Lessons for Vietnam WarDid United States foreign policy during the Vietnam War reflect lessons gained from the Cold War or the Korean War?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You could certainly argue that the US policy in Vietnam came out of the Korean War.  The Korean War would have left US policymakers with the idea that communists were waiting to strike whenever and wherever they could.  Policymakers might have thought that North Vietnam would attack South Vietnam if it got a chance, just like North Korea did to South Korea.  You could argue that this was the lesson they learned from the Korean War and you could argue that they got involved in supporting South Vietnam right away so as to prevent that from happening in Vietnam.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
You could argue that the United States did not learn the main lesson of Korea- you cannot win an unwinnable war. The US was not personally invested in the war. Most Americans cared about communism, but did not understand exactly what was happening in Korea. Turning the cold war into a hot war wasn't effective.