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Unformatted text preview: Lessons of Vietnam 04/04/2008 08:28:00 ← 3 Attempts to draw lessons from the Vietnam War • Victory was Possible o US could have won in Vietnam if we had followed a different course o The problem was not the ends, but the means Non-communist Vietnam was both feasible and beneficial Went about fighting the war in the wrong way o “Once we commit US prestige, US shouldn’t relent until the mission is accomplished.” o Mostly military men and hard-line conservatives o Different approaches Quick-victory approach Great American mistake was not acting swiftly enough at the beginning • White House kept pussyfooting between compromise and full-scale escalation “If it’s worth putting troops in, it’s worth going all out to win.” US should have done the following • Sent 750,000 or 1 million troops to Vietnam all out once • Mined Hai Phong Harbor were the military aid to NV came in and bombed rail links to China • Unleashed systematic bombing campaign against all of Vietnam • Invaded communists sanctuaries in Laos and Cambodia in order to cut HCMT Vietnamese communists would have been forced to accept the impossibility of victory in the first place Weariness that came with the long war would have been short-circuited Often said that victory of Gulf War showed validity of this approach Objections • Limited evidence that big escalation in early 60s would have broken NV spirit or gained the quick victory •...
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This note was uploaded on 04/06/2008 for the course HIST 218 taught by Professor Lieberman during the Fall '08 term at University of Michigan.
- Fall '08
- Vietnam War