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

How did the legacy of the Vietnam War affect recent U.S. defense policy and practice?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐How did the legacy of the Vietnam War affect recent U.S. defense policy and practice? This literature review examines all aspects of the Vietnam War from its roots in French Indochina to its conclusion during the Nixon Administration. In addition, examples of modern defense policy for the last decade will be discussed. The United States? conflict in Vietnam began with its Imperialistic French rulers. Following World War II, many European countries with overseas colonies in Asia and Africa gave them up and allowed them to become their own countries. Not so with France. France held on to its holdings in Indochina, including Vietnam. This did not sit well with the Vietnamese people, as the French colonial government was displaced in the Japanese occupation of the country. And so, the Vietnamese people rebelled. They were led by Ho Chi Minh, a man who organized the Viet Cong during WWII and wanted to convert Vietnam to a classless, European society. ...read more.


However, after the battle of Dienbienphu, France negotiated a temporary cease-fire and pulled out of Vietnam (Hook and Spanier 112-116). Vietnam was split in two, a communist and Pro-Russian North, and an autocratic Pro-American South. However, when the North invaded, the US felt it was their responsibility to prevent the rise of a fully communist Vietnam. Washington believed that this would lead to more Asian and African states falling to Soviet or Chinese control. This followed the principles of the Domino theory and Containment. Unfortunately, this was done in a very incrementalist; each president shoving off the responsibilities of the war to their successor (Spanier 120-121). Finally, Lyndon B. Johnson was faced with an unenviable position: fully commit to the mess that was Vietnam or withdraw and leave it to the communists. He decided to go with the former and following the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, sent air, ground, and naval forces and resources to Vietnam. ...read more.


Later in the same year, the combined forces of the United States and Britain landed in Iraq. Less than 6 weeks later, the Western troops reached the capital city of Baghdad. In another month, Tikrit had fallen and with it, organized resistance in Iraq. In December of 2003, Saddam Hussein was captured and convicted of crimes against humanity in 2006. Following the execution, President Bush increased the number of troops in Iraq by 20,000. However, this, in combination with several tribes allying themselves with the United States, did help the situation and withdrawal planes were drafted in 2008. The plans call for the last American soldier to leave the country by early 2012 (?Iraq War?). Another good examination of modern defense policy can be seen in Libya. When the uprising against Gaddafi began, NATO helped the rebels through air and sea power. But, neither the alliance nor any other country landed troops to assist the rebel forces (Westervelt). ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. My research questions: did the United States of America really lose the Vietnam War ...

    America failed to stop Communism from spreading in different countries. It also showed to the World that the great America was not so great after all. This was a big loss in the Cold War, which had been the main target for the U.S.

  2. Cold War Study Guide - Compare/contrast the Vietnam War policies of Lyndon Johnson and ...

    Assess the successes and failures of the foreign policies of Richard Nixon (1969-1974). - Nixon ran for President, saying that the great society (formed by Lyndon Johnson) had many cons, and that it had made the government too big.

  1. US and the Vietnam War

    War Bird Forum. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Nov. 2009. <http://www.warbirdforum.com/media.htm>. "The trail [The Ho Chi Minh Trail] undeniably lay at the heart of the war." "Wars and Battles, Vietnam War." Ho Chi Minh Trail. 21 Jan. 2009 <http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1875.html>. "The Ho Chi Minh Trail...

  2. To what extent was President Lyndon B. Johnson responsible for the escalation of the ...

    10 - General Taylor and William Westmoreland provided false statistics that 'proved' their hypothesis by omitting some of the more pessimistic findings.11 - During the aftermath of the Tet attacks he announced that the enemy had suffered a "colossal military defeat....the US had never been in a better position in

  1. For what reasons, and with what results up to 1963, did the Unites States ...

    In Korea, the armies of both the U.S. and USSR withdrew, but each side armed their respective section of the country. However, in June 1950 the Communist North invaded the South in an attempt to unite the country. As the Americans believed the invasion was Soviet-backed they sent troops to

  2. What were the intentions of President Harry S. Truman and General Douglas MacArthur regarding ...

    At the Cairo Conference of 1943, the United States, the United Kingdom and Nationalist China agreed that "Korea should become free and independent 'in due course'" (Hastings 26). However, at the Potsdam Conference of 1945, the Allied powers unilaterally agreed on dividing Korea in contrast to the earlier Cairo Conference.

  1. Explain the USAs policy of containment. How successful was this in Korea, Vietnam and ...

    As well as USA fourteen other countries sent troop, to a certain extent this could be seen as further success of containment as USA were able to ask the help from other UN countries to give a united front. On September 15th, US and Southern Korean troops commanded by General

  2. To what extent did technology influence American tactics during the Vietnam War?

    Bradley, Mark Philip, Vietnam at War (Oxford University press, 2009) A professor of history at The University of Chicago, Bradley?s main goal throughout this book is to show how the Vietnam War affected the Vietnamese populace; apart from a thorough analysis of the Vietminh?s goals and strategies, Bradley also examines how the war affected the Vietnamese on a cultural level.

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