27 March 2011
Vietnam War Research Paper
Why is the Vietnam War so significant in American history? How did it really affect America? The Vietnam War was the prolonged struggle between nationalist forces trying to unify Vietnam under a communist government, and the United States attempting to prevent the spread of communism. There are many lessons learned throughout this war that America, hopefully, will never undergo again.
There are a series of events that led up to this full-scale war. First, the U.S. tried to prevent Vietnam from becoming a communist nation, so they sent the French military aid to help rule against this. Soon enough, France wanted to withdraw their troops out of Vietnam; the Geneva Conference was a meeting between many nations deciding how France could peacefully pull out troops. A bit later, there was supposed to be a General democratic election held, but America refused to agree to the election, afraid that the communists would win. In 1965, the U.S. sent ground troops to help South Vietnam, sparking tensions between the U.S. and North Vietnam.
From 1965 to 1969, America was involved in a limited war in Vietnam, meaning weak efforts to attack North Vietnam. U.S. forces became easily frustrated because war in the jungle was found difficult. Vietnam would attack in ambushes, set up booby traps, and escape through underground tunnels. To prove even more difficult, Northern Vietnam troops and the Viet Cong surprised South Vietnam and U.S. troops. On January 30, 1968 they attacked hundreds of South Vietnamese cities and towns, known as the Tet Offensive. Without a doubt, it showed that the enemy was stronger and better prepared. While the public’s support for the war was way gone, there was new hope with Richard Nixon, the new president of America. Soon after taking office, Richard Nixon planned the policy Vietnamization, which was a process to remove U.S. troops from Vietnam while handing...