress and sadness, as well as national confusion. Everyone had that one burning question being why? Why were we even there? The other question being why did America withdrawal from Vietnam. The purpose of this paper is to answer these two burning questions, and perhaps add some clarity to the confusion American was experiencing.
JOHN F. KENNEDY IN VIETNAM There are many critical questions surrounding United States involvement in Vietnam. American entry to Vietnam was a series of many choices made by five successive presidents during these years of 1945-1975. The policies of John F. Kennedy during the years of 1961-1963 were ones of military action, diplomacy, and liberalism. Each of his decision was on its merits at the time the decision was made. The belief that Vietnam was a test of the Americas ability to defeat communists in Vietnam lay at the center of Kennedy¡¦s policy. Kennedy promised in his inaugural address, Let every nation know...that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty. From the 1880s until World War II, France governed Vietnam as part of French Indochina, which also included Cambodia and Laos. The country was under the formal control of an emperor, Bao Dai. From 1946 until 1954, the Vietnamese struggled for their independence from France during the first Indochina War. At the end of this war, the country was temporarily divided into North and South Vietnam. North Vietnam came under the control of the Vietnamese Communists who had opposed France and aimed for a unified Vietnam under Communist rule. Vietnamese who had collaborated with the French controlled the South. For this reason the United States became involved in Vietnam because it believed that if all of the country fell under a Communist government, Communism would spread throughout Southeast Asia and further. This belief was known as the domino theory. The decision to enter Vietnam reflected America¡¦s idea of its global role-U.S. could not recoil from world leadership. The U.S. government supported the South Vietnamese government. The U.S. government wanted to establish the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), which extended protection to South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos in case of Communist subversion. SEATO, which came into force in 1955, became the way which Washington justified its support for South Vietnam; this support eventually became direct involvement of U.S. troops. In 1955, the United States picked Ngo Dinh Diem to replace Bao Dai as head of the anti-Communist regime in South Vietnam. Eisenhower chose to support Ngo Dinh Diem. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born in Brookline, Mass., on May 29, 1917. Kennedy graduated from Harvard University in 1940 and joined the Navy the next year.