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Vietnam - US loss or something else?

Discussion in 'Military History' started by DocCasualty, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. DocCasualty

    DocCasualty Member

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    I'm glad you brought up post-WWII, as I think that in retrospect, this again represented an error in judgement on the part of the Western alliance in general, and the US specifically.

    I think I can say without raising too much debate that the US was generally against colonialism at this point and in the business of convincing it's allies to be of like mind. However, France was so decimated by the war, part of the aid process was to conciously prop France up in Indochina. I'm not sure how much that was done for morale or if it was thought to aid them economically in the long run, but it nonetheless was done. Hence preventing the independence Ho Chi Minh and his followers sought. As the French began to sag, the US was left holding the bag. I realize my last statement is a vast over-simplification of a long drawn out military, political, ideological quagmire, but I believe it captures the essence on this conundrum that was Vietnam.
    Funny you use the word prostitution. You might appreciate the following,
    Fonda: ‘Hanoi Jane’
    visit was a mistake


    But doesn't regret entire trip;
    also says she procured call girls


    Fonda: ‘Hanoi Jane’ visit was a mistake - CELEBRITY NEWS- msnbc.com. I didn't know what to make of her 11th hour apology when she came out with her book and I still don't know what to think about her sincerity.
     
  2. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Jane apologizing is like Lizzy Borden saying she didn't mean to kill her parents.
     
  3. DocCasualty

    DocCasualty Member

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    :rofl:
     
  4. chocapic

    chocapic Member

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    It's a pity USA lost this war. Had they won, the South Vitenam population would have had a much better life : just look at Korea, would you rather live in South or North Korea ?
     
  5. Xtrbacklash

    Xtrbacklash Member

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    the South Vietnamese were very corrupt though..
     
  6. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    The fact the US army was never defeated in a major battle is irrelevent, the US lost the Vietnam war because they failed to achieve their political objectives.

    "War is the continuation of politics by other means" -von Clausewitz.

    While there is a temptation to blame the media, the fault for the loss lies clearly with the US administration, they attempted to fight a 'limited' war in a situation where it wouldn't succeed.
     
    TiredOldSoldier, Sloniksp and TA152 like this.
  7. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    You'll get no disagreement from me Redcoat. Isn't one the first dictims of military command not to put your troops into a position that they cannot do what is being asked of them? They were asked to not lose a war they were not allowed to win, with winning being defined as occupying the enemy's (North Vietnam) homeland. Even by by that stretch, "winning" would have been difficult, given the proximity of a hostile China to Vietnam. What Lyndon Baines Johnson and his cronies did to prosecute that war was, to me, a criminal act.
     
  8. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I'm not sure you can compare the two. In fact, VietNam's economy is fairly strong today, and the US has been trading with it for years. You have to consider how much US money went into South Korea that enabled it to build its economy.

    Check the whole World Bank profile at
    http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTVIETNAM/Resources/VietnamCountryOverview.pdf
     
  9. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    As usual, Sloniksp, you've hit on the key element. Since the two sides had vastly different visions of the desired outcome, it led to what IMO was a massive waste of human life.

    Here is a link to an article that touches on the whole concept of containment and the domino theory.

    The Domino Theory

    and a relevant quote from the article.

     
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  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    But what were the political objectives they failed to achieve?
    The opposition saw the media as a tool to use in getting their message across and winning the propaganda part of the war. The US administration essentially ignored this aspect of the war and lost by forfiture. It can be arged that a limited war could and did succeed in Vietnam. The problem is that the administration didn't make the goals clear and keep the American populace appraised of where we stood in relationship to those goals. A classic example is the Tet Offensive. It resulted in the greatest strategic victory in a military sense that the US forces achieved during the war but the opposition was able to paint it as a defeat and that had a very negative impact on support by the US populace.
     

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