The History Of Vietnam Essay

2175 words - 9 pages

Throughout the long history of the free world, there has always been at least one country that reigned supreme over all other nations. During the Age of Exploration Spain wielded this power. With its defeat came the supremacy of Great Britain. For centuries China ruled with an iron-fist over all of Asia, until Japan emerged as a rival for this power in the late eighteen-hundreds. The Soviet Union was one of the great superpowers, a position it shared with America until its downfall in the twentieth-century. And now the United States is the sole superpower that exists in our current world. What is it that made all of these nations so powerful at one time or another? The answer to t ...view middle of the document...

During the Vietnam War the American people rebelled. There were mass rallies and demonstrations protesting the war and its implications?particularly the compulsory service and the tremendous loss of life. In short, during the Vietnam War President Johnson did not have the support of the American people. In order to sustain a long-term war a nation must support its Commander-in-Chief and his decision-making capacity. If a nation doubts that its leader is grounding the reasons for the war in proper policy decisions, or if a nation does not feel that it should be at war, a war is virtually impossible to win. It takes more than one man to win a war, it takes an entire country. All of these issues will be discussed further, but it is necessary to note them now, as they all stem from the matter of proper support from one?s own nation.In Vietnam, it was impossible to win the war because not only did the administration have to set policies to wage a war in a nation halfway around the world, but also they had to contend with domestic unrest and turmoil. Dealing with one of those two issues individually is a daunting task, but combined, it is a recipe for disaster.Not only must a nation have support from its own citizens, but also, it is always beneficial to have some allies on its side. In Vietnam, the United States was the only country who was on the front-lines. Though other nations may have expressed verbal support, they did nothing to lend physical sustenance to the American cause. In the world of global diplomacy in which we live, support from other nations was then, and is today, a necessity for success.The issue of lack of support for the Vietnam conflict resembles the War in Iraq today, as the United States is lacking in both domestic and foreign support. Domestically, the President?s approval rating is at an all-time low, there was almost no initial bi-partisan support (it exists now for the troops, but not the war itself), and American citizens are tired of the conflict in general. Internationally, while a few nations have expressed verbal support, and some nations have sent United Nations troops to support the United States, its only real ally is Great Britain. Much of the rest of Europe is against the war, and other European nations are not volunteering any additional support. A few nations have even gone so far as to denounce the war. As it was in Vietnam, one must have assistance to win a war?a lesson the Bush administration obviously failed to learn.The second lesson that was ignored from Vietnam is that of the underestimation of one?s opponent. During Vietnam, the United States failed to see that the North Vietnamese were fighting for a cause they believed in so deeply, that they were willing to sacrifice themselves for these beliefs. This again ties into the issue of support. When a nation does not support a decision to go to war, the soldiers fighting are fighting for their country at best, and because they were forced to fight...


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