• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain why the United States withdrew its forces from Vietnam in 1973

Extracts from this document...


Explain why the United States withdrew its forces from Vietnam in 1973 Alex Macleod There are many factors that eventually caused the United States to withdraw their forces from Vietnam in 1973. United States involvement in Vietnam only actually started in 1949. At this time, the Viet Minh, lead by Ho Chi Minh, controlled half of Vietnam, after capturing it from the French colonists in 1945. The United States however were oblivious to this as Ho Chi Minh cleverly kept quiet about his communist intentions, which led the United States to be sympathetic, if anything. Nevertheless, once the communist's took over China, and started to help Ho Chi Minh, the United States feared a communist plan to take over a large portion of Asia, the quickly reacted, pouring over $500 million a year to aid France in the war against the communist revolution. The French army failed due to many reasons, which led the Americans themselves to get involved with the war. There were many reasons for America to get involved in the war. Firstly, many Americans believed in the 'Domino Theory' which basically said that if the United States allowed one country to fall to communist, the rest would fall aswell, ending up with the Communists ruling south east Asia. Due to this fear of communist revolution, America prevented elections being held in Vietnam, due to fear of the communists winning. ...read more.


All of these reasons as to why the US tactics were infact so poor only lead to more casualties, and this then indirectly affected public opinion of the war, who hated seeing their own people die. Nevertheless, one of the biggest reasons explaining why the US troops were withdrawn from Vietnam would be Morale. The communist forces opposing the US army were much more committed to their cause and they fought with a much greater desire to win. The allies of the American army, the South Vietnamese were not able to match the Viet Cong in either fighting ability or determination. Although the Americans could arguably compete with the Viet Cong's fighting ability, they definitely did not have any commitment and had no belief in their cause. Many of the US troops had abused the easily available hard drugs from neighbouring Laos and Cambodia. A later estimate put use of heroin at 30% between US soldiers, which again lead to depression and inferior fighting abilities. News of the growing opposition to the war from US citizens would have reached the soldier and only lowered their morale. As the old saying goes, it is not the dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog, and the Viet Cong certainly had more fight, irrelevant of the fact they were warring against arguably the greatest military power in the world. ...read more.


The main reason they came to war was the public support of America to prevent the spread of communism, and when the public support diminished surely the will to keep on fighting would have gone. In my eyes, the United States should have withdrawn far before when they actually did. The only viable reason I can see why they stayed would be that they believed they could salvage something from the war; otherwise all of the effort put in previously would have been wasted. But what did the United States achieve in the war against Vietnam? They went in wishing to stop the spread of communism, but infact the communist spread got bigger, as south Vietnam fell 2 years after the end of the war. Who is to say that the spread of communism wouldn't have stopped as it did at South Vietnam, without all the death's and casualties. Personally I believe that the only reason that the United States pulled out was for their own pride. If they pulled out in 1973, they could still say that they didn't lose to the communists, without further damaging their reputation as the world greatest power, and also without further damaging the negative reaction to the war occurring within America itself. In my eyes, it was only America's arrogance and their wish to keep their famed military prowess which was the reason why they didn't withdraw their troops earlier which ultimately cause more lives. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Vietnam 1954-1975 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Vietnam 1954-1975 essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Explain why the US withdrew its forces from the Vietnam War in 1973

    4 star(s)

    In 1941, the Japanese government lost control of the colony of Vietnam and a communist and nationalist liberation movement emerged under Ho Chi Minh, who set up a provisional government in Hanoi, desperate for Vietnam to finally be an independent nation.

  2. Evaluate the tactics and strategies employed by the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese ...

    Great efforts had been made to gain the backing of the peasants by the US and even earlier by the Diem government by using policies known as strategic hamlet program and the winning hearts and minds policy (WHAM). The theory behind the strategic hamlets program was that the isolation of

  1. Explain why the United States withdrew their forces from Vietnam in 1973.

    Diem rigged an election and claimed that 98.2% of people had voted for him and he put most of his opponents in prison camps. People that were found writing anti-Diem messages anywhere were also put in prison camps. Even children.

  2. Describe the Military Tactics Used By Both the Usa and Viet Cong Forces In ...

    The Vietcong launched the "Tet Offensive" the Americans in the south were taken by surprise because for the first- time in the war the battle had come to the city.

  1. Why did America withdraw from Vietnam in 1973?

    they would fight in small platoons or in groups of two or three men, so if they came under attack and were taken captive by the Americans then the Americans would only have a few men which would not be a severe loss to the Vietcong.

  2. Vietnam war, representation work. In this essay I will evaluate the content, accuracy ...

    poster was not based on the mass outlook of the public, therefore it does not portray popular opinion of the US public. I think the 1st and 3nd Representations are similar as apart from the fact they share the same initiators, they were made for an analogous reason and in similar context.

  1. The failure of the United States to win the hearts and minds of the ...

    Other methods were proving ineffective and it was seen as the easiest method of killing VC and gave them very little chance of escape. Helicopters, in surprise, would transport small numbers of troops. The whole village would then be burnt completely in what became known as ?zippo raids?.

  2. How coverage of Vietnam in the USA led to demands for peace

    he refused to fight in the war which caused him to lose him heavy weight champion title. Ali even said, "Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs?"

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work