Should the United States Have Gone to War in Vietnam?

Published: 2019-07-08 07:30:00
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The Vietnam War intensified due to the great fear that the United States had of communism spreading throughout the world. This was due to the Domino theory that was prominent for almost thirty years from the 1950s to the 1980s (Werner and Huynh 236). This was just a speculation that if one country in a region became a communist country, the other countries in the same region would follow suit. The Vietnam nation was divided in two parts, North Vietnam that was under the influence of communism, and South Vietnam which was under the influence of capitalism. The United States and the Soviet Union had emerged as superpowers after the Second World War and each one of them was determined to spread its own ideologies throughout the world. However, the United States should not have involved itself with the Vietnam War because first of all the internal conflicts and political battles of Vietnam did not affect America, second, it was a violation of international law, and third, the war was unwinnable and it cost lives and a lot of money.

To start with, the United States should never have gone to war in Vietnam because the Vietnamese internal affairs did not concern them at all. The US send its soldiers to kill and fight for a cause they did not have let alone believe in (Crandell n.p.). The US was obsessed with the domino theory that once Vietnam became a communist country other countries in East Asia will follow suit. Instead of preaching peace in Vietnam or just staying out of the Vietnamese affairs, the presence of the US troops in Vietnam only served to ignite a dangerous flame in all of Indochina. They tried to force the Vietnamese people to adopt their capitalist ideologies and this led to a bloody war that almost lasted for twenty years.

Additionally, the United States should not have involved itself in the Vietnam War because that was a violation of the international law. Just like Ho Chi Minh cited the US Declaration of Independence as well as the French Declaration on the Rights of Man and the Citizens, it is true that every person on earth is born free and with equal rights (Minh 17). First of all, the Vietnamese people had their right to choose what they wanted in their country, capitalism, or communism. It was not upon the United States or any other nation to try and impose their own ideological ideas on free people who were able to choose for themselves. The letter that President Nixon wrote to President Nguyen Van Thieu on 5th of January 1973 shows that the US was forcing Vietnam to comply to US ideologies (Nixon n.p.). It is not like Vietnam had attacked the US because this would have been a legitimate reason for the US to enter the war.

Furthermore, the United States should have stayed out of the Vietnam War especially because its involvement led to loss of millions of lives as well as loss of trillions of dollars. American soldiers as well as Vietnamese soldiers lost their lives in the war (Johnson n.p.). Worst of all, innocent civilians including women and children lost their lives in the war and others sustained a lot of injuries while at the same time leaving the nation of Vietnam economically crippled (Werner and Huynh 233). Property of great value was also lost. It is important to note that the Vietnam War begun after the Second World War came to an end. This was a period when most countries have been depleted of resources that had been used in the Second World War. Instead of wasting its resources in the Vietnam War, the United States should have concentrated more on rebuilding its nation. Moreover, this war was unwinnable considering that the US and the Soviet Union were both backing the war, the US backing South Vietnam and the Soviet Union backing North Vietnam (Eisenhower n.p.). To conclude, there are many reasons that show that the United States should not have gone to war in Vietnam. First, the Vietnam War did not affect the United States in any way save for their fear of the spread of communism in East Asia. Second, it was against the international law for the US to enter the Vietnam War given that the Vietnamese had a right to choose what they thought best for their country, Last but not least, the war was very costly in terms of lives lost and vast amount of money that was lost in the war.

Works Cited

Crandell, W. Marine. Testimony by Marine William Crandell at the Winter Soldier Investigation, January 31 and February 1, 1971.

Eisenhower, D. Dwight. Letters Outlining the Decision Not to Intervene at Dien Bien Phu (1954)

Johnson, Lyndon. Message to Congress and the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. 1964

Minh, C. Ho. Declaration of Independence for the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, September 2, 1945, in Ho Chi Minh, Selected Works (Hanoi, 19601962), Vol. 3, pp. 1721.f

Nixon, Richard. Letter from President Nixon to President Nguyen Van Thieu (January 5, 1973)

Werner, Jayne, and Huynh, Luu. The Vietnam War: Vietnamese and American Perspectives. 2015.

sheldon

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