Vietnam War Essay

1618 words - 7 pages

“North Vietnam cannot defeat or humiliate the United States. Only Americans can do that.” I bet you can guess that whoever said this quote was very anti-war. That person is Richard Nixon, thirty-seventh president of the United States. Nixon was the president who ended the war, but which president had beliefs that war was necessary? Thirty-sixth president of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson was the accused main blame for starting the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War was probably the most controversial war that was ever fought as most people opposed the war and hated Johnson. The war was also very destructive and the facts prove it. The causes of war, the war itself, and the aftermath of ...view middle of the document...

Diem was a biased man himself. Diem was Catholic born and he did not like Buddhists. He replaced important government officials that were Buddhist (Nelson). Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese aligned because they both wanted Diem dead and to reign as a communist country. It was becoming evident that Diem’s days were numbered. Nobody liked his unpopular rule. Finally, the Viet Cong terrorists infiltrated South Vietnam and overthrew Diem. The next day, Diem and his son were both killed. Tensions were definitely increasing in Vietnam. The last and main cause of the war was the Gulf of Tonkin incident. The Gulf of Tonkin is located on the east side of North Vietnam. U.S. destroyer ships were sent to the Gulf of Tonkin to investigate the recent rebellious happenings. Then, in August of 1964, North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked the U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin (Hills, 9). The United States was obviously very angered that the North Vietnamese attacked their destroyers. President Lyndon Johnson decided he should do something about it. He had a theory that he called the “Domino Effect.” His belief was that if just one nation fell into communistic hands, all the others would go down too just like a domino line (Hills, 11). To reflect on his belief, he asked Congress to approve of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gave the president power to take all necessary measures to prevent further aggression (Gilbert, 374). Congress did in fact approve of the resolution. On March 8, 1965, the first ground troops arrived in Da Nang, South Vietnam (Nelson). There was no turning back now. In conclusion, the three main causes of Vietnam War was independence from France, the Viet Cong Rebellion, and the Gulf of Tonkin incident.
The second part of the Vietnam War is the war itself. The first part in describing the war is the war strategies each side used. For the United States, their strategy was to bomb intensely (Hills, 14). Their train of thought was to stop North Vietnam from fighting without losing many men in ground combat. For the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong, they had trust in guerilla warfare. When fighting the French, they had used guerilla warfare and it worked tremendously, mostly because of their brilliant guerilla warfare commander, General Giap (Hills, 13). Giap was the perfect choice to lead the North Vietnamese forces. Along with the guerilla warfare, they had dug very elaborate tunnel systems. The tunnels served many purposes such as a shelter for soldiers or as bomb shelters (Place). The Soviet Union and China (two largest communist countries at the time) also donated war materials to North Vietnam. Both sides were definitely ready for war. Another part in describing the war is the U.S. involvement and attacks. Going with their strategy, American forces commander William Westmoreland planned a bombing campaign known as “Rolling Thunder” (Hills, 14). This attack was going with the strategy; bombing enough to...

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