Opposing the Vietnam War
The War in Vietnam is one of the most controversial arguments in history. The
main reason That it is so controversial, is because we lost. Both democrats and republicans argue
that the way the war was handled should have been differently. Some ask why bother, the war
is over and done with; that there is nothing anyone can do to change it. The amazing thing about
history though is that we can learn from our mistakes, and make sure that nothing like this ever
happens again. Then again, if the Vietnam never happened we would have better relations with
foreign countries. America would not be in such a large dept if the war had never occurred. The
soldiers were scarred for life because …show more content…
America entered into the war because it wanted to stop the spread of totalitarian expansion.
The goal was to stop North Vietnam from taking over south Vietnam and converting it to
Communism. the goal wasn’t to win the war and just to support it; and American
citizens and soldiers lost morale in the war.
The U.S military troops had a very hard time trying to find their enemy. One of the worst
things that happened was that they had to shoot women and children because they were helping
the North Vietnam troops. Jennifer Rosenberg states “In every village, U.S. troops had difficulty
determining which, if any, villagers were the enemy since even women and children could build
booby traps or help house and feed the Viet Cong.” (Rosenberg 1) The soldiers ended up
killing innocent women and children because they didn’t know who the enemy was. The North
Vietnamese army had a major advantage over the U.S; they knew the forests well, and had
plenty of forests to hid in. As Rosenberg wrote “Since Viet Cong hid in the dense brush, U.S.
forces would drop Agent Orange or napalm bombs which cleared an area by causing the leaves
to drop off or to burn away.” (Rosenberg 1) This would not only kill the trees, but it would
kill the soldiers and animals as
What happened to america? It was like the country had been split in two, document 4. So what happened, part of america wanted to go to the war and others did not want to. So people believed that the war is pointless and that we should have never gone there. Others believe that we should have gone because like president Lyndon B. Johnson said that we had made a promise and that we needed to stop the rise of communism. Many riot had broke out like the march down fifth avenue that lead to 60 arrests but over 200,00 students joined, found in document 5 Another one was the kent state riot were not only 15 collages shut down but what was devastating was that there had been a shooting by the police, again found in document 5 This had just enraged the country even more. So what was the impact of the war on the united states foreign
The Vietnam War was one of the most deadliest wars in America, many were killed and even more injured. The war began because of America’s efforts to stop the spread of communism. The Vietcong may of won the war but America showed that we will not let communism spread, the domino theory come into effect, and America’s faults in our war program and way to attack the Vietcong. The war was lost but from a overview of the war America learned from their lose.
During the Lyndon Baines Johnson presidential administration, both those policy makers who supported America’s involvement in Vietnam and those who opposed the war were part of the “containment generation.” They had reached political maturity during World War II and the early years of the Cold War and had experienced the intense anticommunism of the McCarthy era of the early 1950s. These leaders understood and applied the lessons of American nationalism, which had the primary message that the U.S. was the dominating nation that had to embrace its responsibility to aid and improve nations in America’s image. Therefore, when they saw that there was a threat of the spread of communism to areas of Southeast Asia, a majority of the
President Dwight Eisenhower conditionally pledged to support South Vietnam’s new nation in 1955. In the time period between 1955-1961 the United States pumped seven billion dollars in aid so that Vietnam would not “go over quickly” like a “row of dominoes” (McNamara 31). In the next 6 years Vietnam would cost America billions of dollars, thousands of lives, and the disaffection of much of the United States public. Yet in the end, South Vietnam would fall to the North less than 2 years after the United States military involvement ceased.
In 1961 President Kennedy sent a group who’s mission was to report on conditions in the South and assess if the United States should continue to deploy troops to Vietnam -Brigham, 1. In 1962 there was a massive increase of United States troops in Vietnam –MacDonald, 626. The numbers grew so large that they almost tripled. This led for the South Vietnamese to be instructed by advisors, who were attachments in the field -MacDonald, 627. Army recruits in the Special Forces were brought in to train the tribesman in the highlands. They also assisted the South Vietnamese in some of the more remote regions of the country -MacDonald, 627. The Civilian Irregular Defense Groups accompanied the Special Forces advisors, and they were able to disrupt the flow of the North Vietnamese from the country of Laos into South Vietnam -MacDonald, 627. These men were in charge of most parts of the operation, in a country where leadership had never been encouraged -MacDonald, 628. The United States troops also had many problems directing the civilians because of the language barrier. At the same time the Special Force troops were frustrated in directing their tactics -MacDonald, 628.
The United States battle tactics did not fare well against an unseen enemy, who rarely presented himself in a full-scale battle, but rather picked at units one by one. A conversation between a colonel in the U.S. army and a colonel in the Vietnamese communist army summed up the guerilla warfare tactics used: "You know you never defeated us on the battlefield," said the American Colonel. The North Vietnamese Colonel pondered this remark for a moment. "That may be so," he replied, " but that is also irrelevant." The revolutionaries in Vietnam used hit and run attacks. They would assault small groups of soldiers, by sneaking up on them. This worked well, because it allowed the Viet Minh to avoid bigger battles, which they were not trained for. They knew that the U.S. soldiers were unfamiliar with the battlegrounds and jungles, so they used this weakness to their advantage, by being able to move more quickly and stealthily than the U.S. troops. They also knew how to
According to Tim O 'Brien, the Viet Cong 's and United States ' fighting tactics were a waste of people 's lives. The Viet Cong used guerrilla warfare tactics which resulted in Americans being killed and in turn caused innocent civilians to die. The Viet Cong planted mines along the paths and in the jungles to injure American soldiers. The Viet Cong were never out in the open and had the sympathy of the Vietnamese living there. Many young Vietnamese children and women planted mines, spied, and killed American soldiers. The American soldiers could not tell the difference between the enemy and the innocent, so the soldiers indiscriminately killed everybody. The American strategy was to find the Viet Cong and kill them. The American soldiers walked from village to village in search of the Viet Cong. As they went from place to place, soldiers would
The root of the questions regarding Vietnam War is why did so many soldiers come home from this war so drastically transformed? Coleman addresses, in the early years of the war, volunteers filled most of the ranks. As the war continued and the public became more aware of the inhumanity the government implemented a draft (Coleman 66). Statics show the poor led this war and very few wealthy were recruited (Coleman 67). Coleman claims, the average age of the soldiers who died were seventeen and twenty-one (68). She writes this certainly contributed to the psychological wounds (68).
As communism began to spread steadily and gain more and more attention, Americans became immensely concerned in what most saw as a detrimental threat. President Eisenhower only added to the hysteria by outlining the Domino Theory: the theory that a political event, in this case referring to the spread communism, in one country will cause a similar turn of events in neighboring countries, like a falling domino that causes an entire row to fall down. Although the Vietnam War is seen by many as the only option to try to end the spread of communism, the specious outcome of the war was not effective enough to justify the amount of unethical decisions and situations that were allowed to take place. In 1961, under President Kennedy, 100 Special Forces troops were sent to South Vietnam and by 1963, just two years later, U.S military advisors and Special Forces had increased to 21,000 troops. We will soon see that this is just the beginning and in my paper I will outline the full record of events all the way to the end of the war, including the reasons for U.S involvement, unethical decisions that were made, America 's effort to end the war, and the lasting impact the war had on the United States.
Johnson. We simply did not have the knowledge and the man power to do it. Another point we wanted to make if we got involved in Laos was to cut off the Ho Chi Minh trail to cut off the supplies coming in to South Vietnam from North Vietnam, thus winning the war. Some analysts have an interesting point to make as well, stating that “expanding the war would only be detrimental and have less of an impact.” Brigham states that “most leading military strategists in Hanoi agree that cutting off the Ho Chi Minh Trail would not have accomplished anything for the United States.” A third suggested strategy was the concentration of U.S. forces on defenses of “enclaves” close by strategic assets. This was just a more thought out and sophisticated way than the current invasion strategies. Analysts say that the reason this strategy would not have worked is because their superior fire power would not have been used to its maximum advantage if they were all being herded into these
Many Americans still don't know why we joined in on the war,but the US needed to do something to save the jewish people of Europe.This war was documented as the most deaths in any war.It is calculated that anywhere from 45,000,000-80,000,000 deaths in World War II.Lots of families were affected during this time with the lose of their family.But it wasn't just the families being affected at home,one of every twenty soldiers returned home with PTSD.This war is still affecting many people,especially the soldiers it was recorded in 2004 that 25,000 veterans still deal with
On March 29 in 1973, the last American troops left Vietnam, leaving thousands of missing behind. The same day, a few hundreds of war prisoners were released in Hanoi. Within a couple of months, the war between the North and the South was restored and it was soon apparent that the communists are more unified and have a military dominance. In Cambodia and Laos, where the fights were not so strong, the communist victory also seemed unavoidable. In March 1975 the northern Vietnam commenced a complete military invasion in the South. Southern president Thieu asked Washington for help, but the democratic majority in the Congress refused and on March 30, the Americans could watch on TV how North-Vietnamese tanks enter Saigon, which was soon renamed to Ho-Chi-Min’s town. Scenes in American embassy in Saigon, where thousands of scared Vietnamese fought for places on board of last American helicopters were a sad ending of the biggest American foreign policy catastrophe.
When war broke out, there was no way the world could possibly know the severity it would have taken on the people of the world. Fortunately one country saw and understood that Germany and its allies would have to be stopped. America’s Involvement in World War II not only contributed in the downfall of the insane Adolph Hitler and his Third Reich, but also came at the best time and moment. If the United States entered the war any earlier the consequences would probably have been worse.
Majority of the American public criticized the war because they believe that as powerful as the US is, bombing an underdeveloped small country like Vietnam