Why Us Lost the War Against Vietnam

Topics: Vietnam War, South Vietnam, Vietnam Pages: 4 (1424 words) Published: March 11, 2012
Why US Lost The War Against Vietnam?

During the 1900’s, Vietnam was one of the various countries across the world which fought for independence in order to decolonize from the European super powers. This steady process of decolonization was mooted by nationalism and encouraged by the actions of a resistance group of native leaders; all fighting for independence like Ho Chi Minh. This fight for independence caused a split of the nation into two different parts; North and South Vietnam. The communist north was controlled by Ho Chi Minh, while the anti-communist south was under French rule. The separation was largely due to the fact that China and USSR wanted Vietnam to be communist since Loas and Cambodia had already turned anti-communist. However, the US got involved since it supported the development of an independent South Vietnam and wanted to resist the spread of communism in Southeast Asia. (Willner, Hero, and Wiener, 478-8) Despite being more equipped in terms of military and the favoured force, US lost the war against North Vietnam because of three main reasons. First of all, the US underestimated the strength and resourcefulness of the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) and Viet Cong, both armies fighting for North Vietnam. Secondly, the unfamiliar setting in a foreign country made combat conditions very hostile and due to this, there was a long casualty list. Lastly, the US “peace movement” in 1970 voiced by all parts of society, drastically decreased the overall support.

The US had two enemies in particular, which restricted them from defeating North Vietnam. PAVN along with the Vietcong were strong and resourceful. One of the main difficulties in fighting the PAVN was that their soldiers were conventional military units with proper training. Likewise, Vietcong were also full time soldiers with conventional formations such as battalions and divisions in order to launch more damaging attacks over a wide area. One of the many ways in which they kept...
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