The Vietnam experience was a war that lasted for almost twenty years. The American military and leadership appear to have learned some lessons from our involvement in the Vietnam War. This paper will discuss the lessons learned from the following arenas: diplomatic negotiations, presidential leadership, and cultural/social contexts.
Princeton University (2006) defines diplomatic negotiations as between nations. The lesson learned by the Americans was the need to communicate with their enemy. Our military leaders and president, Lyndon Johnson, used bombing as “verbal” negotiations with Vietnam. Neither the Americans nor the Vietnamese were willing to compromise and enter into discussions. This refusal to enter into talks led to millions of deaths. The Vietnam War could have been avoided entirely or ended much sooner had the negotiations taken place.
Presidential leadership styles vary from president to president along with their cabinet members. From Presidents Eisenhower to Nixon, each had their own style in how to handle negotiations and win the war in North Vietnam. Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy provided aid to South Vietnam in the form of military training. President Johnson sent aid to South Vietnam in the form of military troops. President Nixon negotiated the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam giving him “peace with honor” (Devry University, 2011). One of the best lessons that can be learned from our presidential leadership is that there is a need to admit mistakes. Although no one ever wants to admit when they are wrong, the public can be more forgiving when they are told the truth. America was losing the Vietnam War, but no president ever wanted to admit defeat nor did a president want to go all in. The Rules of Engagement were so restrictive that it made winning a war in Vietnam virtually impossible.
The Vietnam War brought about changes in how Americans... [continues]
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