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History Vietnam And Guerilla Tactics Research Paper

1256 words - 6 pages

To what extent can it be argued that the use of guerilla warfare tactics by the Vietcong against the US military was the key factor in explaining the American lack of success in the Vietnam War? persona
The Vietnam War has been regarded with much controversy – both during the War, and after its conclusion in 1973. This was not only due to the humiliating defeat that America suffered but also because of the contentious hidden reasons for America’s presence there. America came under heavy criticism because it seemed to the world that their presence in Vietnam was purely strategic and economical rather than for the protection of Vietnam’s people as America had first claimed. From the wars outset there was worldwide outrage caused by this controversy, this outrage grew and grew as the war progressed leading to an absolute worldwide lack of support for America’s seemingly selfish war effort. This worldwide lack of support included many protestors at home in America. This was devastating for the morale of the hundreds of thousands of young ‘grunts’, most of whom had never experienced the true horror of the battlefield. Throughout the war American losses, both financial and military were astounding. Never before had a country with America’s degree of power and worldwide influence been so unsuccessful when combating an economically underdeveloped country such as Vietnam. Admittedly North Vietnam did receive aid from both the Soviet Union and China but despite this, Vietnam has to be seen asa Third World country defending their homeland from the world’s biggest super power. The aim of this essay is to investigate the main reason for America’s defeat. Possible reasons for failure apart from the effectiveness of the Vietcong guerrilla tactics would include:  lack of morale of US troops, inappropriate US military tactics, the shocking images shown in the media coverage, US motives for engaging in this war, their lack of consideration for and understanding of the Vietnamese people, worldwide lack of support for the US war effort, the collapse of support on the home front. All these factors will be considered and compared to the guerilla tactics in order to arrive at a conclusion as to whether guerilla tactics really was the major cause of America’s humiliating retreat.
To fully understand why America was so unsuccessful it is necessary to understand why they involved themselves in a conflict on the other side of the globe in first place. Ever since the war began the true reason or reasons for American involvement has been heatedly debated. The American government and their ‘spin-doctors’[1] justified themselves by claiming that they were there to free the people from the oppressing evil communist from the north – Ho Chi Minh. Ho, a national hero to many in Vietnam was a “patriotic fighter”[2] for Vietnam’s independence. Ho spent much of his young life travelling in places where communism was actively working, places that had inspired him into his communist...

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