Korean and Vietnam War Comparison Essay

2108 Words9 Pages
The Korean and Vietnam war are very similar in that both were the US's attempt to fight communism by waging war in a distant third world country. Both wars were unpopular in the US and both led to a lack of victory. In fact, remarkable similarities exist between the Korean War and the Vietnam War; from the US support of a dictatorial and corrupt anti-communist regime to its conception of communism as a monolithic entity, under which all communist nations were necessarily allies, rather than individuals to be dealt with separately. However, though those parallels, Vietnam era policy-makers did not apply the lessons of the Korean War to the Vietnam War. Rather, they did not seem to recognize those lessons as lessons at all, and repeated in…show more content…
The Vietnam and Korean wars also differ in many aspects. The fundamental difference between the two wars was in the outcome. The United States and other democratic nations protected South Korea from the communists, while it lost to them in South Vietnam. Much of this had to do with the way in which each of these wars were fought. In Korea, communists tried to defeat the US with sheer numbers. North Korea could not defend themselves effectively, so China sent more than a million troops. General Douglas MacArthur wanted to expand the war into China. Each side fought most of their battles on open ground. This gave America the strategic advantage because of its superior air power and more technologically advanced weapons. Battles tended to be quick and fierce, resulting in an effective campaign for the Americans that drove the communists back to the original line of division. Vietnam on the other hand, resorted to guerilla warfare given its smaller fighting force and environment. The Vietnamese had previously built some underground tunnels in their resistance movements against the Japanese and then the French. They expanded on this network of tunnels and made a huge network stretching more than 250 kilometers. Most of these tunnels were invincible from American air attacks and were sometimes built right under US military stations. For months, Americans could not figure out how enemy fire came right into
Open Document