How Vietnam War Affected America

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The United States’ war with Vietnam was undoubtedly “a different kind of war”. Guerilla tactics and a largely jungle environment throughout the theatre of Vietnam made this a supremely unique conflict in the annals of American military history. Faced with this type of unique enemy and terrain, the American Armed Forces undoubtedly had to evolve and adapt their tactics accordingly. One element that is particularly extraordinary and exclusive to the Vietnam War is the development of highly organized scout-sniper training. Prior to the Vietnam War, the United States had zero trained snipers. By the time the War had ended, trained American snipers had killed more than 13,000 enemy soldiers. The impact of these efforts must be examined on a…show more content…
Almost immediately, the program began churning out success stories. This new type of warfare was utterly foreign to many Marines. Lying and waiting on a near invisible enemy to appear and subsequently pulling the trigger only once as opposed to large-scale firefights was counterintuitive during this time period. Nevertheless, the Marine Corps managed to find marksmen who also possessed qualities such as patience, unwavering nerves, and a great deal of confidence. Due to the dire need for snipers at this point in the war, enlisted men spent only three weeks in Land’s sniper training program. Despite the haste in which these men were trained, the 17 original snipers in the 1st Brigade rack up more enemy kills than any other Corps combat battalion in their first three months in the field. The most striking advantage such successful organized sniping brought to American forces was its sheer economic efficiency. In what is often viewed as a war of excess; a war of tremendous financial and human cost, organized scout sniping offered a tremendous amount of value to the United States Armed Forces. According to figures released by the Department of Defense, the average number of rounds expended in Vietnam to kill one enemy solder with the M-16 was 50,000. The average number of rounds expended by U.S. military snipers to kill one enemy soldier was 1.3 rounds. That's a cost-difference of $23,000 per kill for
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