The United States actions and policies towards Vietnam occurred mainly due to the cold war between America and the Soviet Union. The tensions between the U.S and the USSR intensified after the Second World War in which the Soviet army invaded most of Eastern Europe (Stur, 2017). The Soviet created a Communist government in the protectorates which acted as a barrier between the Soviet Union and the Capitalist West. This escalated the contention with the U.S forces to prevent the spread of Communism to the most critical areas in Europe. The retaliation formed the basis of the United States policy and events during their involvement with Vietnam and the USSR (Stur, 2017). Therefore, most of the U.S actions were not in the interest of the nation but mainly to expand the Capitalist idea across the globe and remain the world superpower.
Americas Involvement in Vietnam (1945-1975)
The U.S involvement in Vietnam during the period of 1945-1975 was not for the interest of the Americas since the government used the fight for democracy as a way to justify the war. This is evident when the former President Jimmy Carter opposed the normalization of the relationship with the Vietnam government in1977 stating that the impact was mutual. The same statement was echoed by current Secretary of Defense during his visit to mark the 25th anniversary since the end of the war (Eyerman, Madigan & Ring, 2017). Moreover, the conflict divided the American people making them lose their trust in the government a faith that has never been restored. Consequently, the war led to a significant impact on the American both internally and externally as it was the first contention to be televised.
As such, the U.S press played the unforeseen role during the conflict as it portrayed American soldiers dying in a foreign nation that did not threaten the Country’s sovereignty. This negatively impacted the American citizens since the majority was not for the war. The conflict negatively affected the domestic stability of the U.S making the country to experience an extensive economic and political instability (Nguyen, 2014). Consequently, the war marked the fall of the American era as a powerful nation as it exposed its weaknesses and lowered its international prestige. The American policies towards Vietnam culminated in a substantial domestic disorder causing an increase in the anti-war movements which opposed the intensified recruitments of Americans to the war. This later steered a change of authority from the executive to the legislative branch and an end to the imperial presidential system. The foreign policies were integrated with the Vietnam syndrome to avert future repercussions.
The American policies and actions towards Vietnam were mainly based on the cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union. The contention was primarily to prevent the spread of the Communist ideologies to the critical parts of Europe. As such, the involvement was not for the interest of the U.S nationals but a form of enhancing the country’s superiority across the globe. This is evident when the former president Jimmy Carter ascertains that the impact of the conflict was mutual, hence, refuted the normalization of the U.S Vietnam relationship. Similarly, the majority of the U.S citizens opposed the contention as they accused the government of spreading propaganda of fighting democracy in a country that did not pose a threat to America’s sovereignty. Consequently, the war caused an internal domestic disorder and exposed the United States weaknesses thereby, lowering its international prestige.
Eyerman, R., Madigan, T., & Ring, M. (2017). Cultural trauma, collective memory and the Vietnam War. Politička misao: časopis za politologiju, 54(1-2), 11-31. Retrieved from: https://hrcak.srce.hr/index.php?id_clanak_jezik=270258&show=clanak
Nguyen, V. (2014). The Vietnam War: Was the price too high for the United States of America? [Ebook] (1st ed., pp. 1-57).
Stur, H. (2017). Why the United States Went to War in Vietnam. Retrieved from https://www.fpri.org/article/2017/04/united-states-went-war-vietnam/