Propaganda is how closely what people are told aligns with the government’s objectives. Propaganda can promote a legitimate war such as World War II, Korea, Persian Gulf, Enduring Freedom or a flawed conflict such a Vietnam. The use of propaganda in wartime has a lingering effect. When propaganda is effectively it can portray a conflict in a favorable light, the future perception and recollection of those events tend to be favorable and vice versa. For example, today World War I, World War II, and the Persian Gulf conflict in the 1990s are generally remembered as examples of Allied Forces triumphing over evil. In contrast, the Vietnam War is perceived today as a very painful American defeat, with no triumph over evil, in fact it may have been the Americans that were the evil. The majority of Americans think the Vietnam War was a mistake and may be the most unpopular war ever fought. .
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Despite the advantage of an undefeated military record that had been achieved in part through effective use of propaganda, the Vietnam War ended in a crushing defeat for the United States, which may be due failures to adapt to the new challenges posed by the conflict. Historically, the United States had never faced an enemy that could match its elite and tremendously superior military capabilities. At the outset of the Vietnam War, conventional wisdom would suggest that North Vietnam, being significantly smaller and weaker, would be easily defeated but it was able to stand up to and fight back against the strength of America’s political, military, and economic superiority.
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