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The current time is: 11/17/2017 11:21:41 PM
 (1946-1999) Other 20th Century Battles
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anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
Posts: 6033
Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/16/2017 8:03:26 AM
I would like to say this at the very beginning-I did not post this topic to cause offence; but rather to better understand the wry the might of the USA failed so completely. And I will understand those who do feel aggrieved-I lost my grandfather in the March 1918 German Spring Offensive-he was never found


Quote:
One of the most frustrating aspects of the Vietnam war from the Army's point of view is that as far as logistics and tactics were concerned we succeeded in everything we set out to do.

At the height of the war the Army was able to move almost a million soldiers a year in and out of Vietnam, feed them, clothe them, house them, supply them with arms and ammunition, and generally sustain them better than any Army had ever been sustained in the field.

To project an Army of that size halfway around the world was a logistics and management task of enormous magnitude, and we had been more than equal to the task. On the battlefield itself, the Army was unbeatable. In engagement after engagement the forces of the Viet Cong and of the North Vietnamese Army were thrown back with terrible losses.

Yet, in the end, it was North Vietnam, not the United States, that emerged victorious. How could we have succeeded so well, yet failed so miserably?


That is a disturbing question-what went wrong and why did this wrong occur ?????
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BWilson
, Posts: 3438
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/16/2017 8:11:43 AM
Jim,

 Thanks for the topic. It is a more focused topic to discuss the war in general than something like "Camp Carroll, 1967". But I suggest to anyone who wishes to comment to think more globally about the topic: its origins in the Second World War, the French presence, the several nations caught up in what was misnamed the "Vietnam War" (also fought on the territory of Laos and Cambodia). I think only by grasping some of the background can one understand the situation the USA inserted conventional forces into in 1965.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

BWilson
, Posts: 3438
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/16/2017 8:45:55 AM
Jim,

 To your specific question, the following may be interesting. It is from "The Rise and Fall of an American Army", by Shelby L. Stanton.


Quote:
On the wall of the War Plans Directorate in the Army General Staff used to hang a poster of a World War II infantryman with fixed bayonet advancing against the enemy. Underneath was the caption, "At the end of the most grandiose plans and strategies is a soldier walking point." It was a warning that if the soldier leading the attack could not carry the day, of if the mission was beyond his capabilities, then the plans and strategies were worthless. One of the terrible tragedies of the Vietnam War was that the reverse of that saying also proved to be true. No matter how bravely or how well the soldier on point did his job, if the plans and strategies were faulty, all the courage and bloodshed were for naught. (from the foreword written by Harry Summers)


Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
Posts: 6033
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/16/2017 9:03:38 AM

Quote:
I think only by grasping some of the background can one understand the situation the USA inserted conventional forces into- in 1965.


Thanks Bill for giving me a start=I gather from the above that ihe use of American conventional forces was not the way to fight this campaign-this is what did happen in the way of tactics. Hereunder gathered evidence of some of the
mpre obvious shortcomings in tactics using conventional troops


Quote:
The Vietcong's tactics
They fought a guerrilla war- as they had with the French previously and won, ambushing US patrols, setting booby traps and landmines, and planting bombs in towns. They mingled in with the peasants, wearing ordinary clothes. The Americans couldn't identify who the enemy was.

They were supplied with rockets and weapons by China and Russia. They used the Ho Chi Minh Trail - a jungle route through Laos and Cambodia - to supply their armies. The Americans couldn't attack their supply routes without escalating the war.

Their tactic was "hanging onto the belts" of the Americans - staying so close to the Americans so they could not use air or artillery backup without killing their own men.

The Americans' tactics
They fought a hi-tech war, using B52 bombers, artillery, helicopters, napalm and defoliants (Agent Orange). This killed many innocent civilians, and failed to stop the Vietcong guerrillas.

They forced the peasants to leave Vietcong-controlled areas and made them live in defended strategic hamlets in loyal areas. This created immense opposition, and allowed Vietcong infiltrators into loyal areas.

American troops were sent on patrols, then supported by air and artillery when attacked. This demoralised the soldiers, who realised they were being used just as bait.

Search and destroy patrols went out looking for "Charlie", as they called the Vietcong. But the patrols were very visible, and easy to ambush. This led to atrocities such as "zippo raids" to burn villages, and the unprovoked massacre of peaceful villagers at My Lai in 1968-


Do these infantry tactical shortcomiings tell the whole story -I think not.There is a much greater issue to fathom and Bill's clue was in the word GLOBAL

Regards

Jim
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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
Posts: 6033
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/16/2017 10:26:51 AM

Quote:
Experience has shown that Vietnam–US relations are not determined by specific individuals, but by three factors: China, economic interests and human rights. China has become a pull and push factor in the Vietnam–US relationship over the last four decades.

Efforts to normalise Vietnam–US relations in the late 1970s failed partly because of China’s increased cooperation with the United States and their embargo of what Deng Xiaoping called the ‘Cuba of the East’. Vietnam and the United States subsequently halted talks about normalisation until the early 1990s.

The rise of China and its continuing aggressive activity in the South China Sea have now pushed Vietnam and the United States closer. Both countries realise that China could be a threat to their national interests and security, and the United States is relying on Vietnam to help make its pivot to Asia a reality.


So did the US throw in the towel for fear of upsetting China im their protectionist policy on South Vietnam.?????
There interest and meddling went beyond South Vietnam into neighbouring countries of Laos and Cambodia--nothing to do with normal US Army actions

Regards

Jim
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John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
Posts: 523
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/16/2017 12:09:02 PM
Jim,

With respect Cambodia and Laos were part of French Indochina and were in the war from start to finish, against the French and then North vs South. Hell the location of Dien Bien Phu was in part a attempt to protect Laos and cut off the invasion and supply route to the South and Cambodia from the sanctuary and base areas in China. The Viet Minh had Cambodian and Laotion elements and the Kmer Rouge and Pathet Lao are creations of the Viet Minh and patrons of North Vietnam. And it wasn't the US that constructed the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos and Cambodia.

Now if your talking about the Chinese relationship with Indochina the meddling and wars go back centuries. It really was bribery by the Soviets that got the Chinese helping the Viets. Against the French the Chinese donated capture US artillery and ammo from Korea in exchange for the outfitting of the entire Chinese Army with brand new Russian made artillery.

Yes the war against the French was a war against colonialism but it was also a war to spread communism. Its not as black and white as some would paint it.

EDIT I also wonder how much the "Killing Fields" in Cambodian had to play in the inability to normalize relation in the late 70's both as motivation to attempt and a reason to reject? A Hell of a lot of shades of grey going on!
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
Posts: 6033
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/16/2017 1:02:39 PM
Have read tour post with interest John and thanks-there is a lot of French military history set therein; but what I am after is an opinion as to why the USA was faced with such a humiliating military defeat-despite the huge military presence in the field.

Was it Tactical,Strategic or Political mistakes. And why were the USA there in the first place.???

I am fully aware of the Magnitude of this question-I sincerely want to be able to understand this undertaking-given of course- there is an answer.

Regards

Jim
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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

BWilson
, Posts: 3438
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/16/2017 1:30:53 PM
Jim,

 You may wish to compare it to the Malayan Emergency. The initial rounds of that took twelve years to defeat the communist insurgents. And that only occurred because the British (and Commonwealth) forces could adequately squeeze the supply lines of the communist insurgents. That was impossible in the Vietnam War with North Vietnam sitting cheek by jowl with communist China; Hanoi would always receive matériel support, and the regime there was willing to expend as many Vietnamese lives as necessary to attain their goals.

 Look at the photo below. Almost makes one feel pity for the captured Viet Cong, doesn't it ? Here's the catch: the photo is from 1952 in the Malayan Emergency and the insurgent is therefore not a VC. But I think the photo instructive because it illustrates just how much raw emotion is evoked by the scenes of war, especially insurgencies ... and how much photos of such can resemble each other.



Cheers,

BW
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With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
Posts: 6033
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/16/2017 1:46:45 PM

Quote:
The conflicts in Malaya and Vietnam have been compared many times and it has been asked by historians how a British force of 35,000 succeeded where over half a million U.S. soldiers failed in a smaller area. The two conflicts differ in several key points.

Whereas the MNLA never numbered more than about 8,000 insurgents, the Peoples' Army of (North) Vietnam fielded over a quarter-million soldiers, in addition to roughly 100,000 National Liberation Front (or Vietcong) guerillas.

The combined support of the Soviet Union, North Korea,[53] Cuba and the People's Republic of China (PRC) provided large amounts of the latest military hardware, logistical support, personnel and training to North Vietnam.

North Vietnam's shared border with its ally China (PRC) allowed for continuous assistance and resupply.


So- it was China who were calling the shots ???????!!!

Regards

Jim
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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

BWilson
, Posts: 3438
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/16/2017 1:58:05 PM

Quote:

Quote:
The conflicts in Malaya and Vietnam have been compared many times and it has been asked by historians how a British force of 35,000 succeeded where over half a million U.S. soldiers failed in a smaller area. The two conflicts differ in several key points.

Whereas the MNLA never numbered more than about 8,000 insurgents, the Peoples' Army of (North) Vietnam fielded over a quarter-million soldiers, in addition to roughly 100,000 National Liberation Front (or Vietcong) guerillas.

The combined support of the Soviet Union, North Korea,[53] Cuba and the People's Republic of China (PRC) provided large amounts of the latest military hardware, logistical support, personnel and training to North Vietnam.

North Vietnam's shared border with its ally China (PRC) allowed for continuous assistance and resupply.


So- it was China who were calling the shots ???????!!!

Regards

Jim
--anemone


 Consider the Korean War. Without Chinese intervention, that would have been completely over within five months. One could make a case that the Vietnam War was lost in 1949 ... when the communists won the civil war in China.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
Posts: 523
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/16/2017 5:24:58 PM
Jim;

But it wasn't a military defeat it was a defeat of the political will of the country to win the war. The strategy was a war of attrition and in 74 the NVA was drafting 13 and 14 year olds and 70-75% of the manpower of the VC, military and political came from the North. The NVA rank and file had a slogan, "Born in the North to die in the South."

IMHO the mistakes were political in that Johnson wanted to win the war without any effect on his domestic policy and not preparing the people for the challenges ahead. Basically expecting a quick and easy victory and in effect not trying to win the war but force the North to a negotiated settlement. Victory wasn't winning the war victory was forcing the North to the table. We never tried to win the war.

Why was the US in Germany and why NATO or SEATO? Why was there a Cold War? Why did GB & France draw the line in the sand with Poland? There is self interest, economics and maybe just a little bit of wanting to help people who don't want to be ruled by a communist dictatorship.

---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
Posts: 523
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/16/2017 5:31:24 PM
BW,

I think a case could be made that it was 42 when Archimedes Patti of the OSS started supporting Ho as a US proxy force against the Japanese.

Edit It gave him credibility and arms
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
Posts: 1092
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/17/2017 1:15:35 AM
As others have said, there were to many constraints on the war.

Many for the legitimate reason of direct Chinese intervention; such as a lack of an invasion of the north and the very tight controls on bombing and naval action in the north. Others were for international opinion; to maintain the support of participating allies such as Australia and Sth Korea and non-participating allies such as Britain, neutrals and even adversaries like the communist bloc. Still others were to maintain local support in South Vietnam; so that not too many people would support the VC/NVA on the ground in the South. Then there was domestic opinion in a war that wasn't because of a threat to the US itself.

When you add all these together its little wonder the US couldn't exert itself fully to take the win which she ostensibly had the power to do.
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Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
Posts: 6033
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/17/2017 3:02:23 AM
Many thanks gentlemen for the great input; which so far as I am concerned --unravels this "can of worms" and all is made perfectly clear to me now.

Regards

Jim
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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
Posts: 6033
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/18/2017 2:47:13 AM
Aftermath

With political unrest at home and little to show for military efforts in the field, the American government called it quits and pretty much did for the South Vietnamese, leaving them alone to be crushed by a North Vietnam- still well supported by China.The fallout was immediate and catastrophic.-the Arab Spring started (IMO).


Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

BWilson
, Posts: 3438
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/18/2017 3:54:36 AM
Jim,

 The various conflicts in the Middle East today are rooted in events that took place long before 2001. The Arabs were chafing pretty much the entire 20th century (Rif War, Iraq in the Second World War, Nasser, Arab-Israeli Wars, etc. -- etc.) . What is today called the Arab Spring was young Arabs recognizing that their societies are stagnant ... but violence pretty much pushed that to the side. The current spate of guerilla wars and terrorism are only a continuation of the asymmetric warfare the Arabs have waged on-and-off for a century now. But yes, the "Oil Crisis" of 1973 was IMO a direct consequence of American failure in Vietnam. The Arabs knew the USA would not react with the American military in 1973.

Cheers,

BW
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With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
Posts: 6033
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/18/2017 4:16:25 AM
Accepted Bill- US intervention has become a continuum of the events of 1971-another 36 years of upheaval around the world; and can one say that anything has been fixed/sorted out.

I get the impression it is a sort of game invented by the USA tfor only world powers yo play ie. USA, USSR and China- with the minnows looking on or bade to hold the coats of their champions.

The price the entire West has since paid for such a stunning failure to defeat Communist guerillas and other unsavoury factions has been enormous. That legacy is not yet over, and more instalments of the bill are yet to be paid.

Regard

Jim
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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

BWilson
, Posts: 3438
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/18/2017 6:25:53 AM
I get the impression it is a sort of game invented by the USA for only world powers yo play

 I would say your impression is not necessarily wrong, but the situation is more a consequence of the emergence of atomic, and later, nuclear weapons. That has created two stark groups: those who have the bomb, and those who don't.

Cheers

BW
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With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
Posts: 5513
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/18/2017 6:45:27 AM
We rely heavily on the USA influence to keep a check on those forces, including nuclear, whose use would be catastrophic.

The US has assumed and most of us have supported, the leadership of our countries with like minded foreign policies, in many areas.

We, meaning Canada, rely perhaps too much on the military might of our neighbour to assure our safety but greatly appreciate that it is there.

The pressure on the US to make the right decisions brings great criticism both from her own citizens and from allies. I think that it comes with the territory. Great Britain used to take a lot of heat for her foreign policy too when she was the big fish.

And we hope that those decisions with respect to domestic and foreign policy do not place us in uncompromising positions, compelling us to participate in activities that may not make sense to us.

That has happened more often than I would like in the Middle East

So US interests are more wide reaching than most of us, the minnows to which Jim alluded.

I confess that at times I do not understand why the US is so interested in a particular part of the world. Geopolitics can confound.

I do not think that the US invented this international chess game between the great powers. She just happens to be one of those powers right now.

If a game is being played then we have to hope that the moves that the US is making are based on sound judgement and reasonable action, especially if the rest of us are asked to support that action.

Cheers,

George

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
Posts: 6033
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/18/2017 7:35:34 AM
Thanks for that George-much id therein that I agree with.

However when I look back at GB's history abroad -I shudder at the enormity of some of the stunts we ha have pulled- particularly in the Nineteenth Century 1856 saw us at war with Persia over their rightful claim to the city of Herat wich gave the British Army another outing during the Crimean War.!857-1859 the Indian Mutiny-a very highhanded action which caused a storm in a teacup.

Then a a war with China over Opium followed by a war in New Zealand because it was thought the Maoris were getting out of hand when they rebelled against the British treatment and so it went on right through that century ad nauseam.

In a way an epitome of what the USA are doing today.

Regards

Jim
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jahenders
Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Posts: 54
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/18/2017 10:38:20 AM
Three primary reasons:

1) The war was often/primarily a COIN operation. COIN is hard, takes a long time, and doesn't succeed without good political decisions and committment. Our allies (the South Vietnamize) routinely made horrible political decisions (as did we) that made the situation worse.

2) Our political leaders vacillated on the intent and the rules of engagement and often imposed limitations that made victory unlikely and casualties higher

3) Internal political opposition led to political limitations and, ultimately, to getting out when we might otherwise have achieved a Korea-like 'peace'

BWilson
, Posts: 3438
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/18/2017 12:23:12 PM

Quote:
Three primary reasons:

1) The war was often/primarily a COIN operation. COIN is hard, takes a long time, and doesn't succeed without good political decisions and committment. Our allies (the South Vietnamize) routinely made horrible political decisions (as did we) that made the situation worse.

2) Our political leaders vacillated on the intent and the rules of engagement and often imposed limitations that made victory unlikely and casualties higher

3) Internal political opposition led to political limitations and, ultimately, to getting out when we might otherwise have achieved a Korea-like 'peace'

--jahenders


Jahenders,

 Good comments, especially "COIN is hard".

 I think one of the reasons a broader view is useful in the case of Vietnam is that it was hardly the first fight against a communist insurgency: Greece and Malaya come to mind, and both of those ended on terms that while not 'wonderful', were acceptable to the West. Then there was Korea, not an insurgency, but all-out conventional warfare (sans A-bombs) ... and that ended in a draw, which for sixty years or so, was acceptable to the West. Long forgotten is Turkey in 1945-46, in which Stalin attempted to crumple Turkish sovereignty. Again, a win for the West because the USA chose to back Turkey and the USSR backed down. It was all quite a mixed bag.

Cheers

BW
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With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Emanon
Gibsonia, PA, USA
Posts: 15
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/18/2017 9:57:03 PM

Quote:
Aftermath

With political unrest at home and little to show for military efforts in the field, the American government called it quits and pretty much did for the South Vietnamese, leaving them alone to be crushed by a North Vietnam- still well supported by China.The fallout was immediate and catastrophic.-the Arab Spring started (IMO).


Regards

Jim
--anemone

There are some people in the US who think that the US had just about defeated the North Vietnamese military by 1972.

The US then withdrew most of its troops.

The South Vietnamese were expected to hold the line on their own. The US promised supplies, air support, and naval support, but the ground troops were going to be South Vietnamese.

Then Watergate broke, and the US administration was crippled and unable to stop a Democratic Congress from cutting off almost all aid to South Vietnam.

North Vietnam rebuilt its shattered army and attacked before the US could put its own house in order and restore its ally's ability to fight.

It could be argued, if you accept this line of reasoning, that Richard Nixon's flawed character was the reason why the war was lost.

It's an interesting variation on the theme that the war was lost by politics rather than combat.

I don't know if it's correct, I was a child when this all occurred, but I do remember extreme cynicism and distrust in the wisdom of the government were prevalent at the time. I wondered why the adults were so angry until I became old enough to understand the recent history of the US.

As a side note, they didn't even try to teach us any history in school that occurred after WWII, because the entire Vietnam controversy was still too fresh.

BWilson
, Posts: 3438
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/19/2017 1:56:08 AM
As a side note, they didn't even try to teach us any history in school that occurred after WWII, because the entire Vietnam controversy was still too fresh.

 Heh, you're lucky your courses got as far as World War II! I always looked forward to history courses in school getting to that period, but the "teacher ran out of time" and it got summarized, at best, in a quick hour or two. Korean War -- never even got close to the 1950s or beyond. Looking back on it, I feel like we were not given any third-party (school) interpretation of recent history that would have provided us with some orientation as to how the world we knew it as children came to be. I was fortunate to have two parents who lived through the war and who both had a strong interest in those events and what came after.

Then Watergate broke

 My father at that time was in the Army and had regular contact with several general officers. One of the generals told him that orders had been given to Army generals that if Nixon ordered the 82nd Airborne Division to secure the White House, those orders were to be disobeyed. Such was the emotion and tension of that scandal, and this anecdote indicates Army leadership did not trust Nixon.

Cheers

BW
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With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
Posts: 6033
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/19/2017 3:28:45 AM

Quote:
Watergate can be usefully understood as part of an immense drama in which the constitutional order with respect to foreign policy and war powers founded after 1945 became increasingly unstable.

The appalling costs of the Vietnam War and the crash of Nixon’s presidency showed the jerry-built and provisional character of the Cold War constitutional order. The qualitative difference that war makes to government reasserted itself with a vengeance and showed that the kind of deliberation allowed by the post-1945 order was shockingly inadequate.

The premises of the Cold War order would never again be sufficient by themselves to compel the nation to engage in conventional war. A further consequence was the crippling legacy of the loss of trust in government.

While Vietnam and Watergate were not the only causes of the decline of trust in government in the 1960s and 1970s, they were significant contributors to a decline that was permanent in the sense that it has never been restored to the level prevailing before the war. 129 In this respect, we are still dealing with the consequences of Vietnam and Watergate.


Regards

Jim
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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

JerseyGuy
Point Pleasant, NU, USA
Posts: 1
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/19/2017 6:16:33 PM
A good book to read on this topic is the sequel to "We were Soldiers Once...and Young".
It cover the return of the US commanding officer on the ground during the battle to the Ia Drang valley and his return to Viet Nam.

He covers this topic in detail.
A good read.

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
Posts: 523
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/19/2017 6:48:34 PM
Emanon,

A couple of points. First The NVA were defeated when the conventional invasion in Spring of 72 was defeated and thrown back. The problem was the Peace Treaty then agreed to by the US and North Vietnam and forced upon the South Vietnamese left NVA troops in control of territory within South Vietnam. In effect they took away the first line of defense south of the DMZ and gave it to the NVA.

Second not only did Congress cut aid to South Vietnam in the final year when South Vietnam was under attack and begging for a increase in aid they not only refused to increase but the cut the amount of aid already approved. A ARVN taught to rely on movement and overwhelming fire power had half its Air Force. helicopter fleet grounded and armor disabled for lack of fuel, remember the gas crisis and the cost rising significantly, and spare parts while artillery units were down to a ration of 3 rounds per day and some infantry down to a ration of 30 rounds per week.

Third the NVA really didn't rebuild they had it rebuilt for them by China and the Soviet Union. By 72 85% of everything the North produced and consumed came from outside the country. They were completely dependent on the aid of the communist bloc.

If you are interested try "Black April, The Fall of South Vietnam 1973-1975"
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
Posts: 523
Re: Why was the Vietnam War an Abject Failure for the USA
Posted on: 10/19/2017 6:53:56 PM
BWilson,

I took extra history class jr and sr years in high school instead of a study hall so I could get past WWI. Only way it worked was I played football and baseball so I didn't have to take gym the sports were in effect my gym.

---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"