The Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War

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When asked about the United States’ involvement in Vietnam Charles de Gaulle responded by saying, “I predict… that you will, step by step, be sucked into a bottomless military and political quagmire” (Wills 29). The Vietnam War should have been negotiated to an end and troops removed directly following the Tet Offensive, because by that time, it was made evident that further fighting would only cause more unnecessary harms. Often in history nations try to justify their actions any way they can whether they are valid or not. Vietnamese intervention was reasoned to be necessary because of the possible implications of the domino effect. Just as it happened in Eastern Europe, so could communism spread to the United States if it went unhindered. These ideals were embodied through concepts like containment and brinksmanship. Both were designed to increase tension between the Soviet Union and United States by means of fighting at the periphery of the communist bloc. Obviously, increased apprehension on both sides would become a contributing factor in the starting of the war—one that could have been avoided. Furthermore, by the Tet Offensive the United States had a heavy investment in Vietnam and continually relied on its insistence that the war was nearly over. According to officials like General Westmoreland the Vietnamese, “were about to run out of steam” (Wills 39). These conclusions were drawn upon conventional warfare reminiscent of the Korean War or World War II. Like so many other nations of history, the United States used outdated tactics that relied upon taking urban centers like Saigon to defeat the Vietcong. Although taking Berlin in World War II was an effective strategy, applying the same concepts to the well en... ... middle of paper ... ...=ar434900&st=plessy+v +ferguson>. Montagne, Renee. Vietnam War Commander Westmoreland Dies at 91. NPR. 19 July 2005. Web. 16 May 2010. . Murphy, Bruce Allen. "Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka." World Book Student. World Book, 2010. Web. 17 May 2010. . Oberdorfer, Don. Tet! the Turning Point in the Vietnam War. Baltimore: Doubleday & Co. Inc., 2001. Print. People & Events: Paris Peace Talks. PBS. Web. 18 May 2010. . Rottman, G. Viet Cong and NVA Tunnels and Fortifications of the Vietnam War. New York: Odyssey Publishing, 2006. Print. Wills, Charles. The Tet Offensive. New Jersey: Silver Burdett Press, 1989. Print

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