The Vietnam War

Start Your Free Trial

What made the Vietnam war different from others in US history?

Expert Answers info

Stephen Holliday eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write824 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

The U. S. failed to recognize that the Vietnam was a civil war, and most of the wars in which we engaged--most notably WWI and WWII--were wars based on one country's domination over another.

Ostensibly, we fought the Vietnam War to keep the southern part of the country--tenuously democratic (but with rigged elections)--from becoming part of the communist north.  At the time, the U. S. had a treaty obligation under SEATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organization) to help the South Vietnamese, and our assistance was "requested" under SEATO.  In addition, when we believed that the North Vietnamese fired on U. S. ships in internation waters, we believed we had justification for increased military involvement.

As our experience in Vietnam unfolded,...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 390 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial