Of anything you could be asked to write an essay on, Vietnam War essays can be some of the most interesting while also the most challenging around. This is because, while there is a huge amount of information out there about the war, often this can be conflicting or come from very different points of view so it can be hard to discern the “real” truth, if such a thing ever exists in war time! Here we show you how it can be done.
With the exit of the colonial French authorities, despite significant American support, the situation in Vietnam had started to move closer to civil war between the Communist North and the Western-backed South. While initially not wanting to get involved in a serious land war in Asia, American Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy realized that it was going to become a key battleground in their mission to “contain” Communism. With the rise of Communist governments across the world, America felt it must make a serious and tangible stand, this meant “boots on the ground”.
Flashpoints in the war:
With a coup and general chaos in the South, the North seized its opportunity and increased its support and involvement in subversive actions with the goal of unifying the nation. As the South Vietnamese were proving incapable of defending themselves, the United States, with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964, began mass troop deployments to the country. By December 1965 this numbered 200,000 soldiers and would reach a peak of over half a million by 1968. The push was huge but it would prove massively unpopular.
Despite the huge investment of both money and manpower, the war was still going against the US and its allies. Under pressure from mass anti-war protests at home and losing support internationally, President Nixon decided on gradual withdrawal, with the intention of eventually leaving everything in the hands of the South Vietnamese army. Following some major defeats this seemed impossible but US troops were continuously withdrawn until early 1973 when the US announced a suspension of offensive action, which was soon followed by the Paris Accords peace treaty. The War had cost a huge amount of lives, both Vietnamese and American and ultimately proved a huge failure and embarrassment for US foreign policy.