Tet Offensive

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Tet Offensive

Villagers carried coffins filled with guns and ammunition through towns, accompanying them were the sounds of fireworks and flutes. Those sounds soon turned to the sound of assault rifle fire and explosions. Flares and green tracers dart through the night sky like hundreds of fireflies; gun flashes replaced Tet fireworks, and could be seen as far as the eye could see. This major event in the Vietnam War is called the Tet Offensive. After a surprise attack in the beginning, the United States and South Vietnamese army came back to overpower the Vietcong and NVA (North Vietnamese Army) and decisively win all the battles. Even though the United States and South Vietnamese won the Tet Offensive, it was a major turning point towards ending the Vietnam War. Escalation of the war would end and withdraw would begin. The Vietcong and NVA lost the battle on the battlefield but they had won a major political battle. The American public became disillusioned with what was called a military intervention. Intelligence failure, Johnson's over confidence in the war, and its profound impact on American attitudes about involvement in Vietnam are three major reasons why the Tet Offensive was the turning point in ending the war.

Intelligence failure was one of the main reasons why the Tet offensive happened. The allies undergo a failure of intelligence before Tet, a failure that helped plan the stages for changes in the strategies of the US. The four parts of intelligence are crucial in determining the actions of the enemy. The four tasks consist of collection of information, the analysis of the information, the decision to respond to a warning issued in the analytical stage, dissemination of the order to respond to the field co...

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This was not our first intelligence failure. Looking back to 1941 when Pearl Harbor was bombed. We knew that there were indications that Japan was going to bomb us but the intelligence community failed to recognize the imminent attack. The Tet Offensive could be compared to the Battle of the Bulge where the German caught the US off guard; this was the same for Tet Offensive when the Vietcong and the NVA attacked unexpectedly during the Lunar New Year cease fire. After the Vietnam War, the United States almost reverted to isolationism of post WWI. From the Time that America pulled out of the Vietnam War until the Gulf War, as Americans we tried to avoid any conflicts that we compare to the Vietnam War. If only our intelligence information would have been analyzed fully we might not have impacted the United States public opinion so dramatically.

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