Was the Communist victory in Vietnam due more to the inherent weaknesses of the Saigon regime or strategic mistakes made by the United States?
Discussion/Thesis: The Vietnam War provides us with a clear case of misperception and unclear objections. It is important to understand the root cause of the conflict and the nature of the protagonist. There were many missteps by both the United States and the Saigon regime, which the North Vietnamese capitalized on through the use of non-conventional means and the power of messaging. The conflict between the Communist north and newly installed Ngo Dihn Diem regime in Saigon boils down to two governments attempting to gain control of the their population. The difference is the way each employed …show more content…
History shows us that the story goes beyond the US involvement in Vietnam and exposes a battle between ideologies. Ultimately, the US will be unable to keep Saigon out of communist control, which may have been a sign of severe strategic mistakes. The true path to Communist victory goes beyond US military planning and execution. The US was forced to carefully balance military objectives with world diplomacy. The entrance of China or the USSR into the war could have catapulted it to a scale beyond any side was prepared for. True victory would have been a sustaining South Vietnam so that it could protect itself from continued Communist invasion.
Even with the intervention of the United States, the inherent weaknesses of the Saigon regime enabled North Vietnam to attack their center of gravity and engage a war of attrition the South could not …show more content…
This event only served to embolden Hanoi’s message of reunification under a common goal, a message that Saigon could not effectively match. This played right into the hands of the North Vietnamese who followed a “Dau Tranh” strategy which is aimed at combining armed conflict into the context of political dissidence. Thus, while armed and political Dau Tranh may designate separate clusters of activity, conceptually they cannot be separated (Pike, p. 233). By creating a seamless bond between conflict and political dissidence the North could effectively communicate their message to South Vietnamese who felt abandoned by their government. With the country engulfed bitter fighting it is easy to see how the message of politics and armed conflict can be easily
In retrospect, it’s clear that the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese ability to combine both methods of warfare played a major role their victory. Their strategy provided them the tools they needed to win. In the end, they recognized that each type of warfare complimented the other to achieve their strategic goals.
The Vietnam War: A Concise International History is a strong book that portrays a vivid picture of both sides of the war. By getting access to new information and using valid sources, Lawrence’s study deserves credibility. After reading this book, a new light and understanding of the Vietnam war exists.
In the early 1960s the U.S. began sending military advisors to South Vietnam beginning the Vietnam War, arguably the most controversial war in United States history. This incident followed Vietnam gaining its independence from the French Empire’s Indochina in 1954. The nation soon split, creating a communist North Vietnam, and a noncommunist South Vietnam. In fear of communism spreading the U.S. supported South Vietnam and sent troops. As the incident dragged on it caused a huge anti-war movement and a lot of political turmoil.The troops were withdrawn in 1973, the whole country fell to communism, and the U.S. failed. How did a superpower such as the U.S. take defeat from a small country like Vietnam? Many have wondered and continue to wonder
In conclusion, I think that the United States became increasingly involved in the Vietnamese War because of the policies they had made as a promise to fight communism, and because they had sorely underestimated Vietcong’s ability to fight back using Guerrilla warfare. They refused to pull out of the war in fear of losing face before the world, but this pride factor scored them massive losses in the war. In the end, with both side sustaining heavy losses, the US were still seen as mutilators in the war, with advanced showing what their intervention had costed, and Vietnam was still fully taken over by Communism – they had achieved nothing and lost a lot.
President Lyndon Johnson had several issues he considered as he developed the rules of engagement for Vietnam. One of which was how he maintained tight control over the selection of targets for the air war, for fear that the bombing provoke the Chinese and the Soviets into a confrontation with the United States. (Moss 163). The other was how he counted on a reasonably quick and easy victory over the NLF and Hanoi. As a result President Johnson “did not confront the crucial question of what would be required to achieve its goals until it was bogged down in a bloody stalemate.” (Moss 162).
Vietnam was really just a pawn in the much larger game of the Cold War. The main political objective behind the Unites States’ involvement in the Vietnam War was to set forth it’s policy of containment prevent the “Domino E...
The United States was not capable of winning the War because they realized too late that the real war in Vietnam was not a military one but a political one. Beginning with Eisenhower, They were fully aware that the only way South Vietnam would win is with the support of the United States troops. Kennedy restricted the U.
“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).
In 1960’s, according to American government’s “Domino Theory”, if the Vietnam came under control of the communism, then the entire southeastern Asia would fall in communism too. American had already lost China, we certainly wouldn’t allow the southeastern Asia follow in China’s footsteps, otherwise we would lose an access to the huge resources and markets of Asia. The South Vietnam was struggling with the communism at the North Vietnam by chance, and we had a promise to protect their freedom. So our government got a chance to use the South Vietnam as a hindrance to prevent the happen of Domino Theory. We started to send troops, money and military advisors to the South Vietnam government. And we supported Ngo Dinh Diem who became the Vietnam president through a false poll. Our government knew Diem wasn’t a good leader, but we still supported him because he was an intense anti-communism.
“In July 1965, Lyndon Johnson chose to Americanize the war in Vietnam.” Although Johnson chose to enter America into the war, there were events previous that caused America to enter and take over the war. The South Vietnamese were losing the war against Communism – giving Johnson all the more reason to enter the war, and allowing strong American forces to help stop communism. There were other contributing factors leading up to the entrance of the war; America helped assist the French in the war, Johnson’s politics, the Tonkin Gulf Incident, and the 1954 Geneva Conference. President Johnson stated, “For 10 years three American Presidents-President Eisenhower, President Kennedy, and your present President--and the American people have been actively concerned with threats to the peace and security of the peoples of southeast Asia from the Communist government of North Viet-Nam.”
The Vietnam war has been referred to by many names, one of the longer ones was 'the cornerstone of the free world southeast Asia'. It was called that by John F. Kennedy. He was talking about Vietnam being and essential country in a non-communist world. He believed that if Vietnam became a communist country, all of the surrounding countries would also become communists. This is the main reason America was involved in the Vietnam war. Another reason was that America wanted to spread their “political ideas around the globe”. They wanted to do this so that their anti-communism stance was clear. The public also wanted to keep communism from spreading. To soldiers, the war was like a crusade, a great journey to purge the communists from Vietnam. Sadly, this is not what happened. The Viet Cong (VC) had far better tactics than the US. The VC was told to 'nibble at the enemy' so that he could 'neither eat or sleep'. This worked very well. Another demoralizing tactic the VC used was their landmines; they were designed to blow the limbs off the soldiers without killing them. This tied up hospital beds and meant the soldiers had to carry the wounded back to the base.
The Vietnam war is an incredibly controversial topic; some say America won, while others say that they lost. The cold, hard truth is that America took a major loss in the approximately 20 year long war and were never winning at any point. The reason the Americans officially lost the war is because they were unable to achieve their goal ; the exact opposite actually happened. Once the American forces left South Vietnam in January of 1975 communism immediately overran it. There are 3 key reasons that will later on thoroughly explain exactly why America lost the Vietnam war. First of all the Americans lost because the North Vietnamese wanted to win more than they did. Second of all the American’s bombing strategies were horrendously ineffective
War in Vietnam is the longest military conflict U.S. were involved in during 20th century. However, 20 years before the official war declaration, in 1944, no one would have ever guessed that the area of South East Asia is going to experience such development. Having approached the Vietnam situation with wrong policy, underestimating the motivation and determination due to historical memory, in the hostile conditions caused US were unable to suppress the communist insurgency in South Vietnam, which later turned into a David vs. Goliath type of conflict.
Vietnam was a struggle which, in all honesty, the United States should never have been involved in. North Vietnam was battling for ownership of South Vietnam, so that they would be a unified communist nation. To prevent the domino effect and the further spread of communism, the U.S. held on to the Truman Doctrine and stood behind the South Vietnamese leader, Diem.