Vietnam War Analysis

692 Words2 Pages

It is understandable that some Americans strongly opposed the United States getting involved in the Vietnam War. It had not been a long time since the end of World War II and simply put, most Americans were tired of fighting. Mark Atwood Lawrence is one of the people who opposed our involvement in the Vietnam War. In his essay, “Vietnam: A Mistake of Western Alliance”, Lawrence argues that the Vietnam War was unnecessary and that it went against our democratic policies, but that there were a lot of things that influenced our involvement. “Vietnam: A Mistake of Western Alliance” is not the only piece of writing by Mark Atwood Lawrence about the Vietnam War. He has written two books on the topic: Assuming the Burden: Europe and the American Commitment to War in Vietnam and The Vietnam War: A Concise International History. He has also written other essays about the war and co-edited The First Vietnam War: Colonial Conflict and Cold War Crisis. He received degrees from Stanford and Yale and is a Professor of History at The University of Texas at Austin (Mark Atwood Lawrence). Lawrence makes a lot of observations about the Vietnam War and the way that we handled it. He starts his essay by arguing that many different things influenced the policies that the U.S. had during the time of the Cold War. Interactions with other countries and other governments are what crafted the Western policies of the United States and our allies. He argues that the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War was not inevitable. This counters what Michael Lind says; he believes that “the war was both moral and necessary” (Hoffman 439). Lawrence says the reasons we started supplying France with war supplies in the first place were that we wanted t... ... middle of paper ... ...did not like Charles de Gaulle (Hoffman 455). Lawrence discusses how Abbot Low Moffat, who was the chief of the Division of Philippine and Southeast Asian Affairs for the State Department, believed that Southeast Asia and Indochina was of great importance to the U.S. and that its importance would continue to increase. The area was in a great location strategically for naval bases, and both Roosevelt and Moffat didn’t believe that France would be able to keep such an area stable. Moffat also argued that the French would never agree to follow the directions given by the U.S. that would help keep the area safe. So many things influenced our involvement in the Vietnam War, and Lawrence examines the decisions we made in a greater context than just our own. He argues that international pressures controlled the attitudes and ideas of the United States, for the most part.

Open Document