Everything that could go wrong did go wrong, and these problems all contributed to a Vietnam tour that went horribly wrong and an attitude among the American people that was growing ever doubt full of their government. There is lots of belief that the reason the United States lost the war is because of their foreign policy. America’s mission was not to get rid of Communism all together but rather to just stop the spread of Communism. The US had many past opportunities to destroy Communism; the Korean War would be a prime example. However out of fear that we would sound like ... ... middle of paper ... ...y changed America, its politics, and foreign policy forever.
Nixon opened secret talks with the North Vietnamese and in 1975 Saigon eventually fell to the North Vietnamese because they lacked the support of the USA. It was the combination and the interaction between the different tactics of the armies, the media coverage, and the questioning of the war in the USAthat led the USA to withdraw its troops from Vietnam. The change in approach to foreign policies and war by the USA meant that it no longer wished to become embroiled in such a war. This was to last until after September eleventh when it began an aggressive foreign policy but it has been careful not to become fully engaged in foreign countries for long periods because of the humiliation it suffered in withdrawing from Vietnam.
They were worried that if one country were to fall to a communist leader, so would neighbouring countries. This was known as the Domino Theory. These reasons for joining the war in Vietnam and the fact that the United States did not want to appear weak were the main reasons that the USA withdrew forces from Vietnam so late, as it took from 1968 when peace talks were made with North Vietnam until 1973 when the majority of soldiers had been withdrawn from Vietnam. There were many reasons for the USA withdrawing its forces from Vietnam: the tactics of the two armies, the strong anti-war movement in America, the change in public opinion and the one-sided media coverage. The major turning point for most members of the USA public and government was the Tet Offensive in 1968.
Leading up to the Vietnam War the U.S was living in great fear of communism spreading throughout the world. Politicians and the American people feared the ‘domino theory’. According to our class lecture, the domino theory is the fear that the U.S coul... ... middle of paper ... ... to not understanding the Vietnamese people. Baritz wrote that “North Vietnam finally won its war because it was willing to accept more death than we considered rational” (Hollitz 287). The large amount of bombs that the U.S dropped on North Vietnam was almost pointless, as the Northern Vietnamese were willing to lose all of those people if it gave them an ultimate victory in the war.
To make it even more difficult for the soldiers, their “information was based on faulty intelligence”. Võ Nguyên Giáp, a northern Vietnamese general, believed that the US and the southern Vietnamese had an unstable relationship. He hoped that through the Tet Offensive the US would believe they were no longer worth defending. Fighting was done using guerrilla warfare which blurred the lines of legitimate and illegitimate killings and this had effect of bringing peoples morales down. Support for the war had always been split but this battle caused even the government to reconsider their involvement.
He pointed out that in terms of numbers, the US and South Vietnamese had a huge victory. His point of view was simply from a statistical standpoint. But the public saw that many Vietnamese civilians were harmed and affected by the war. The Tet Offensive was the beginning of the decline of public support for the war, as well as decline in US involvement in the war due to the public opinion. In addition, President Johnson was losing support because of his stubborn foreign policy outlook.
Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Nixon all felt the need to end communism in South Vietnam to bring peace upon the nation. The Vietnam War did not begin until 1965, which was after Truman and Eisenhower’s years in office they still had a significant role in this War. The initialing of the Vietnam War began while President Truman was in office. Truman was a bold man who fought against communism and agreed to assist the French in their endeavor to terminate the communistic rule in Vietnam. This was critical for Truman because of the Soviet defiance in North Korea, which inflamed the tension of the Cold War.
Their efforts to win the war also became questionable when the military planned to stop the flow of supplies to the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The supplies had to be stopped because that was what kept the guerilla war going but they could not stop it. At this point, it was an obvious struggle for the Americans to win this war. Another turn of events that caused different reactions in the American community was when President Johnson did not seek re-election. The Republicans won the 1968 election and Richard Nixon became President.
Gradually they got dragged further and further into the war and sud... ... middle of paper ... ...m was not even really supported by the Vietnamese people. How could the United States expect to win a war when nobody wanted the government they had set up? South Vietnamese guerillas began to work with the North Vietnamese soldiers to defeat the American supported government and to unify Vietnam. The United States basically turned the Vietnamese that were earlier on their side against them. They became angry that so many of their civilians were being injured and killed and did not want the government set up by the United States to stay in place.
This attempt had failed in many ways because of an inexperienced president and his unarticulated ideals of how to control a war and satisfy his country at the same time. After the unfortunate assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, his successor, vice-president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, or LBJ, was forced to take the plunge into presidency at a crucial time. The Vietnam War had already been ignited and US involvement was apparent. Because Johnson was an insecure man, and with that insecurity came a fear of being ridiculed, he wanted to show the American people that he could be the best president in US history. Although his intentions to create a 'Great Society' and to win the war in Vietnam were probably for the best, he still managed to make more mistakes that anything else.