U.S. Military History, 1890-Present

 

U.S. Military History, 1890-Present

Comprehensive Essay Question 1.

The Vietnam War is perceived to be one of the most significant events in United States history. The event influenced the millions of lives of Americans due to the high number of citizens enrolled in the army. Statistical data reveals that there were hundreds of thousands of U.S soldiers that were traumatized and wounded while more lost their lives. The War started in 1955 and ended in 1975. The historical period was in the age of the Cold War which was denoted by too much tension between the Soviet Union and the United States. Even though the War was caused by the U.S desire to stop communism spread had negative consequences on the American citizens together with social-political and economic repercussions, it aided in shaping the modern world history.

In 1969, the new president of the United States Richard M. Nixon had declared that America would keep its involvement in the Vietnam war to end the conflict and secure the U.S peace and honor for its all, South Vietnam. However, the leaders of North Vietnam refused the negotiations. They tried to go against the negotiations by invading the South. The invasion seemed to be succeeding at first, but the American airpower blunted the offensive. The Americans and North Vietnamese met to sign a peace agreement that all parties would cease-fire and that all the foreign troops, including the U.S, would withdraw from South Vietnam in 60 days after the signing of the agreement.

The agreement did mean not only victory for North Vietnam but also a way out for the Americans. Nixon approved the terms, but the then South Vietnamese President stopped the process leaving North Vietnamese soldiers in South Vietnam to continue with the War long after the Americans had left. For the Americans to gain the support of the South Vietnamese president, they reopened negotiations with the North on his objections. The North Vietnamese were offended and insisted on renegotiating some of the settled issues. This led to the collapse of the talks.

With the failure of democracy, Nixon was frustrated and concluded that it was the only force that could persuade Hanoi, the North Vietnamese president, that negotiation with them was better than continuing with the War. Nixon ordered Military commanders to mine the Haiphong Harbor in the Hanoi region. All significant military targets in the area were attacked by American bombing. Although the targets were military, its main aim was psychological to shock the North Vietnamese back to the negotiating table in ending the War. After signaling their willingness to agree, Nixon ended the air campaign believing that the bombing will keep the South Vietnamese in check that the American airpower was the dominant weapon against North Vietnamese.

The plan worked, and the Americans and North Vietnamese ironed out the final details of the settlement. All the conflict parties, south Vietnam, included signed the final agreement. However, only America did cease fire honor. The North wanted to destroy the South while the South wanted to defeat the North, meaning the only solution was to keep fighting until one side won. A day after ceasing fire, the American prisoners returned as well as the redeployment home of the remaining South Korean troops in South Vietnam. The agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam title did not end the War apart from the United States, nor did it restore peace in Vietnam.

Notably, the Selective Service System draft operation was introduced by the U.S before the initial plan worked to determine the order of call to military service in the Vietnam War. However, it was changed during the final moments of the Vietnam conflict. A man could show that he was a full-time student and making satisfying progress in any field of study. He could, therefore, continue with his education and be differed from service until he was old to be drafted. The state and local boards used the quota system to assign a certain number of men to the draft. There were incidents of favors due to personal relationships in deciding who was to be drafted by the board.

As the War kept dragging on and the number of American casualties increased. The Americans started being pessimistic about the War and government. The draft became unpopular along with the War for several reasons. Americans from wealthy families avoided it by paying for college, meaning the burden fell to the lower-income groups and the minority communities in the fight. The evaporation of the American’s trust in the government and politicians was another political factor. Papers from pentagon suggested that presidents from the 1950s had misled the public over the interests the U.S had on Vietnam with the Watergate scandal leading to the resignation of President Nixon for it revealed his illegal acts as well as those of the other federal officials.

The effects of the War affected the American society for it changed how the citizens viewed the government, the constitutional rights as well as the media. The behavioral changes of society left a lasting mark on the perception of Americans and their demand to be informed since the period of turmoil. The War provided a controversial issue that created a catalyst for a social structure just waiting to be provoked. The citizens believe that Vietnam destroyed the national government’s credibility as well as its political process.

Among the principal differences between the War in Vietnam and other irregular wars that the U.S. fought in the United States did not recognize that the Vietnamese War was civil, and most of the wars they had engaged in were wars that were based on a country’s domination over the other. Winning an irregular war means understanding what it means to agree for the better of the countries at War. The U.S fought the Vietnam war to keep the Southern part of the country democratic from becoming part of the North, which was a communist. It had a treaty obligation to aid the South Vietnamese. Additionally, U.S believed that the firing of the U.S ships by the North Vietnamese in the international waters had a justification of increased military involvement.

Another unique aspect of the Vietnamese War is that the U.S did not generally take, control, or occupy the land for its strategy was to kill the enemy. They did not have enough troops in the country to cover a considerable part of the country. Most of the Wars that the U.s has won included taking and occupying the land until the enemy had no room for hiding. Notably, in Vietnam, the Americans ignored that fundamental rule, and this assisted in ensuring their departure from Vietnam and North success. They won the War by holding and taking territory until it had finally conquered South Vietnam.

Population centric is one of the counterinsurgency strategies that the United States applied in irregular wars. It suggests that the counterinsurgent is the government. Still, in a lot of current cases, it is a lot difficult for the outside powers to force the governments to make some of the necessary political changes. The U.S had the experience in Vietnam and Afghanistan that an external power could not force the local government to be legitimate. Additionally, the deployment of large numbers of forces of the outside has not always been successful.

An indirect strategy is another part of the counter-insurgency strategies. It mainly focuses on equipping, advising, and supporting the local regular and irregular forces. The U.S intelligence agencies have executed this mode of assistance, including foreign internal defense and unconventional warfare. The U.S performed it in the efforts to help the Philippines, Thailand, and Columbia against their insurgents where they were successful in weakening and even defeating the subversive groups. In every case, the U.S used an indirect approach, which meant that it offered support and advice to the host country forces while the countries did the fighting. Even though the support included tactical leadership at times, the focus remained on assisting the host country and not on the U.S elements seizing the enemy.

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