From the outset, the Vietnam War manifested itself as a conflict that could only be settled by prolonged engagement. Because the war was fundamentally an ideological struggle between the democratic, capitalist United States and the Communist bloc of the U.S.S.R. and China, the strategy formulated by both democratic and communist advisory forces in North and South Vietnam conformed to accepted Cold War military practices. However, while initially similar to the war in Korea, the war in Vietnam soon outgrew and exceeded the expectations of U.S. strategists, evolving into one the longest and most bitterly contested campaigns in U.S. history. The reasons for this relative loss of control on the part of the American executors of the war were manifold, but perhaps the most influential forces can be attributed, firstly, to the obduracy of the North Vietnamese and their allies in the South in the face of perceived American imperialism and, secondly, to the respective international policies of five successive American presidents in regards to U.S. military action in Vietnam and neighboring Laos and Cambodia. In the following essay I will provide a relatively brief but concise outline of the ways in which these distinct yet interrelated factors contributed to a protracted U.S. military presence in Vietnam.
The Vietnam War brought many tears and casualties to both the United States and Vietnam. Millions of soldiers lost their lives in the time consuming battle. On February 8, 1967 President Lyndon B. Johnson wrote a letter to Ho Chi Minh, Dictator of Vietnam at the time. President Johnson’s letter expresses his hopes of ending this conflict that has gone on so long in Vietnam. President Ho Chi Minh replied back on February 15, 1967 stating that it had been the United States that prolonged the wicked war. President Ho Chi Minh’s reply to President Johnson was the more persuasive of the two letters, because he appealed more to pathos, used stronger and bolder diction, and asked an important rhetorical question.
The Vietnam War escalated from a Vietnamese civil war into a limited international conflict, in which the United States was deeply involved. The Vietnam War was fought in South Vietnam between government forces aided by the United States and guerilla forces aided by the North Vietnamese. Despite increased American military involvement and signed peace agreements in 1973, the Vietnam War did not end until North Vietnam's successful invasion of South Vietnam in 1975. The Vietnam War may have been the longest war in American history, but after South Vietnam collapsed, America was left to question their highly controversial involvement in a lost cause.
The Vietnam War was an extremely controversial war that took the lives of many Americans and resulted in America’s first losing campaign. The U.S. was involved in Vietnam since World War II supporting Ho Chi Minh and his Communist forces against Japanese occupation. After the result of an incident involving two US vessels, President Lynden Johnson ordered jets to bom...
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.”
The legacy of the American involvement in the Vietnam War is a memory that will live on forever. After reading the book titled Vietnam in Remission by James F. Veninga and Harry A. Wilmer, my first statement has been strengthened ten-fold because of the deep persuasiveness and informative nature of this book. I will begin by summarizing and interpreting the overall thoughts and perspectives that this work brings forth concerning the initiation and justification of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Next, I will paraphrase the authors' views on legacy that this war leaves behind and provide comments dealing with what can be learned from this book and the points it raises. This study of the effects of the Vietnam War is an stirring and an instructive perspective on this sorrowful moment in history.
(1) Robert D. Schulzinger, A Time for War: The United States and Vietnam, 1941-1975 (Oxford University Press 1997), 145-146.
on the Vietnam War, a 1990's Perspective on the Decisions, Combat, and Legacies. Ed. William Head and Lawrence E. Grinter. Westport, Connecticut, 1993. 229-240.
In his monograph, Lyndon Johnson’s War, Michael Hunt converses the different verdicts, choices, faults and actions which lead up to the Vietnam War. Hunt exploits documents from both American and Vietnam archives to explain in full the actions taken by many American leaders and the potential thought process of our counterpart the Vietnamese and other European and Asian countries and their leaders. In each and every one of these archives he makes a point of it to explain how the United States came to be drawn into the conflict in Southeast Asia and several times through this book Hunt makes the silent argument that the Unted States of America fought the war as if it were “fighting a conventional war.”(Hunt, pg. 53) Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of further American involvement into the war.
One of the most important feature when describing the Vietnam War was why the United States became involved in the war, and their reasons for conflict amongst the Vietnamese in the North of the 17th Parallel. It is known that the US was involved for many reasons, particularly their belief in the Domino theory where if one country fell to Communism, the rest of South-East Asia would fall along with it. Yet there are many other reasons why the US became involved. Howe...
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.
Tim O’Brien’s book, The Things They Carried, portrays stories of the Vietnam War. Though not one hundred percent accurate, the stories portray important historical events. The Things They Carried recovers Vietnam War history and portrays situations the American soldiers faced. The United States government represents a political power effect during the Vietnam War. The U. S. enters the war to prevent a communist takeover of South Vietnam. The U.S. government felt if communism spreads to South Vietnam, then it will spread elsewhere. Many Americans disapproved of their country’s involvement. Men traveled across the border to avoid the draft. The powerful United States government made the decision to enter the war, despite many Americans’ opposition. O’Brien’s The Things They Carried applies New Historicism elements, including Vietnam history recovery and the political power of the United States that affected history.
Twenty-eight years after publication, and 25 after the war's end, Fire in the Lake remains one of the very best books on the Viet Nam war. Sadly, Americans are woefully ignorant of the rest of the world. We have little real knowledge of our own history; but for the rest of the world's history and culture, we have neither knowledge nor regard. We do not even do the Vietnamese people the courtesy of respecting the name of their country--Viet Nam, not Vietnam; Sai Gon, not Saigon. Fitzgerald helps to correct some of this ignorance and arrogance. She begins examining the U.S. in Viet Nam from the perspective of Vietnamese history and culture; and in the process, demonstrating the tenacity and courage of the Vietnamese people, as well as their determination to rid themselves of any foreign invaders, even if, as with the Chinese, it takes 1,000 years. Another great strength of Fitzgerald’s book is, with her attention to Viet Nam's history and culture and their 20th century struggle against the French, she demonstrates, in an almost matter of fact way, a fundamental tenant of U.S. foreign policy which has been repeated numerous times in the post World War II era. That central tenant is to support thugs over patriots, to elevate to power those who will sell out their people for 30 pieces of silver rather than work with those committed to the well being of their people. Ho Chi Minh was our ally during WWII; his hero was Thomas Jefferson, not Karl Marx or Stalin. He was very pro-American; yet he was a nationalist and a patriot first, which meant, from the perspective of the U.S., he was not only unreliable, but someone who had to be destroyed. And though Fitzgerald does not carry her analysis beyond Viet Nam, an informed or a curious reader quickly can draw the parallels between U.S. policy in Viet Nam and U.S. policy in Africa, the Middle East, the Pacific rim (Indonesia specifically), South America, the Caribbean, and most obvious of all, Central America. Thus Fitzgerald gives us not only the means of understanding the war in Viet Nam, and why we were doomed to lose, but also a point of departure for understanding the travesty of U.
...was set for the Soviet Union and the United States to demonstrate which country was more powerful by using the Vietnamese vicariously; the two countries proceeded to take their rivalries to the next level. The war in Vietnam likewise illustrated the ideological revolution of the times that American citizens were undergoing, in a time where "love and peace" was the backbone slogan of the new american lifestyle. The word "war" became absolutely detestable, this was proven during the many protests against the war. I chose to write a paper on the Vietnam War because i believe the war in Vietnam, was the best represenative event of the times. It was a war that threatened to dismantle our government, a war that mirrored other events in Latin America and Europe involving the Soviet Union and the U.S; and a symbol of how far the U.S was willing to go to win the cold war.