The United States Lost The War Essay

The United States Lost The War Essay

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In order for any system to function properly, all of its components have to be working together; yet as the Vietnam War developed it became clear that each of the interlocking gears of the American war machine were only hindering each other efforts. After the fall of Saigon, the United States government struggled to legitimize itself to its citizens while the country’s veterans struggled to return to civilized life. Furthermore, the American public struggled to understand what to make of the war that its country had lost. In regards to South Vietnam, after surviving the forceful transition to a communist system, the entire country dealt with environmental issues as well as immense economic and capitalist influence from outside powers. In short, the reason why the United States lost the war can be largely attributed to one simple reason. All of its different entities or gears of its society, in particular, those of the government, the military, and the public, all counteracted each other’s efforts and this lack of consensus made it to where the United States never truly had a unified war effort needed to win an ideological conflict.
Throughout the war, two primary reasons attributed to the weak relationship between the white house and the top military advisors of the country. In short, each gear of the U.S. war machine implemented different war tactics instead of there being a unified strategy. For example, for the white house and the majority of the public, the political goal of the war was unanimously agreed upon. Physically, however, the military never had a clear idea of how it wanted to end the war or even what it wanted to gain through the war (Rickey E. Smith, Discussion). If the military could never invade North Vietnam, th...

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...ickly from political and military setbacks, the United States gave up on the war as the public no longer supported it and the white house prevented the military from doing its job and vice versa. Throughout the entire conflict, the military never had clear and/or obtainable goals. After the Tet offensive, the public at large pushed back against a war that it never could completely understand. From the Kennedy administration, the military officials and the white house rarely worked together. Political policies that the government tried to implement were essentially stabs in the back to the U.S. military strategy of the war. In addition, the white house distrusted and denied the military’s propositions, especially Westmoreland’s after the Tet Offensive. As the war progressed, the government found itself unable to act as it began to crumble under the stress of the war.

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