Essay on Vietnam War

Submitted By aorie12
Words: 1672
Pages: 7

U.S. Failure in Vietnam The Vietnam War was one of the most controversial and bloodiest wars in United States history. This war was unique, because it was the first war that media outlets covered it to an extreme, bringing graphic images of the war to homes across the country. The question many historians will ask about this war is how could the U.S, the most powerful military in the world, lose despite winning every major battle? That is where this essay will go into how a defeat in Vietnam started all the way back during World War One and was finally assured in 1975. Ho Chi Minh’s long journey to try and earn independency started after he left Vietnam for France. However, his involvement with the United States does not start until the end of World War I. Minh idolized the American way of democracy and especially loved the idea that anyone in the country could vote. After hearing about Woodrow Wilson’s 14 points, Minh wanted to talk to him about the freedom of Vietnam from France. He never made it past the gates of the U.S. Embassy and that is where is struggle with the U.S begins. His next encounter is during World War II where Minh and his followers made a deal with the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to help them rescue downed fighter pilots and sabotage Japanese instillations. In return the OSS had promised Minh the freedom of Vietnam from outside rulers. After the war had ended however and Minh had declared their freedom, British soldiers came to secure Saigon. The OSS was gone by this point and the heads of the U.S. Government had no idea about the agreement, which left Minh and his people in the mercy of French control. These two instances forced Minh to commit himself to the Communist cause in order to receive aide in the fight to free his country. After the embarrassing defeat of the French by the Vietnamese at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 a peace agreement was made. Vietnam would be split in two at the 17th parallel and after two years time an election for complete control of Vietnam will be held. At this time however Eisenhower and the U.S. Government have decided to take France’s place in South Vietnam.
The Unites States’ main reason for wanting to control Vietnam was the idea of containment. They felt if Vietnam was lost to Communism then the entire Pacific would fall under its’ curtain. That is why they set up a democratic South Vietnam and even helped put Diem in charge of the South instead of Dai. Now by this time the U.S. had not only bankrolled the French operation in Vietnam, but not they were bankrolling the corrupt Diem regime.
U.S. now firmly involved in Vietnam experienced small fighting against Vietcong groups. The first of which came when several small patrol boats attacked the USS Maddox. After the attack that left the Maddox with several minor injuries the USS Turner Joy joined it. This attack left the Maddox on high alert and when a radar malfunction led to what was believed to be a second attack tensions between the U.S and North Vietnam grew.
Now with tensions growing Lyndon B. Johnson came up with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in order to gain more control of military forces. The slowly rising tensions between these two sides are so great now a conflict was almost inevitable. After several VC attacks including one on an American airport LBJ authorizes operation Rolling Thunder, leading to the bombing of North Vietnam.
This led to arguably the most important battle of the entire war. The Ia Drang Valley was the stage for this critical battle. In this battle the members of the U.S. 1st Calvary were heavily outnumbered by the NVA, but managed to use artillery and airpower to hold their landing zone forcing the NVA to retreat, claiming victory for United States. However, after that battle U.S. soldiers traveling to LZ Albany were ambushed and suffered heavy losses at the hands of the NVA. Even with those loses U.S. officials claimed victory, because of the high kill to