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A prolonged civil conflict

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A prolonged civil conflict

The reasons why the Vietnam War lasted so long is a very controversial subject among Americans. There is no simple answer to as why the war lasted so long. Many factors have to be considered when analyzing the war. The first factor that has to be considered is whether or not the U.S. really belonged in the Vietnam War in the first place. The initial reason that the U.S. became involved in Vietnam was because they thought that North Vietnam was going to Russia and China, which were communist countries, for support. Because of the containment policy, the U.S. felt it had to defend South Vietnam from communism. They thought that Russia was trying to take over Europe and make it one communist state. Herring says, ?The United States formally committed itself to he containment of Soviet expansion in Europe, and throughout the next two years attention was riveted on France, where economic stagnation and political instability aroused grave fears of communists takeover? (11). However, all Ho and North Vietnam wanted was for their country to be reunited. ?For the Vietminh, unification of their not only represented fulfillment of the centuries-old dream of Vietnamese nationalists but also was economic necessity? (8). The Vietminh asked the U.S. for support but because they thought that North Vietnam was influenced by Russia, the U.S. turned them down. It was not until later that the Vietminh went to Mao Tse-tung's Chinese Communists for support out of desperateness. From the very beginning, 'the U.S. had attached itself to a losing cause? (19). Because the U.S. was obsessed with the domino theory and a communist threat in Southeast Asia, they became involved in and were partly to blame for prolonging a civil conflict.

After the U.S. had initially become involved in Vietnam's civil conflict, they kept getting more and more involved. Besides several bomb raids the U.S. also kept sending more and more troops into South Vietnam. The massive bomb raids and the continuous flow of troops into South Vietnam established the U.S.'s policy; they were willing to give full support to South Vietnam and fight in a war in order to stop the spread of communism. As Herring says, the U.S. also insisted 'that an important interest had been established that had to be defended for the sake of U.S. credibility throughout the world? (309).

This leads to the second factor to as why the war lasted so long. The U.S.'s military was not prepared to fight the kind of war that the Vietminh were fighting. They were not used to he guerrilla warfare that the Vietminh used. Americans were trained to fight against ...

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