The Vietnam War Showed The Usa That It Would Have To Learn To Live With Communism. To What Extent Is This Statement True?

933 words - 4 pages

It is true that, to some extent, the course and the outcome of the Vietnam War forced the USA to respect communism and accept the communist sphere of influence. In the Vietnam War, the USA was not capable of defeating a colonial power which enjoyed being supplied by communist China and the USSR. Despite this, the USA likes to cover up the victory of communism with Stalinists subsequent inability to solve all the problems that the Vietnamese People had to face. The USA is not a world power which likes to confess defeat and the intervention in the Gulf also served to demonstrate the power of the US to the world and "remove the legacy" of Vietnam. Americans like to think that they have won the war and that they have stopped communism from expanding in Asia.There are two major aspects which suggest that the United States miscalculated the strength of communism and had reason to accept and learn how to live with it.Firstly, when the USA agreed to send American troops to Vietnam, they underestimated the strength of the North Vietnamese, who received communist supply. But as the French defeat in Dien Bien Phu occurred and American troops struggled against the North Vietnamese in the subsequent years, the miscalculations were hit upon.The USA was following a policy of containment. Communism was defined as the enemy and any sign of communist aggression should be met rapidly. The target of containment was Ho Chi Minh, who had connections with the Soviet Union. When the French aimed to regain its colonial mastery over Indochina, the USA decided to support the French because to them it represented an anticommunist movement. But the French and the American underestimated the North Vietnamese and on 7 May 1954 the French experienced a humiliating defeat in Dien Bien Phu. The battle, which Ho Chi Minh had named a fight between an "elephant and a grasshopper", was quite significant because in 1953 the French were ready to negotiate and Ho Chi Minhá influence during the negotiations depended on the outcome of the battle. Gen. VO Nguyen Giap said: "A poor feudal nation had beaten a great colonial power...It meant a lot; not just to us but people all over the world."In the subsequent years, during the Vietnam War, America was not in a position to win the war and in 1965 it was the Vietnamese Premier Pham Van Dong who outlined Hanoi's four bases for settlement. Not willing to accept communist control, the United States rejected it as a starting point for negotiations. The United States were in favour of ending the war in Vietnam because it cost the United States a huge amount of money every day and the War became very unpopular among American citizens. Despite this, the USA still wanted to win the war and not...

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