Lessons Learned From The Cold War

Powerful Essays
During the Cold War, many lessons were learned. The United States had to learn these lessons to survive in a rapidly changing world. It learned lessons from the incident in the Gulf of Tonkin and the resolution that followed that lead to the invasion of Vietnam. It learned lessons from the horrors of war in Vietnam. And it learned lessons from The My Lai massacre in Vietnam, one of those very horrors. One lesson that was learned from all these incidents is that in uncertain times, restraint should be exercised. This lesson can be applied to situations like the War in Iraq. that the U.S. finds itself in today.

The lack of restraint used in the Vietnam War was enormous. Had more restraint been used when the U.S. was attacked by an enemy just before the War in Vietnam, the conflict could easily have been avoided. President Johnson did not use restraint in making his decision when two U.S. destroyers were supposedly attacked by North Vietnamese forces, commonly referred to as the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. “Johnson told Americans that communist torpedo boats fired on U.S. destroyers on Aug. 2 and Aug. 4, 1964. Following that, Congress voted almost unanimously on Aug. 7 to give Johnson approval to step up U.S. involvement in Vietnam…. "More recent analysis ... now makes it clear that North Vietnamese naval forces did not attack (USS) Maddox and (USS) Turner Joy that night in the summer of 1964," (Dakks,). Johnson should have known the facts about the Gulf of Tonkin Incident before he proposed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which allowed him to justify the invasion of Vietnam.

During the Cold War the United States did not exercise enough restraint when it invaded Cambodia. President Nixon should have realized that invading Cambodia ...

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...ring the invasion of Cambodia. It was certainly not present during the My Lai Massacre. The lesson could have been applied during the Iraq War, but nary was the lesson a factor then. The U.S. could have won the Vietnam War and could have applied the knowledge to the War in Iraq if they had know that it is correct to use restraint in uncertain times. not enough restraint was exercised during the War in Iraq and the War in Vietnam. The invasion of both countries could have been avoided. Once the country was invaded, mistakes that changed the tide of the war could have easily been avoided. Massacres occurred that demonstrated the lack of restrain used. And the wars could have been won if the U.S. had seen the mistakes made during the course of the war and try and fix them. The U.S. could have won the war in Vietnam if they had used restraint in times of uncertainty.
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