"Failure And Deception: Us Nation Building In South Vietnam"

2540 words - 10 pages

The story of US intervention in South Vietnam's internal affairs is a story of failure after failure to establish a viable South Vietnamese state. Seeking to control perceived communist expansion and to destroy the eventual communist insurgency in South Vietnam, the US attempted to create a political alternative to the popular communist regime in the North. In doing so, the US was fighting an uphill battle, a battle it was neither able nor equipped to win. In this effort to keep alive its hopes of producing a workable, independent South Vietnam, the US government consistently deceived both itself and its citizens. In early 1968, in what has now popularly known as the "Tet Offensive" (Tet-68), communist forces staged a massive attack on US and ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) forces. Documents written after Tet-68 strikingly show the failure of nation-building, and the documents point to many of the basic reasons for that failure. Ultimately, it was Tet-68 which brought to the forefront the lies and reality of the US' efforts, and it was this realization that would prove to be the turning point of America's involvement in Vietnam.The stark truth about Vietnam is that it was, and continues to be, one nation and one people. But both the US and France were unable to grasp this fundamental reality, a reality that was grounded in Vietnam's strongly nationalistic culture and its two thousand year history of fiercely resisting outside intervention. As early as the last 1940's, the French were attempting to create a strong and cohesive alternative to the Vietminh that would "provide a rallying point for non-Communist Vietnamese nationalists," and that could "create a serious alternative to the Vietminh Front for the loyalty of the Vietnamese people." This new government, led by the onetime playboy-prince Bao Dai, soon proved ineffective due to factionalism within the non-communist elements, Bao Dai's own shortcomings as a disinterested and dull leader, and France's unwillingness to grant the Bao Dai government any measure of true autonomy. Subsequent US administrations were plagued by many of these same problems, particularly the US' own aversion to allowing South Vietnam's leaders even marginal independence in policymaking.As the French negotiated a settlement to the Franco-Vietminh War at the 1954 Geneva Conference, the Eisenhower administration made the decision that it "would pick up the sword that the French were dropping" and in 1954, the US would attempt to do what the French had struggled at for eight grueling years: to create, under the leadership of Ngo Dinh Diem, a government in South Vietnam that would provide the people of Vietnam with a real political alternative to communist leadership, and that was to function as a sort of bulwark to guard against alleged communist aggression/expansion in Asia. The groundwork had been laid for what would become two decades of attempted nation-building in South Vietnam, and a war that was in large...

Find Another Essay On "Failure and Deception: US Nation-Building in South Vietnam"

Russia's way to Nation- and State-Building

5314 words - 21 pages NATION- AND STATE-BUILDING IN RUSSIA(882-1914)Supervisor: Sjoerd WillenVictor Cebotari ID 6026184Pigeonhole 958Date: 14-12-2010Bloody Diversity: Country FileFinal Version5085 wordsTABLE OF CONTENTSIntroduction...................................................................................... 1Plurality of politics in Kievan Rus'................................................... 3Emergence of Muscovy in the 16th century

Success and Failure in the US-Mexico War on Drugs

3266 words - 13 pages against drugs is to be achieved.”[2] Today, no two bordering nations are more immersed in an anti-drug campaign than the U.S. and Mexico. This paper examines the nature of the illegal drug market, the obstacles faced by the US and Mexico in their war on drugs, as well as the current developments and a proposed alternative to the allegedly futile and misguided effort. BACKGROUND Over the past decade, Mexican drug

Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers: A Record of Public Deception

1598 words - 6 pages to be done for the good of the people and he didn't compromise the fate of a nation, although he may have altered it a bit."Three million men have answered the call of Congress and the Executive and risked their bodies and their lives in the paddies, jungles and cities of South Vietnam.How many of them have paid...with their arms and their legs?...we do know fifty-five thousand have given their lives...because they felt it was their

United States' Involvement in South Vietnam

2584 words - 10 pages United States' Involvement in South Vietnam It is apparent from source A that America was involved in Vietnam to maintain capitalism and to suppress communism. The writer of the source, John F Kennedy, had a high position in the US government and he makes the point that the Americans did not like communism and wanted to stop it spreading. "If the red tide of communism overflowed into Vietnam, then Burma, Thailandâ

Deception and Motivation in Macbeth

828 words - 4 pages the deception of Macbeth to Duncan, Banquo and Lady Macbeth and his motivations. In order to hide his true intentions of the throne, Macbeth had to project an image as a loyal general to the king. Upon his arrival at Forres, Macbeth told Duncan that he will do “everything / Safe toward your love and honor” which is a false statement because he was thinking of murdering the king instead of protecting him during his conversation with the witches

Deception and Corruption in Hamlet

938 words - 4 pages judgments to be unclear. This unclear judgment causes each character to lie and betray everyone in the kingdom creating a totally corrupt state especially King Claudius, Hamlet, and Polonius. They use deception to obtain exactly what they want. These plans to use lies and ignoble acts to obtain these goals were the cause of corruption and decay spreading through the state and destroying it. The character who is guiltiest of corruption, deception

Why the US lost in Vietnam

1497 words - 6 pages -communist was likely to receive US aid. North Vietnam also had a population of sixteen million citizens. Those living in North Vietnam were controlled by the Vietnamese communist that fought against the French and aimed to reunify Vietnam under communist rule. The agricultural nation was supplied mainly with weapons from China. Guerillas were trained by the Viet Minh to go to South Vietnam and help spread the word of communism. To much surprise, the

The US Involvement in The Vietnam War

1117 words - 4 pages The Vietnam War was one of the worst wars in the United States history. The reason for the United States involvement was due to the start of communism in North Vietnam. The citizens in South Vietnam feared the control of North Vietnam and were worried that the north would take control of the south. The communist North Vietnam had support from the Soviet Union and China, making the South Vietnamese vulnerable to the north. In their time of

Rena’s Concept of Nation Building Based on Chavez and Morales

684 words - 3 pages Ernst Renan’s concept of nation is about a proposal that urges people to come together in order to have consciousness about the process of building a nation and to forget about the differences in geography, language, race, and religion. He insists on telling that a nation is composed of people’s collaboration and agreements to stay together and be governed by mutual approval because they shared a common past. Based on this concept, we can say

Why Did the US Intervene in the Vietnam War between 1946 and 1956?

1220 words - 5 pages Convention when they opposed the promised elections in 1956, only in fear that the people of Vietnam would choose a communist leadership, without American ties? War devastated and economically depleted colonialist France fought through the First Indochina War from 1949 to 1954, only because the US funded them. To endorse in an action that promotes the trespassing of national sovereignty, and to support another country in the overtaking of nation

To what extent was the U.S. failure in Vietnam predictable

1910 words - 8 pages A. Plan of Investigation The investigation evaluates to what extent the failure of the United States in the Vietnam War was predictable. It assesses how this failure was predictable in the long and short-term and what factors were involved. The two sources used for a deeper study are from America in Vietnam, by Guenter Lewy and The army and Vietnam by Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr. Their origins, purpose, values and limitations will be discussed to

Similar Essays

Why Did The Us Fail To Save South Vietnam From Communism?

1235 words - 5 pages the South against the North, however their training in America proved non valuable against the guerrillas and eventually, were forced to pull out. Though the military of the US seemed impregnable against guerrilla attack forces, the sheer geography of rural Vietnam proved much different.The US military, along with the help of the media, were very badly portrayed. After stories of how American troops reportedly raped all the women of a village and

State And Nation Building In Arica

2724 words - 11 pages the above case study it can be noted poor nation building is major causes of conflicts in Africa were polarisation is not being challenged and if not handled well it can lead to nations separating.The failure of managing diversity is not a curse of the old Sudan alone. The newly independent South Sudan is experiencing instability as the government of Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) has failed to manage diversity and practice equality

War And Nation Building Essay

783 words - 3 pages War and Nation-Building The term ‘nation-building’ is often defined as evolution rather than revolution, though it can mean different things to different people. As that reason, nation-building refers to give assistance in the development of governmental basic structure, civil society and economics in a dysfunctional or unstable country in order to increase stability. Therefore, War, which may

Post Colonial Nation Building In Africa

3608 words - 14 pages , heterogeneous societies and therefore rely heavily on a functional political institution. In the preliminary stages of nation-building, social forces play a pivotal role. Social forces include ethnic, religious, economic, and regional groups. Ideally Huntington's political institution governs the problems that can arise from the clashing of interests among these social groups. An example where social forces can be at odds is illustrated through