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

My research questions: did the United States of America really lose the Vietnam War and if so why did they lose it?

Extracts from this document...


INTRODUCTION If we want to judge one or other nation for losing a War we must first consider the empirical background of the war itself. "War is the condition that exists when a group --generally, a recognized state or nation but often a political, social, or economic faction within a recognized political group -- feels its vital interests are at stake and seeks to impose its beliefs or control on a rival group through the use of overt force."1 From this definition we can see that a group goes to war to protect its interests. The question that is paramount in my essay is who do we consider the victors and who the vanquished? The winner might be the one who kills most people and loses the least. Also, the one who withdraws the last from war. But the overriding criterion describing the victor is the one who achieves its pursued aim in the war. Hence, I will consider this question in a particular area - The Vietnam War. My research questions: did the United States of America really lose the Vietnam War and if so why did they lose it? In my study I will enlist and afterwards analyze the goals and interests of the United States. First I will define the official goals of the Americans and analyze whether they succeeded to fulfill them. Afterwards I will discuss what unofficial aims some particular groups had linked to the Vietnam War and what they ultimately achieved. In my analysis my fundamental resources were the reminiscences of four Vietnam Veterans, who I happened to ask a few questions myself. I also used a few books and WebPages. ...read more.


He says the lessons the Soviets drew from Vietnam had an effect that was precisely the opposite of that in the United States. On the other hand some of the Vietnam Veterans assert that although the Vietnam War exposed the weak points of the U.S., Vietnam War could have been the trigger cause for the latter collapse of the Soviet Union, since while helping the North Vietnamese, the Soviets increased their economic burden.9 In either case, the defeat in Vietnam was a big fiasco for the then government of the U.S. Major McMaster states the real intentions of President Johnson in the Vietnam War.10 "In 1964 and 1965, Johnson's principal goals were to win the presidency in his own right and to pass his Great Society legislation through Congress."11 Thus the president waged the war just to become more popular and get reelected. But the war did not turn out in the way the President and his successors wished it to be. And seeing that people in the U.S. were more and more dissatisfied with America's foreign policy Johnson himself decided not to seek reelection in 1968. Another thing was that the United States had not participated in any important war after the Word War II. The situation in Vietnam, therefore, was also a great chance for them to try out their military power and make use of food and weaponry resources. As the Cold War had began years before the Vietnam War started the U.S. military strength improved: people were trained, guns produced, new stratagems set up etc. But everything had to be tested more than just on an imaginary enemy before it could be adopted in a more exhausting war. ...read more.


CONCLUSIONS In 1954 - 1975 the United States got involved in the Vietnam War. Naturally they had both declared and non-declared goals. DECLARED GOALS OF THE UNITED STATES IN VIETNAM WAR: 1. To secure the Freedom in the World: * To thwart the Communism from spreading in the World. 2. To keep promises to South Vietnam, that USA would come to help in case of need. 3. To maintain other people's trust in America as the power, that would help to overcome hazardous conflicts with other countries. 1. Political: * The authorities wanted to be reelected. 2. Economic - war industry and the related institutions could be developed * The Army got more investments because of war. 3. Military: * To demonstrate her military power to the World and especially Russia. * To try out their military strength and to make use of resources. 4. Social: * People wanted to be proud of their country. WHY THE UNITED STATES DID NOT ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS IN VIETNAM WAR? 1. The U.S. failed to win the support of South Vietnamese, who did not want to see their country destroyed. 2. The guerilla war began soon after the military operations started. The Vietnamese were highly experienced in guerrilla warfare. 3. The North Vietnamese and the NLF were more motivated since they were fighting for the independence of their country thus making them even more determined warriors. 4. Seeing the sad outcome of war the morale of American troops plummeted and they started sabotaging and making rash decisions. 5. American arms were of little use because of difficult environmental conditions. 6. After a few years of the war without any result the people back in the U.S. started protesting against fighting and demanded for the army withdraw. ...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. The cold war - the conferences and the start of the cCold War

    There was an extensive program of social benefits given to workers in Western Germany with high taxation h. The Federal Republic was so called because of the existence of the various landers such as Hanover, Bavaria and North Rhine- Westphalia, which retained important rights over education and other aspects of administration.

  2. How far do you agree the Tet Offensive was a turning point in the ...

    Despite the fact that Tet was a military victory the Offensive "proved to be the turning point of the war" (Hayward). The Americans did not anticipate such a strong attack from the North, "The intensity, coordination and timing of the attacks were not fully anticipated,' adding, 'another major unexpected point'

  1. Interwar Years: 1919-39

    driven by a racial vision of winning Lebensraum or 'living space' in the East for the 'master race'. * Indeed both the Paris peace settlement and the international order were to be challenged and disrupted from the mid-1930s onwards. Hitler's Foreign Policy Aims * Foreign policy was of primary importance to Hitler.

  2. The United States War of Independence had nothing in common with the Latin American ...

    The ministry then passed the Navigation Acts. "The Navigation Acts, created between 1660 and 1760 by the British Parliament, exemplify mercantilism's policies. The Acts forbade English trade on anything but English vessels in English ports and commodities made within the colonies (like sugar and tobacco)

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

    - By the end of 1965 there were 200,000 US troops in Vietnam. RICHARD NIXON Vietnamization - Nixon announced a policy called "Vietnamization" that would "withdraw 540,000 US troops in South Vietnam over an extended period". The policy was issued in hopes that "the South Vietnamese - with American money,

  2. Why was the USA unable to defeat communism in south East Asia in the ...

    the gruesome tactics that were being used by US troops and the amount of innocent civilians that were being killed mercilessly, for example in the Mai Lai Massacre where women, children and the elderly were shot by US troops which went into the village and met no resistance.

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

    Success by the North and Vietcong was achieved at first however after a month the South Vietnam and American troops defeated them and all town were recaptured. This shows that containment was a success as America was able to prevent the North taking over the South in this incidence so thereby preventing the spread of communism across South Vietnam.

  2. History questions on Soviet Russia and its relations with the rest of the World.

    Also, we need to aid other nations and give them positive and constructive guidance. And lastly, we have to stay courageous and stick to our methods as a society as a whole. 4) Why do you think Kennan's Long Telegram aroused so much interest in Washington in early 1946?

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