The Cost of The Vietnam War

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The United States Military took part in the Vietnam War, which started in 1957 and ended in 1975. At that time of war Vietnam was divided into North
Vietnam (Communist system) and South Vietnam (non communist). North Vietnam didn’t want the U.S. to support South Vietnam. South Vietnam took U.S. help to
make Vietnam single nation.

When Harry Truman was president, the United States had established a doctrine called “containment.” Originated by George Kennan and other diplomats and
policy advisers, the policy of “containment” aimed not to fight a determined war with the communist Soviet Union, but instead to narrow communism and the
Soviet Union to their existing boundaries.

This containment led directly to the Vietnam War. The Soviet Union was determined to expand communism on the rest of the world. Communist governments would
without doubt be part of Soviet kingdom but according to the doctrine of “containment” there could be no such thing as a neutral, one nation. It must be
either part of the Soviet Union or Unites States.

So, the belief was that all nations must be associated with either the United States or the Soviet Union. The United States was afraid of spreading of the
communism, but the doctrine of containment made it difficult to see nations as separate, as places with different cultures, different problems, and
different histories.

The Vietnam was part of French Indochina in 1946. The Vietnamese fought with French to get their independence. Military equipment was provided by the
United States still French were defeated in 1954. Then Vietnam was divided into North and South Vietnam.

The war was mainly between the South Vietnamese and North Vietnamese known as the Viet Cong from 1957 to 1965. The military was provided by United States.
The U.S. troops went to Vietnam in March 1965. They did most of the fighting with North Vietnam until 1969. By the end of 1969, the War seemed
never-ending. Gradually United States began to pull out U.S. military.

In January 1973, a negotiating meeting was arranged. Two months later last U.S. troops left Vietnam. Even though the fighting between North and South
Vietnam resumed soon afterwards, U.S. troops did not return. On April 30, 1975, South Vietnam surrendered to North Vietnam and ended the war.

The American military was not defeated in Vietnam. The American military did not lose a battle of any consequence. From a military standpoint, it was
almost an unprecedented performance. (General William Westmoreland quoting Douglas Pike, a professor at the University of California, Berkley a renowned
expert on the Vietnam war) [Westmoreland]

Professor Pike does not categorically state that the United States did not lose the war in Vietnam; however, I believe that his comment is generally
understood to mean that the United States did not lose the war.

President Nixon’s secretary of defence James Schlesinger regretted that the military had too many restraints placed upon it during the war.

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