There were several reasons why the United States didn’t emerge victorious from the Vietnam War. One reason was how those in the United States and those in North Vietnam viewed the war. In North Vietnam, the people believed strongly in the cause of the war. They believed that if the...
There were several reasons why the United States didn’t emerge victorious from the Vietnam War. One reason was how those in the United States and those in North Vietnam viewed the war. In North Vietnam, the people believed strongly in the cause of the war. They believed that if the elections were held in South Vietnam in 1956, as required by the Geneva Accords, that the government of North Vietnam would have ruled the entire country. Because those elections weren’t held in South Vietnam, the people in North Vietnam believed they had been denied the right to rule all of Vietnam. Thus, they truly had a cause for which to fight. For most Americans, it seemed like we were fighting to stop the spread of a Communist government to South Vietnam. This was not a very motivating cause for most Americans. As the war dragged on, most Americans wanted us out of Vietnam.
Another reason for our difficulties is that we didn’t know how to fight the kind of warfare North Vietnam was waging against us. We knew how to fight a war where an army fights another army on a battlefield. However, in Vietnam, we were fighting a guerilla-style warfare where the enemy uses sneak attacks and hit and run techniques. The enemy would hide in the thick jungle terrain and launch surprise attacks on us. This was a new style of fighting, and we weren’t prepared for this kind of war. Additionally, this kind of warfare takes a long time to achieve success. Most Americans didn’t want a long war.
Finally, most Americans were opposed to war. Many Americans refused to serve when drafted. More and more protests occurred the longer the war lasted. When people realized the government wasn’t being honest with them about how the war was going, a credibility gap developed, and support for the war effort dropped even more. These factors prevented us from emerging victorious in the Vietnam War.