The Vietnam War is one of the most contentious wars in United States history. When it ended, Vietnam was split into two states, communist Vietnam and non-communist Vietnam. Today, Vietnam remains a communist state while South Vietnam has for the most part embraced capitalism.
The Vietnam War was a military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 29 April 1975. This war was fought between North Vietnam—supported by China and other communist allies—and the government of South Vietnam—supported by the United States and other anti-communist allies. The Viet Cong (also known as the National Liberation Front, or NLF), a lightly armed South Vietnamese communist common front directed by the North Vietnamese Communist Party, largely fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region.
The Vietnam War is sometimes considered a Cold War-era proxy war. This interpretation regards America’s role in the Vietnam War as representing their ” containment ” policy of stopping the spread of communism in Asia. Vietnam’s conflict with the United States stemmed from a series of events following World War II when France attempted to reassert control over Vietnam after they were defeated by Japan. The United States supported France, but Vietnam declared independence under Ho Chi Minh.
Vietnam became divided into two regions at the Geneva Conference in 1954, temporarily ending French rule and separating North Vietnam from South Vietnam. In 1957, Diem announced military coups in Saigon, which was met by harsh criticism from the U. S. , and set forth an agenda of stabilizing South Vietnam that included destroying what he referred to as ” subversive influence ” and ” insubordination . ” By 1961, American advisers began arriving in Vietnam and America sent Vietnam $1 billion in military assistance.
The Vietnam War began to escalate as the U. S aided South Vietnam in resisting advances by communist North Vietnam and the Viet Cong, which included sending troops into Vietnam. According to a mass media campaign by anti-war activists, Vietnam veterans were responsible for perpetrating widespread war crimes or disregarding rules of engagement. This conflict ended with the failure of America’s Vietnamization policy—which aimed to strengthen South Vietnam’s fighting capabilities so American troops could withdraw—and the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975.
Despite being involved for 17 years, it is said that “the Vietnam War” lasted one decade because during Nixon’s presidency he reduced troop levels gradually until 541 were left at the end of 1971. By 1973 all troops had left Vietnam and the U. S bombing of Vietnam finally ceased in January 1973. Vietnam War lasted so long mainly because both sides did not want to go back on their commitments and give up everything they had invested in the war: America was concerned with stopping the spread of Communism, while Vietnam was more interested in resisting foreign forces from trying to recolonize Vietnam.
The Vietnam War was not started as a war between communism and capitalism, however. Vietnam had originally been composed of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. After Vietnam’s independence from France they became embroiled in a civil war.
The Vietnam War is not just called the Vietnam War, but also the Second Indochina War. The first “Indochina War” was fought between Vietnam and France over Vietnam’s desire to become its own sovereign nation separate from French rule.
When France recognized Vietnam as an independent state, it allowed Vietnam to be divided into two regions with Ho Chi Minh governing North Vietnam while Bao Dai ruled South Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh wanted all of Vietnam united under one government, so he entered into an alliance with China. This alliance would eventually lead to entry by United States troops into Vietnam.
North Vietnam entered South Vietnam and attempted to forcibly unite the two countries. This attack on South Vietnam was known as the Tet Offensive. The United States’ response to this attack led to a campaign called Operation Rolling Thunder which involved the bombing of targets in North Vietnam.
Vietnam War lasted for nearly 20 years because of Vietnam’s geographical location, Vietnam’s climate, Vietnam’s “aggressiveness” in response to the US, Vietnam’s lack of allies due to being non-aligned, North Vietnam having a stronger military than South Vietnam, and Vietnam being divided into states. First is Vietnam’s geographical location. This factor has two major reasons for why the Vietnam War lasted so long. The first reason is because of Laos. Laos was a small country near Vietnam that shared borders with Southeast Asia countries including Thailand and Cambodia.
Laos had important passages called the Ho Chi Minh Trail that allowed people to walk through it freely without any trouble from the police or anyone else. However, there were also military bases built in this area of Vietnam which made Vietnam an easy target for North Vietnam. The Ho Chi Minh trail was used as a military base to attack South Vietnam with bombs, weapons, and troops on many occasions. The second reason is because of Vietnam’s narrow width. Vietnam has the most number of rice fields in the whole world due to its smaller size of width.
Vietnam had more than 12,700 square miles of land that was used for rice farming throughout Vietnam’s history up until today. This factor gave Vietnam many opportunities to grow food daily which enabled Vietnam’s people to increase their population through birth rates without having enough space for its citizens due to Vietnam being so small in length yet very tall in height. This wide amount of lands had also kept Vietnam from gaining more land. Vietnam’s geographical location had made Vietnam grow into a larger population throughout Vietnam’s history of progression.
Due to Vietnam having such a major advantage of Vietnam’s geographical location, Vietnam was transformed from one country with many different ethnic groups (before French colonized Vietnam) into two countries called North and South Vietnam. This factor allowed the United States to take over the whole of Vietnam once more by developing relations with South Vietnam and getting involved in its civil war which gave birth to the Vietnam War and why it lasted so long and eventually ended up defeating the United States after 20 years or so.
Another reason for what caused the Vietnam War is because of North Vietnam being more aggressive than South Vietnam. North Vietnam developed an army that attacked South Vietnam from Vietnam’s many entry points from Laos and Cambodia. Vietnam’s aggressive nature caused the Vietnam War to last so long because of Vietnam being divided into two countries called North Vietnam and South Vietnam.
This allowed North Vietnam to attack South Vietnam from different directions through Vietnam’s borders without any problems with a neighboring country such as China or Thailand that were located much further away from Vietnam compared to other Southeast Asia countries that were closer geographically to Vietnam. This factor also enabled the United States to defeat North Vietnam after nearly 20 years due to how close it was located next door to the United States compared to other Southeast Asia countries like China or Thailand which are located much farther away than North Vietnam is.
The Vietnam War did not end until 1975 when North Vietnam captured Saigon, South Vietnam’s capital city. In 1976, Vietnam became one country with one government once more.