The Vietnam War

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The Vietnam War

Of all of the wars fought by the United States, the Vietnam War was by far the most controversial. After the defeat of French forces, Vietnam was divided into two sections: North Vietnam, and South Vietnam. North Vietnam became a Communist government under Ho Chi Minh, and South Vietnam eventually became a Republic under Ngo Dinh Diem. Under Diem's oppressive rule, the Viet Cong (those against Diem) grew in power, and the U.S. reacted to the Communist threat by sending in troops and economic aid, and advised Diem to make more Democratic Reforms. Because it was never actually declared a war by congress, the "Vietnam War" is technically the "Vietnam Conflict". Nevertheless, it is still called "one of the bloodiest wars of the century" (McNamara, 38). 58, 178 Americans died and 304,000 were injured. Many people during the start of the war, were unsure of its reasoning and its history. There were many misunderstandings on both sides, and many tragedies. The Vietnam War was a war started by fear, misunderstood by both sides, and made use of newer and advanced weapons.

The Vietnam war was sparked and later catalyzed by fear; the American fear of communism taking over the eastern hemisphere, and the Vietnamese fear of becoming a colony of the U.S. like they had been a colony of the French. Former Secretary of Defense under President John F. Kennedy, Robert McNamara stated that, "Throughout the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, we operated on the premise that the loss of South Vietnam to North Vietnam would result in all of the Southeast Asia being overrun by communism and that this would threaten the security of both the U.S. and the entire noncommunist world" (McNamara, 40). The U.S. believed that China, the Sovi...

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...nd civilian) were killed... Had the United States lost in proportion to its population the same percentage as Vietnam, 27 million Americans would have died." (1). The misunderstandings between the two sides, as well as the refusal to see their own mistakes caused one of the most controversial wars in United States history.

Works Cited

Marshall, Katheryn. In The Combat Zone. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1987. McNamara, Robert S., James G. Blight, and Robert K. Bringham. Argument Without End. New York: PublicAffairs, 1999.

Mintz, S. (2003). Digital History. 2005. 22 November 2005

Olson, James Stuart, and Randy Roberts. Where the Domino Fell. Ed. Don Reisman. New York: St. Martin's Press, Inc., 1991.

Otherground, LLC. Vietnam War Facts. 2003. 21 November 2005

WGBH Educational Foundation. Weapons Of War. 29 Mar. 2005. PBS Online. 21 Nov. 2005

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