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United State's Involvement In The Vietnam War

2959 words - 12 pages

The Vietnam War is truly one of the most unique wars ever fought by the
Unites States of by any country. It was never officially declared a war. It
had no official beginning or an official end. It was fought over 10,000 miles
away in a virtually unknown country. The enemy and the allies looked exactly
the alike, and may by day be a friend but by night become an enemy. It
matched the tried and true tactics of World War Two against a hide, run, and
shoot technique known as "Guerrilla Warfare." It matched some of the
best-trained soldiers in the world against largely an untrained militia of
untrained farmers. The United States' soldiers had at least a meal to look
forward to ...view middle of the document...

During World War Two the French had been a major ally to the United States in
the defeat of Adolph Hitler and the Axis Powers. France occupied and claimed
the small coastline country of Vietnam in Indochina. In this region there had
been recent Communist uprisings funded by the USSR The Vietnamese were
willing to accept Communism in return for what they had been fighting for
over 2000 years: self rule. In 1950 the United States, owing a debt of
gratitude towards France, sent several advisors to aid French control in
Vietnam. Over the next decade and a half, the United States would send an
entire Army and Navy to aid the French in maintaining control in South
Vietnam, which had separated from the Communist North Vietnam by treaty in
1954. In early August of 1964 a small Vietcong (term used to identify South
Vietnamese in favor of communism and unification) patrol boat had an
encounter with a United States war ship in the Gulf of Tonkin. Gunfire was
exchanged, and, in the end, President Johnson agreed to allow aggressive
retaliation. On February 6, 1965, the United States began the bombing of
North Vietnamese cities, marking the unofficial start of the Vietnam.
In the years of the war to follow, the media began to play a
role. Photojournalists would accompany platoons on missions and, through the
aid of cameras and video equipment, relate the stories to the American at
home. Every night for the length of the war news programs were saturated with
reports of the happenings in Vietnam and death tolls for the day. Grossly
exaggerated enemy casualty numbers were reported, giving the public a false
view of happenings of the war. Suddenly on January 30, 1968 a Vietcong
uprising, now commonly known as the Tet Offensive, took place. Tet is the
Vietnamese New Year and is commonly accepted as a cease-fire. With a
cease-fire in effect, most major cities' defensives were less tight. As if
all at once, more than one hundred South Vietnamese cities were being shelled
with Vietcong gunfire. Included in the cities were Saigon, capital of South
Vietnam and home to the United States Embassy. At first the Tet Offensive
appeared a failure for North Vietnam. Large portions of Vietcong troops were
killed, and major Vietcong outposts were discovered. Most of the overtaken
cities, including Saigon, had been regained. Unfortunately for the United
States the timing of the Tet Offensive couldn't have been worse. For the past
three years the Americans at home had been promised a swift defeat of the
(so-called) nearly destroyed Communists, which, after the retreating of the
French, had become the main goal of the United States. Worst of all, election
year was approaching, and the incumbent Richard Nixon was promising a swift
plan of "Vietmenization" in which the war was supposed to be placed in the
hands of the South Vietnamese and allow for the retreat of American soldiers.
Johnson was...

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