The Victory That Never Was

The Vietnam War.  Arguably the most controversial conflict that America had ever gotten herself into.  The outcome of the war should be no secret to anybody, we lost, big time.  From the American entrance into Vietnam in 1963 to their humiliating exit in 1972, the United States had been fighting a losing war, or so they thought.  Many in the U.S. during this era called Vietnam a quagmire, a lost cause, a war that can’t be won.  These kinds of descriptions have convinced us for decades that by moving into Vietnam, the U.S. was hurling itself into impending doom.  However, a stark contrast arises from what the media falsely described and what actually went on in the front lines.

Despite what historians, analysts, and the media have claimed for the past five decades, the Vietnam War was not an impossible war.  The U.S. had many opportunities for victory prior to their entry, during their engagement, and even after they’ve pulled out.  If one were to look at the war from a more hands on point of view, one would see that even though the U.S. lost the war politically, the American soldiers, along with their South Vietnamese allies, were actually victorious on the battlefield.

The U.S. Army and the A.R.V.N. fought brilliantly, defeating the N.V.A. and the Viet Cong in many confrontations.  For instance, the famous Tet Offensive saw the forces of the North ransack and bombard the city of Saigon with heavy artillery and thunderous force.  Even with the ambitious nature of this onslaught, the Viet Cong were conclusively defeated in this attack, driven out of Saigon, and resulted in the failure of the North Vietnamese operation.

The successful warding of the North Vietnamese from Saigon in the Tet Offensive is a good example of how the Americans, despite winning the battles, could not prevent the North from breaking their will.  On many occasions, the allied forces of South Vietnam and the U.S. had crushed the Communists in battle.  Even so, the U.S. could not maintain their high spirits and their determination to fight.  As a result, the Americans began to accept defeat, not realizing how much strain they and A.R.V.N. had put on the Communists.

It is true that the U.S. should never have entered Vietnam in the first place.  They knew nothing about Vietnam, and had no business messing with another’s domestic affairs.  Their involvement put South Vietnam in a very difficult position in the eyes of the world, giving North Vietnam the ammunition to demonize them.  Even with this obstacle, victory over the Communists was still a real possibility.  As I have pointed out before, the Americans, as well as the South Vietnamese, were actually more successful than the Communists were in the field of battle.  The difference maker was the breaking of the American will, their subsequent withdrawal, and the cutting of all American aid at the end of the war.

U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson was largely responsible for increased American involvement in Vietnam.The ideal recipe for victory would have been for the Americans to not have entered at all.  If the U.S. had just supported South Vietnam morally and financially, letting them deal with the Communists in their own way, victory may have come much quicker, and the war may have never been an American quagmire.  Even after the U.S. made the mistake of joining, they could still have defeated the Communists, for their military capabilities were much superior to the North Vietnamese, making them victorious on many confrontations.  In the last scenario, the Americans should still have funded South Vietnam’s war efforts after their withdrawal, instead of accepting defeat and leaving the South to crumble.

It was America’s ignorance of Vietnam that led to such a disastrous outcome.  The Americans knew nothing of Vietnam, as a result, they had made all the wrong moves in dealing with the war.  For every major mistake that they had made, there was a solution that could have been acted upon.  Unfortunately, the Americans could never understand the situation, ultimately leading them to the complete and utter failure that still reverberates in the hearts of the White House today.  The war in Vietnam could have gone in a much different direction, America could have won.  Sadly, the U.S. failed to understand their own capabilities and the capabilities of their allies.  As a result, the chances were lost, and the victory never came.

5 Responses to “The Victory That Never Was”

  1. Who were the winners in Vietnam War? The answer were China and Henry Kissinger.

    Who were the losers? Both Vietnamese and American were the losers.

  2. Testing

  3. If you ask the Communist-free people of Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia who are in their 60’s and 70’s, they say the conflict was a success for keeping Communism out of their countries. The war also drained resources in the Soviet Union intended for controling Eastern European countries, which eventually fed into Soviet collapse.

    The Republic of Vietnam should have remained free, it would be much more prosperous like South Korea is today. Unfortunately, Communism is a sickness that controls undeveloped minds and the media more easily than a free and open society can. But once a war is over, the failure of Communist society becomes very clear. Only 11 years after the Communist Imperialists invaded the Republic of Vietnam, Vietnam remained in ruins. So, they began to slowly change and adopt the economic policies from the very country that they invaded because of those policies. The Communist’s aggression was the most backwards, stupid, pointless thing I can think of. Communists are the definition of evil.

    • I disagree. Communism was soundly defeated in Malaysia in the Malay insurgency, which ended 5 years before American involvement in Vietnam. As for Thailand, the Royal Thai Army prevented Communist invasion through a series of border clashes against Vietnamese forces in Cambodia and Laos from 1979-1989. If the Communists had won earlier, they still would not have been able to take Thailand or Malaysia.

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