Why Did the Us Lose the War in Vietnam?
Why did the US lose the war in Vietnam?
Answer with reference to the concept of insurgency/guerrilla warfare.
The longest war in the history of the United States of America has taken place in Vietnam during the Cold War. “The US fear of a communist Europe led them to intervene in a war that was not seen in a vital importance or that would not be in the country`s interest to gain any advantage” (Bernstein 1987/8, p. 86). One of the main reasons why the US lost the war in Vietnam was the lack of preparation and understanding of the Vietnamese culture. The Vietnamese fighters had several advantages due to the countries geographical location and language barrier. Furthermore, the insurgency in Vietnam was almost impossible for the US
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(Rottman G. 2006, p.7) The revolutionary forces had large net of underground tunnels which were located all around the country and were vastly used for distribution of all types of things that were useful for the opposition such as medicines, weapons and food. People were essential for the Guerrilla war as they were bases and suppliers. The Vietnamese army used tactic called “Hit and Run”. They were formed in small groups which were easy to replace in case of casualties. Their attacks were not aimed to decrease enemy numbers, but to sabotage key figures such as high ranked diplomats, politicians and influential capitalists. The Vietnamese commanders had the crucial advantage because they knew where the American soldiers were. On the other hand the Vietnamese were almost invisible, very well hidden and ready for surprise attacks. This benefit gave the Vietnamese war leaders better positions when it came to choosing the location and the time of the battle. The conventional war that the US was executing did not give them a chance to move fast in the jungle. This slow movement of the US troops gave the revolutionary the opportunity to gain the peasants support with anti-imperialism ideologies or even force. As the war progressed the co-operation between the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese troops became far more organized and structured, thus causing some of the most significant impacts upon the US forces.
The Tet offensive of 1968 was one of