Mapping the world's opinions

Vietnam was an undeniable failure for the United States government. Despite expending more than $141 billion, and 56,000 American lives, the world’s largest military superpower was unable to achieve its sole strategic objective: to prevent Vietnam from falling under communist control. Historians are deeply divided over the reasons that led to US defeat. Most attribute the loss to several factors that each played a role. This topic offers an overview of those factors, with careful consideration of the evidence that both supports and refutes each claim as a viable reason for defeat.

The War at Home

The domestic situation in the US meant that successive Presidents had their hands tied and could not dedicate the necessary resources to the war effort.

The Unwinnable War

The Vietnam War was unwinnable from the start.

Strong Communists

The Northern Vietnamese communists employed highly effective military strategies to defeat the US and South Vietnamese.

US Strategic Failures

The communists didn't win the war, the US lost it due to extensive flaws within its war strategy.

The Vietnamese People Are to Blame

The South Vietnamese Government should have done more to help with the war effort. It was their country, their civil war, and ultimately responsibility for defending it must fall on their shoulders.

This page was last edited on Tuesday, 10 Sep 2019 at 21:35 UTC