Americas vietnam war

Vietnam War, which is also referred to as the second Indochina war was one of the longest and most controversial wars of the 20th century.

 The war resulted from the ideological differences which arose after the end of the second war and was instigated by the desire between the America and her allies and the Communist block to curtail the growing influence of the other.  The war occurred largely in Vietnam specifically in Laos and Cambodia from 1955 which was just a decade after the end of the Second World War.

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Like other nations in the regions, Vietnam found herself divided between two sides serving opposing interest of communist and United States.  North Vietnam was supported by communist allies, largely Soviet Union and China, while South Vietnam was supported by the United States which was advocating for growth of democratic governments in the regions.
South Vietnam also enjoyed support from other nations who were members of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization.  However, the whole war was a protracted struggle between United States and Soviet Union to assume superpower status in the world after the end of the Second World War.
[1]The Vietnam War has been described as longest military conflict that United States has every engaged in.  The continued hostilities in Laos and Cambodia led to loss of more than 58,000 American soldiers and civilians serving in the war.  It is also estimated that more than 304,000 were wounded in the course of the war.
Up to the end of the war in 1975, Vietnam War had attracted a lot of criticism from not only from American civilians but also leaders in the whole world.  In other word, it was described as a war without a cause and with no justification rather than fulfilling the ego of being the leading nation in the world, which was at the expense Vietnamese and Americans.
Vietnam War goes down in history books as one of the humiliating wars that United States had ever engaged in. Despite her military powers, united state lost the war terribly leading to eventual withdrawal from the war in 1975.  [2]
The Vietcong, who were slightly armed communist insurgents waged a successful guerilla war using unconventional military tactics and eventually defeated the South Vietnamese Army which was supported by United States and used conventional war and military equipments.
The  South Vietnam soldiers allied with the United States forces used superior air strikes to conduct search and destroy tactics which were supported by ground forces, artillery strikes and reinforced with air strikes.  Despite this superiority, United States and the South Vietnam lost the war terribly to the slightly armed communist insurgents.
The cause and the reasons why United States lost the Vietnam War has been a subject of debate since then.  Despite deploying its military advisors and combat units, United States could not cope with the insurgence and military tactics that were used by the Vietcong. [3]
In the course of the war, Viet Cong suffered a lot of tactical setbacks and lack of military advisors further aggravated their situation.  The main question therefore remains, how did the Viet Cong war strategy give them victory over their enemies despite suffering a number of setbacks?
This paper will discuss the Vietnam War specifically   trying to answer the above question. However, the paper will first have an overview of the Vietnam war  looking into how the united states entered the war, the military deployment and how United States forces reinforced South Vietnam forces. Finally the paper will look at the war strategies used during the war and the reason why Vietcong eventually triumphed despite lack of proper military equipments and use of unconventional military strategies.
Overview of Vietnam War
[4]The genesis of the Vietnam War can be traced to the anti-colonial war that was waged against France.  Famously regarded as the first Indochina war, the first Vietnam War eventually culminated to the second Indochina war which attracted the attention of the United States and other anti-communist allies in the world.  After a long Vietnamese struggle that was led by Ho Chin Minh, France was eventually forced to leave Vietnam after more than one hundred years of colonial rule.
Communist insurgent forces, which were commanded by General Vo Nguyen Giap eventually defeated French forces in the battle at Dien Bien Phu.  This has been considered as a decisive battle since it convinced France that she could not hold for long in the country and Paris responded by suing for peace. [5]This led to the signing of Geneva Peace Accord in 1954 between France and Vietnam. However, France left Vietnam more divided than she had found the country.
In the course of their struggle against France, Vietnam was supported by Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China   which had been very keen in spreading the communist influence in the region.  Soon after the end of the Second World War, a protracted struggle had ensued between United States and Soviet Union   based on their ideological difference.
Like the Europe  scramble for colonization, the end of the Second World War  led to emergence of another  scramble for ideological colonization. The two ideologies were communist governance championed by Soviet Union, and democratic governance championed by United States.  Vietnam was not immune from this scramble and the country came under influence of the two sides.
[6]The Vietnam delegates who went to negotiate for the peace accord with France in Geneva found themselves torn between the two ideological sides.  As a result, the Geneva Accord was awkward negotiated and eventually led to the division of the country into to military zones.
For the sake of signing of the peace accord, the delegates in Geneva agreed for the temporally partitioning of the country at the Seventh Parallel which led to emergence of South Korea under the influence of United States and North Korea under the influence of Moscow and her communist allies, mainly China.
The communist bloc did not want to engage in another war with the West in the face of ensuing Korean War and they believed that through political influence, they would soon take over South Vietnam without much struggle.
[1] Bell, Philip. “Remembering Vietnam” Current Affairs Bulletin, Vol. 65, no. 2 (July, 2002): 14
[2] Rand, Corp. Insurgent Organization and Operations: A Case Study of the Viet Cong in the Delta, 1964-1966. (Santa Monica, 1997), 12
[3] Michael, Lanning and Dan, Cragg. Inside the VC and the NVA. (Ballantine Books, 1993), 92
[4] Stanley, Karnow. “Vietnam: A History”. (Viking Press, 1983), 54
[5] Rand, Corp. Insurgent Organization and Operations: A Case Study of the Viet Cong in the Delta, 1964-1966. (Santa Monica, 1997), 53
[6] Michael, Lanning and Dan Cragg. Inside the VC and the NVA. (Ballantine Books, 1993), 35

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