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Essay will deal with the decisions of American policymakers at the crucial stages of American involvement in Vietnam, including “nation building.”
The occurrence of wars does not only result to the loss of valuable properties and lives of innocent individuals, but also the economic development of a country. In the present times, no investor can be confident to implement his or investment decisions in a country that has a history of engaging in wars with other nations. The aftermath of the Second World War is a clear example of the consequences of wars in the economic and political perspectives. Though war cannot be entirely avoided in as much as nations try to prevent it, it is worth noting that countries which engage in a war do so for their selfish gains. Precisely, no any individual country can engage into a war with another without having a clear objective what it intends to achieve at the end. Carl Von Clausewitz stated that, “…first, the supreme, the most far-reaching act of judgment that the statesman and the commander have to make is to establish the kind of war on which they are embarking, neither mistaking it for, nor trying to turn it into, something that is alien to its true nature.” In this regard, after the end of the Second World War, the United emerged the super power. However, despite the peace accord agreement that was made in Paris, France, the United States engaged in a war with Vietnam during the period from 1945 down to about 1966/1967. This paper analysis what were the key American decisions about Vietnam during this period.
To bring about the end of the communist subversion and aggression in Vietnam
One of the main factor that the American government engaged in the war with Vietnam was to prevent the rise of communism, which is one of the major factors which contributed to the emergence of the Second World War. Precisely, the Northern Vietnam under the leadership of Pham Van Dong was outsourcing military resources from China and Russia in order to conquer South Vietnam. This form of support from the communist nations could have elevated to the level that no nation, including the United States (the super power) could have managed to conquer them. The American government feared that the continued support of the North Vietnam from Russia and China could have extended with time especially through frequent attacks of the neighboring countries such as the Southern Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos and Cambodia (Lyndon 2). It is worth noting that the American government had a prior experience of the power of communist states, especially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). It is important to remember that during the Second World War, the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in war together as allies against the Axis powers.
Apparently, the relationship between these two nations was not a good one. The Americans had been fearing the Soviet Communism and was concerned with Joseph Stalin`s (the by then president of Russia) tyrannical and blood thirsty leadership in his own country. At the same time, the Soviet Communism was holding a ten decade grudge against the United States due to the aspect of the latter to fail to consider USSR as a legitimate part of the international community as well as their delayed entry into the Second World War, which contributed to the death of tens of millions of Russians (Television Networks n.p). I strongly believe that after the end of the war, there was an overwhelming sense of mutual enmity and distrust between these two nations. The American government could not have wasted chances of not interviewing in the war between the North and South Vietnam, since failure to do would have resulted to the postwar Soviet Expansionism in the Eastern Europe, and this could have given Russia an upper hand of controlling the world.
Promoting the peace among nations in the world
Following the aspect of the United States being the Supper powerful nations after the end of the Second World War, it is the responsibility of this nation to ensure that peace prevails in every country of the world. The peace accord made various warring countries to agree on promoting peace rather than war and conflicts amongst themselves, as this is one of the ways of ensuring economic prosperity. It is worth noting that after the Second World War, the economic situation of every country that had participated in the war had deteriorated, especially due to the extensive use of resources in the war rather than in economic development. According to the statement that was released by the by the president of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson at Johns Hopkins University, the American government has the responsibility of strengthening the world order across the globe, from Berlin to Thailand (The Tonkin Gulf Resolution & President Johnson’s Speech 1-2). According to President Johnson, there are many individuals across the globe who count on the United States when it comes to ensuring peace and harmony prevails, and failing to intervene in the Vietnam war would shake the confidence of all these individuals in the value of an American commitment and in the value of the America`s word (Lyndon 2). I strongly believe that the move of the American government of ensuring that peace prevails in all countries across the globe is important not only for economic prosperity, but also in preserving the lives of most innocent individuals who are negative affected when wars arise. For example, in his speech, President Johnson stipulated that when wars arise, the farmers, children and women tends to be the most victims since they are always targeted by the opponents since their men are loyal to the government.
I also believe that the American government decided to engage itself in the Vietnam War in order to promote democracy especially among the independent countries. Precisely, the American government is globally recognized in as far as exercising democracy is concerned. President Johnson was on record stating that the major reason why the American government would support South Vietnam is due to the promise that this government promised South Vietnam in 1954, that every American president has to support this country to defend its independence (Lyndon 2).
Who makes these decisions?
Most of the decisions involving the American involvement in war with Vietnam were made by the Congress. For example, the decision to attack North Vietnam was passed by the Congress following the proposal of the by then president, Lyndon B. Johnson. For example, on 5th August, 1964, President Johnson sought the decision of the Congress concerning whether or not to send the American troops in Vietnam. The Congress accepted the proposal of the president, and that’s why the American Troops were sent in Vietnam (The Tonkin Gulf Resolution & President Johnson’s Speech 1-2). This means that the Congress has the final say when it comes to whether or not the American government can engage in the war with Vietnam.
The Tonkin Gulf Resolution & President Johnson’s Speech. Available under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-ShareAlike, 2014, Henry J. Sage.
Lyndon B. Johnson. Why Americans Fight in Vietnam, 1965. Available under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-ShareAlike, 2014, Henry J. Sage.
Television Networks. Cold War History. Posted on January 2019. Retrieved from, https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/cold-war-history