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Vietnam, The Futile War Essay

1580 words - 7 pages

The United States actually thinking they could go into Vietnam and win was a ridiculous idea that should have been dropped from the start. They thought they could put a part of their army in there and fight them off until they came running for mercy at the peace tlks, ready to give up. This obviously never hoppened, and many soldiers died because of it. President Kennedy said 'I am frankly of the belief that no amont of American military assistance in Indochinal can conquer..' an enemy of the people' which has the sympathy and covert support of the people... For the United States to intervene unilaterally and to send troops into the most difficult terrain in the world, with the Chinese able ...view middle of the document...

'(Farber 109). When the majority doesn't believe in the war or the peopple leading them into it, the entire atmosphere has a negative image. Instead of soldiers going off to war thinking highly of themselves and proud to be representing the country instead they have doubts in their minds of why they are going away from home to fight. This war was dividing people in the U.S. instead of bringing people of a nation together in a time of need. As the war got longer and longer even more people began to oppose the war. 'Public support for the administration's management of the war plummeted from 39% in January, 1968 to 26% by late March.'(Farber 109). When nobody understands why their friends and sons are being killed, they trun against the ones resposnible for putting them into that situation. This led to many demonstrations and public showings of disapproval. An example of one thing that a large group of people supported didn't come until the end fo the war when President Ford visited Tulane University. After announcing taht the war was finished, large cheers of joy were let out by the audience. The final decision gained the strongest and most support from the people. (Time 28).America's military strategies and decisions about the battlefields were plans for defeat. 'The Kennedy and Johnson Administration plunged into Indochina from a combination of strategic panic and tactical hubris-panic at a Chinese and Soviet strategy of 'wars of national liberation' and hubris about America's ability to win such a war on the cheap.'(National 20). Robert McNamara, the Secretary of Defense during the war, admits that the decisions made during and about the war were wrong. He sees things he could have done differently to win the war, but he doesn't put in the fact that he was under unbelievable pressure at the time. His decisions were, at the time, the best known solutions to the different problems. Even though the U.S. had very little knowledge of Vietnam, they still felt obligated to themselves and the rest of the world to stop the North Vietnamese. McNamara quoted, 'A dominant theme of the book is that the government was forced to make crucial decisions without adequate knowledge or information and without sufficient analysis.'(Larser 88). People don't understand that the Vietnam war had to be won in South Vietnam. This was a war to help the south Vietnamese, but at the same time not to upset China and start a world-wide war. The U.S. had to use a restricted war strategy because of the threat of China becoming involved. This put the U.S. in a defensive role against the Vietcong which enabled the Vietcong to attack the south and, if high casualties occurred, retreat back and wait until they were strong again with more men and weapons and attack over and over again. The restrictive rules of the war were designed to protect civilian life and propery, but also because of the lack of knowledge of the area and threat of confronting China.(Madaras 334). Other than the...

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