Vietnam Essay Research Paper VietnamBy the late

  • Просмотров 105
  • Скачиваний 5
  • Размер файла 15

Vietnam Essay, Research Paper Vietnam By the late 1960s, the conflict in Vietnam had escalated to a limited war involving approximately half a million military personnel and billions of dollars a year. The American presence in Indochina had steadily increased from the Truman administration to Kennedy’s decision to initiate greater American involvement in 1961. The peak of 543,000 American forces was achieved in 1969 and was the culmination of US aid to the nation of South Vietnam. The US policy since the beginning of the Cold War had been containment of Communist aggression and advances. US intentions of ensuring democracy throughout the world had not changed, however the US did not support the right of self-determination in Vietnam in scheduled elections in 1956. Rather an

incorrect analysis of the Vietnam situation: inaccurately identifying it with the previous Korean quagmire and the overall attitudes of indiscriminate fear of any communist movement, regardless of circumstances, prevailed over American foreign policy and helped begin an ill-advised escalation of American involvement into the Vietnamese civil war. The brief excerpts from The Arrogance of Power address these sentiments. J. William Fulbright discusses the reasons for American involvement in Vietnam as stemming significantly from previous American experiences, namely Korea and McCarthyism. Both factors created an environment where all communist movements were viewed with fear and hostility. More forthright American involvement was initiated in these prejudiced times, with indirect

military assistance to the French in Indochina in 1950, disregarding important considerations of nationalism and anti-colonialism. America’s involvement in Vietnam violated the terms of the Geneva Agreement of 1954 and American intervention was also justified by the American recognition of the demarcation line between North and South Vietnam as a valid political boundary, contrary to the Geneva Agreements specific statement that the line was strictly provisional. To find a solution, Fulbright declares that we must recognize that nationalism is the strongest political force in the world and we must therefore adjust our priorities accordingly, to accommodate the possibility of a communist influenced nationalist movement. We must allow a communist influence in the government

instead of attempting to repress a genuinely nationalist revolution, which is the case in Vietnam. In conclusion, Fulbright states that the Vietnam War drains valuable resources, which could be better spent on improving the general status of our country. Because American policy prioritized anti-communism over sympathy for nationalism, this created a dangerously erroneous view that the conflict was simply another incident of communist aggression that had to be contained at all costs, like Korea. Furthermore, the US violated the scheduled elections in 1956 by supporting “President Ngo Dinh Diem in his refusal to hold the elections provided for in the Geneva Accords, presumably because he feared that the communists would win . . .” This not only showed a fundamental problem with

US policy, but also the rejection of self-determination, which contrarily Johnson had stated as one of the reasons for US involvement in Indochina. According to Johnson, the US was in Vietnam, sacrificing lives to support “a world where each people may choose its own path to change.” Yet, the US simply violated the Geneva Accords with increased American support and intervention. Although the US military intervention had bolstered Diem’s government, it did not solve the fundamental problem of establishing a viable and stable nation in South Vietnam. In addition, US strategy proceeded not only in ignorance of the local circumstances, but apparently didn’t even have a clear plan to establish a lasting government or to effectively defeat the communists. This was compounded by