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Satisfactory Essays
The Vietnam War was a brutal war for everyone involved. There were many American and Vietnam deaths alike. The U.S went into Vietnam with the goal of preventing the spread of communism. The authors of the secondary sources in Thinking Through the Past, George Herring and Loren Baritz argue why the U.S failed in Vietnam. According to those two articles, there were many causes for why the U.S failed in the Vietnam War, including our lack of plan, our over confidence in our capabilities, and fighting a war with little support from our people. After analysis of both of the articles, class lectures, and reading The American Promise, it is clear that the main cause that led our failure was not understanding the Vietnamese and being too confident in ourselves, which led to the underestimation of the capabilities of the North Vietnamese and the ultimate failure of the war.
Prior to our involvement in the Vietnam War, South Vietnam experienced political turmoil, at the fault of the United States. After the withdrawal of the French in 1954 the CIA set up a non-communist government. The problem was that the U.S government was not concerned with whether or not they were setting up a proper democracy, as much as they just wanted to prevent communism. The Diem Regime was a totalitarian government and was Catholic. He was anti-communist which was all the CIA and American Government cared about. The people of South Vietnam did not like him, and he was eventually assassinated in 1963 (Wood 4-24). Leading up to the Vietnam War the U.S was living in great fear of communism spreading throughout the world. Politicians and the American people feared the ‘domino theory’. According to our class lecture, the domino theory is the fear that the U.S coul...

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... to not understanding the Vietnamese people. Baritz wrote that “North Vietnam finally won its war because it was willing to accept more death than we considered rational” (Hollitz 287). The large amount of bombs that the U.S dropped on North Vietnam was almost pointless, as the Northern Vietnamese were willing to lose all of those people if it gave them an ultimate victory in the war.
To conclude, George Herring and Loren Baritz both had plausible and realistic arguments for what led to the ultimate failure in Vietnam. From over-confidence to lack of understanding, and over confidence, they all played a major role. Without the support of the American people and the amount of money being put into the war, there was a point that we could no longer continue to fight a war that the Northern Vietnamese were destined to win due to our ignorance of their people.
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