Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Soviet Union, Communism, and the Vietnam War Essay example -- Commu

A quarter of a century after the Fall of Saigon, Vietnam continues to exercise a powerful hold of the American psyche. No deployment of American troops abroad is considered without the infusion of the Vietnam question. No formulation of strategic policy can be completed without weighing the possibility of Vietnanization. Even the politics of a person cannot be discussed without taking into account his opinion on the Vietnam Ware. This national obsession with Vietnam is perfectly national when viewed from a far. It was the only war that the United States has ever lost. It defined an era of American history that must rank with the depression as one of this nation’s most traumatic. It concluded with Watergate and led many to believe that the United States was in decline. Even with the sobering effect of time, passions concerning American policy and behavior in Southeast Asia reach a level normally associated with sensitive social issues. To understand why, one must look at Vietn am in the proper context. American involvement occurred in the middle of, and was the most visible engagement, of the defining paradign of the post World War II era, the Cold War. Only through this prism can the Vietnam experience be defined.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  One of the seven global powers entering World War II; the United States emerged as an undisputed â€Å"superpower.† Her economic and military night was overwhelming in a world ravaged by five years of total war. The only adversary of comparable power was a notion at the opposite end of the ideological spectrum, the Soviet Union. As the vanguard of the communist world, the U.S.S.R.’s raison d’etve was the facilitate the overthrow of the global capitalist system and replace it with a â€Å"dictatorship of the proletariat.† Thus the explicit mission of American Foreign policy after 1945 was opposition to communist advancement anywhere in the world. This took many forms and was backed by key assumption.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Central among then was the avoidance of a direct military confrontation between the Unites States and the Soviet Union. With the U.S.S.R. achieving nuclear capability in 1947 and both sides expanding their armed forces, a full out war was deemed unacceptable. The result of such a war was seen to be catastrophic to the survival of the planet. The lesson of the Korean War only reinforced this assumption. The infusion of Chinese troops quickly escalated ... ...rs. In fact, relations between Vietnam and China cooled considerably and even led to a brief border war between the two in the late 1970s. Vietnam also never became a threat to its region. While undoubtedly communist, Vietnam has never become a stridently aggressive Marxist state in the mold of North Korea, or even Cuba.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  The Cold War was to the rubric with which America Foreign Policy was formulated during the post World War II era. Confrontation and what was thought to be an inevitable war with the Soviet Union became the starting point of all American Strategic thinking. In this context, the U.S.’s relations with all countries had to be looked upon with the Soviet Union and communism in mind. This particularly held true with regards to Vietnam. Having â€Å"lost† China and gone through a war on the Korean peninsula, American policy makers felt that any more communist aggression had to be stopped at all costs. Mixing in the fact that an important ally was intent about keeping her colony, and distrust of Ho Chih Minh and his regime all combined to draw the Unites States into a conflict that was neither winnable or so unimportant as to allow the United States to disengage itself.

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