The Vietnam War: the United States’ Worst Idea

1105 WordsNov 19, 20125 Pages
The Vietnam War: The United States’ Worst Idea The United States entered the Vietnam War in 1961 to prevent the spread of communism; the United States was afraid if North Vietnam successfully took over South Vietnam then they might have a chance to spread to other countries; thus, causing the Domino Theory. The United States’ fear of the Domino Theory transformed a civil war between two regions into a bloody miniature world war. The U.S. did nothing but lose there; they lost lives, equipment, time, kill more civilians than soldiers, and finally withdraw from the war. Even though the United States joined the Vietnam War to help stop the spread of communism, they never should have gotten involved, because it led to pointless fighting and…show more content…
Yet in Vietnam the Army experienced tactical success and strategic failure... The...Vietnam War...legacy may be the lesson that unique historical, political, cultural, and social factors always impinge on the military...Success rests not only on military progress but on correctly analyzing the nature of the particular conflict, understanding the enemy's strategy, and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of allies. A new humility and a new sophistication may form the best parts of a complex heritage left to the Army by the long, bitter war in Vietnam." U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger wrote in a secret memo to President Gerald Ford that "in terms of military tactics, we cannot help draw the conclusion that our armed forces are not suited to this kind of war. Even the Special Forces who had been designed for it could not prevail."[266] Even Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara concluded that "the achievement of a military victory by U.S. forces in Vietnam was indeed a dangerous illusion." Doubts surfaced as to the effectiveness of large-scale, sustained bombing. As Army Chief of Staff Harold Keith Johnson noted, "if anything came out of Vietnam, it was that air power couldn't do the job." Even General William Westmoreland admitted that the

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