Vietnam And Politics Essay Research Paper Vietnam

Vietnam And Politics Essay, Research Paper

Vietnam was a war of attrition. It was the hardest war the United States has

ever fought. We were fighting for a people who did not want us there and for a

government that was to corrupt to help it and it?s people. Putting that aside,

we where and still are the most powerful country in the world. This being said,

why where we not able to successfully defeat the Viet Cong and The North

Vietnamese Army? To that end there are many reason, one being our war strategy,

another being the way the Vietnmese fought the war, and finally the People of

the United States did have there hearts in the war. In this paper I will however

stick to how owner tactics and how our military leaders failure to properly

adapt and create a war plan led to our defeat. I will also go into the Viet

Congs strategy as it change led to our failure. What was so terrible about our

war strategy? We did of course win almost every engagement of the war. We fought

long and hard against an enemy that hardly ever was seen. Our tactics in the

beginning of the war where simple, conventional tactics, this meaning you where

here, they are there, you just have to get where they are. Operation Starlight

was a classic textbook engagement. A large regiment of about 1500 Viet Cong was

gathered in and around a small village named Van Tuong in northern South

Vietnam. U.S. intelligence has found out from a Viet Cong deserter that the VC

regiment was planning an attack on the Marine base Chu Lai. With this knowledge

the Marines decided to strike the first blow. The Marines where to attack from

three sides forcing the Viet Cong into the South China Sea. The attack was

executed by the book and though it was a tough fight the United States

devastated the 1st Viet Cong Regiment while sustaing only limited casualties.

The VC surviors of the American offensive did learn something from there defeat.

The saw the way Americans fought. They noticed when placed in a situation where

they where taking incoming fire, they would dig in and call for fire support,

either from the air or ground artillery. It was only after the fire support

neutralized the target that the infantry would move forward and attack what ever

survived the aerial bombardment. The Viet Cong realized that they could not over

power the better-equipped Americans, and for the rest of the war they avoided

face-to-face confrontations. The VC retreated to the safety of the jungles and

rice patties of Southwestern Vietnam where they could execute their own form of

guerrilla warfare. The Viet Cong fought in three man teams, called cells. These

Cells where highly effective fighting units in remote jungle areas. The VC

strategy was simple, break down the American?s will to fight. They did this

several way?s, first by using mines and other booby traps, which did not kill,

but maimed. The next was hit and run tactics. The VC had networks of tunnels

connecting hooch-to-hooch, village-to-village almost across the entire country.

They would pop up and fire at you then disappear in to the massive network of

tunnels underneath you. American generals and advisors where ill prepared for

this type of warfare and stood by the old belief the person with the biggest gun

always wins. The continued with there daily search and destroy tactics above

ground, clearing wide areas while the VC lived underneath them lived in relative

safety of what was happing above, except for the ocasinal coming up to fire at

the Americans above. At the end of a day the American?s would be airlifted via

helicopters back to base, witch left the VC to roam above ground. Reclaiming the

land supposedly cleared early in the day. And so this went on, day after day,

night after night. This explanation is a bit overly simplified however the basic

Idea holds true, we lost the was from a strategic stand point because our leader

failed to adapt and create a viable war plan.


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