2238 words 9 pages
Why did the US fail in Vietnam?

From fighting off the French colonials in the 1940s, until the fall of Saigon in 1975- war dominated Vietnam in the last century. America's involvement began when France tried to reestablish control during the French Indochina War. From the unmoral support of leaders like Nguyen Van Thieu and Ngo Dinh Diem to the My Lai Massacre and the Invasion of Cambodia, the US’s decisions were clouded with bad judgment and resulted in civil unrest and international embarrassment. The war the east refers to as the “American war” and the west as the “Vietnam war” was a cold war-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, from 1st November 1955 to 30th April 1975. The wars belligerents were
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After Tet, things changed. Difficult questions were being raised. The Offensive had shown the home front that despite what Westmoreland and other representatives of the Johnson administration had been claiming, it was clear a long struggle still lay ahead. The medias approach changed. Walter Cronkite, the most famous TV journalist in the US, stated that he now thought the war to be unwinnable. After Tet TV journalists pounced on the Vietnam War, people were seeing shocking images of executions and warfare in their living room. This triggered massive antiwar protests all over the country, from large organizations of Civil Rights campaigners and Student groups. For a war on such a scale, America had to have the support of its public. Which is why the loss of American public support was a major factor to why the war failed.
The doubts about US involvement in the Vietnam War were not only felt by the media and the public but by the US troops themselves. Low moral, disobedience and inexperience were big problems in the army. The troops were made up of men that for the most part had never been in the military before, with the average age of 19. They were mainly drafted men, graduates, college dropouts and a large proportion of black people. The brutality of war was shocking and often too much for them to deal with. Many of the troops reportedly used drugs and alcohol to combat the psychological traumas


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