Vietnam War – USPC GS1

Write a critical note on the causes and consequences of Vietnam War (1955 – 1975). Do you think this War has any lessons for today’s aspirants of Superpower status? Comment. (200 Words)
US President Eisenhower (1953-61) was a supporter of the Domino Theory. After China, North Korea, South Vietnam will also goes the communist way sooner or later the communist revolution would reach all other Southeast Asian nations. This will threaten huge US investments in Japan.
Local Causes of War:
  1. 3/4th of Vietnamese population was comprised of Buddhist peasants who felt discriminated against under the government of President Diem who belonged to a wealthy Roman Catholic family.
  2. The peasants in South Vietnam demanded Land reforms on line of China and North Vietnam
  3. This led to opposition groups demanding a coalition government which would peacefully negotiate with the North Vietnam for forming a united Vietnam. But proposal was rejected.
US got militarily involved in South Vietnam against the Vietcong and USSR and China also got involved and supported the communists.
Consequences were US defeat and formation of Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
US failed in war because:
  1. wide public support against US in favour of NLF
  2. Guerrilla tactics and Camouflaging
  3. Ho Chi Min Trail – US failed to cut supplies
  4. Support from USSR and China through supplies
  5. Resilience of North Vietnamese
Vietnam was a biggest blow to American Hegemony. It is no doubt that Superpower needs to entertain public opinion in an act of aggression both home and abroad.
But, War of Yugoslavia (1990s), Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003) and Struggle in Libya (2012) are an example of irresponsible attitude of Super Powers, which justifies lessons from Vietnam War, remains unlearned.

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