The Effects Of Vietnam Syndrome On Us

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The Effects Of Vietnam Syndrome On Us Foreign Policy Making Essay, Research Paper “Vietnam syndrome” is the term used to describe the poor decisions made by America’s leaders during the period of the war. Americans refer to it as the action – reaction approach that the United States Government used during the Vietnam War by waiting for the Communists to do something and then responding to the situation rather than having a distinct plan or guideline to follow in eliminating the enemy. Vietnam Syndrome also makes reference to the determination of the Americans and certainty of victory in war caused by America’s track record of never losing a war before. President Kennedy said that America would preserve its success rate, it would “pay any price, bare any burden,

support any friend and oppose any foe to ensure the survival and success of democracy.” President Lydon Johnson said America would defeat the communists no matter what it cost the country or how long it would take (Goro 1). Vietnam syndrome is a term that has such a negative connotation towards the credibility of the United States government that today’s politicians are careful to avoid the mistakes that were made in that time. Vietnam taught Americans much about the devastating effects of war and the importance of taking military action while the conflict is still small, rather than letting the situation progress into a full blown war. Many of our nation’s leaders kept this in mind while making their foreign policy decisions. This can be traced beginning with President

Carter, to the Reagen, Bush, and Clinton administrations. After president Anastasio Somoza Debyle of Nicaragua was hospitalized from suffered a heart attack he learned of a plot aimed at preventing the succession of his son to the presidency. Later, as a concession to United States President Jimmy Carter, President Somoza lifted the state of siege that had been in effect in the country. A month later there was a resurgence in guerilla activity under the banner of the Sandanista National Liberation Front (A.K.M. 259). Many other political and economic groups joined the protest for Somoza’s removal from office. During the Carter administration, despite his foreign officers’ advice to intervene in Nicaragua, Carter refused to act. Carter’s emphasis on non-intervention was a

direct result of the American public’s disgust with Vietnam. By 1978, the conflict between the rebels and the government had become a civil war. The rebels won in July 1979. Somoza resigned, left the country, and was eventually assassinated. Carter’s policy of non-intervention resulted in a foreign policy failure – the result was a failure in a peace settlement and a take-over by the new Sandanista Government (Adams 405) . A series of events provoked President’s Regan’s decision to invade Grenada. In October 1983, explosives set off by a terrorist collapsed a four-story marine headquarters building in Beirut. 241 U.S. Troops died as a result of the explosion, as fighting between Lebanese groups in Beirut increased, the United States began moving its troops stationed in

Beirut to offshore ships. Rebellions in Nicaragua and El Salvador also became a major concern in the early 1980’s. Cuba and the Soviet Union were giving war materials to the government of Nicaragua and the rebels of El Salvador. The United States, in turn, sent advisers and arms to the rebels in Nicaragua and the government of El Salvador (A.K.M. 260). In October 1983, Reagen ordered the invasion of the Caribbean island of Grenada after the Grenadian rebels overthrew the island’s government. Reagen said the invasion was needed to protect Americans in Grenada, including almost 600 students at St. George’s University School of Medicine. Reagen also said that Cuba was planning to use Grenada as a military base (Boyarsky 516). Despite, the hysteria surrounding the issue,