On the official level, are we over Vietnam conflict?
We never saved face for the debacle in Vietnam. The USA kind of just forgot about it. The only permament stain it had was on the military, who recovered after the Gulf War, when they proved they could win a war. So, on the official level, are we over the Vietnam conflict?
There are ways in which we are over the war and ways in which we are not.
First, it should be pointed out that the Gulf War of 1991 did not lay to rest the impact of the Vietnam War. That war was a conventional war of army against army. America has never lost that sort of a war so the victory over Iraq in that war did not relegate Vietnam to a mere memory.
Vietnam continues to affect our military. The military is resistant to the idea of begin put into another situation like the one in Vietnam. It does not want to be put into situations where the mission is not clear. In addition, the military has tried to use the lessons of Vietnam to guide its actions in present-day counter-insurgency situations. In these ways, we are not over Vietnam.
However, our foreign policy makers appear to be over Vietnam to a large degree. They no longer seem to be overly worried about asking our military to go into a situation where victory is not primarily achieved through military force. If they had been worried about this, it is much less likely that we would have gotten involved in Iraq and Afghanistan in the ways that we have.