How would you describe the Vietnam War?
Frankly, the Vietnam War was the Wrong War, at the Wrong Time,
with the Wrong People, fought the Wrong Way, for the Wrong
The Vietnamese had been struggling to throw off foreign powers
for over 30 years before the US became involved- first it was the
French, then the Japanese, then the French again, and finally, the
Americans. In reality, we involved ourselves in a colonial war,
where the local people were mainly trying to simply trying to gain
their own country back from foreign overlords.
Yes, most of the revolutionaries were Communist. However, that
*should* have been no excuse to side with a corrupt, oppressive
government, which was what the South Vietnamese Government most
certainly was. The SVG was despised by its own people, and few of
the SV citizenry really welcomed outsiders. Few SV wanted a
Communist state, but the existing SV government was little better
than a corrupt dictatorship.
The war was completely mismanaged, from both a military and a
political point of view. The US looked at Vietnam through our own
biases, and saw what we wanted to see, not what was actually
happening. Consequently, we made a long series of poor decisions,
which ended up killing a bunch of Americans to no good purpose, and
a much larger number of Vietnamese (50,000 dead US, 1 million+ dead
Vietnamese). The reality was that the nature of the war was a civil
war fought with both guerilla and traditional combat tactics. The
U.S. chose to view it as a war of invasion, and assumed that
traditional combat was the primary mode. Thus, the political and
military tactics chosen were based on a misconception of the actual
type of war being fought, and were ineffective or misdirected.