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Effects Of The Tet Offensive Essay

1119 words - 4 pages


For nine years, the United States were hell-bent in achieving their rightful victory in Vietnam, however, destiny had different plans for them. The Tet Offensive is considered the turning point of the Vietnam Conflict because of the fact that the Vietcong and North Vietnamese Army surprised the U.S and South Vietnam with several sporadic attacks. Consequently, many effects from these attacks were expected, not only for America, but for North and South Vietnam as well. With U.S citizens’ opinions quickly turning against U.S. involvement in Vietnam, South Vietnam faced much disaster. Its government was stricken with humility because of the increased abandonment of their army, leading to the inability to protect its citizens. On the other hand, North Vietnam began accepting great amounts of land along with the power to frighten the rural population.
Soon after the Tet Offensive, citizens of the United States began having second opinions about concentrating our troops in Vietnam: “Within weeks [of the Tet attacks], many average Americans who previously were supporters had turned against the war” (Omicinski 2). A small cluster of Vietcong forces made their way into the compound of the United States embassy located in Saigon, proving to Americans that even though there were hundreds of thousands of soldiers fighting in Vietnam, the U.S. had progressed only slightly (Dudley 131). The people were constantly being told that the conflict would soon end, however, increased need of military assistance had U.S. citizens questioning the veracity of our government. The phrase "credibility gap" surfaced to describe the growing public scepticism (Gerdes 14). This factor led to the government’s loss of support from most of the population. Another effect of the Tet Offensive was the significant drop in Johnson’s popularity. This led to his withdrawal from the nomination of being re-elected, for he himself states, “Therefore, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president” (Omicinski 2). American support for the conflict continued to crumble and the nation’s opinons concerning U.S. involvment in Vietnam became exceedingly separated.
South Vietnam faced similar consequences, however, theirs were a bit more serious. The Tet Offensive had a profound psychological effect on all South Vietnamese due to the violence and undesirable outcome of the conflict. Saigon, the country’s capital, was overtaken for a short period of time by the NVA and VC, thus, ridding citizens of all their confidence. Hope was also lost because the government was unable to protect its citizens, even with the support of the United States (Arnold 90). “In the Northern part of South Vietnam, the city of Hue was taken over by the V.C. and executions of city officials and their families took place”, thousands of civilians were reported to be executed (Dennison). South Vietnam was also deprived of their morale from its army’s increased...

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