Why The US Lost The Vietnam War

When one gets into a conversation about the Vietnam War there is always an armchair general that knows all there is as to why the US lost that war.

Ken Burns new documentary on the Vietnam War has given rise to more analysis of this conflict.

This is a good opportunity to discuss the War….a discussion that should have been had 40 years ago.

The U.S was not simply outfought. It was out-thought. .. For all of the self-satisfied voyeurism surrounding the Vietnam War, it’s hard to find a concrete idea about why the U.S. lost.  For more than a decade, the U.S. had declared that it would not let Vietnam fall to the communists.  Yet, Vietnam fell to the communists.  Why?The absence of a clear explanation is not an accident.  None of the institutions that led the U.S. into the War or prosecuted the War want to be tarred with having lost the War.   They would rather its loss be left ambiguous, murky.  Or worse, blamed on others.

Source: Why the US Lost the Vietnam War | By | Common Dreams

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12 thoughts on “Why The US Lost The Vietnam War

  1. Watching the new series from Ken Burns, I was struck by how many Vietnam Vets spoke so highly of their enemy. One pilot talking of bombing the Ho Chi Minh trail, said that he would have been proud to have been fighting on ‘the other side’, and admired their bravery. One NVA soldier said that the Americans could always be found, by just following the trail of cigarette butts, and discarded wrappers.
    It seems that as well as the political mistakes, and the wrong decisions by generals, the other side were simply better at fighting in those conditions.
    You were there, chuq. Would you agree?
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Q. Did any British Forces Serve in Vietnam?

      A. No.

      Britain was not involved in the Vietnam War.

      There were however many ex British Servicemen who enlisted in the Australian or New Zealand Military Forces and as a result served in the Vietnam War.

      The same applied to the Canadians where although Canada, like Britain was not involved in the Vietnam War, many Canadians enlisted in the US Forces and subsequently served in Vietnam.

      I understand that there might have been a few people who would have “Been Proud To Have Fought On The Other Side” but we have a name for those …. Traitors!

      1. I am only quoting those men interviewed in the series, John. I wasn’t there, and I know they don’t speak for everyone, but it is still interesting to me, as a complete outsider.
        I believe that the only British troops involved in Vietnam were some ‘Special Forces’ and their involvement was never admitted.
        Best wishes, Pete.

      2. The men “Interviewed” in the series were no doubt picked for the producer’s ability to slant the story anyway they desired to slant it … and they did a good job of slanting it … against America and in favor of the Communists.

  2. I am a Veteran and all my veteran friends were offended at the way the referenced documentary portrayed Ho Chi Min and his minions as heroes and American Military Personnel as cads, dopers, murderers of innocents and all-around villains in this war. Most of the people I served with in the Military at the time served proudly. We have no patience with being made to look like fiends. I agree that we needed to get out of that war but people like Burns need to issue an apology to those who served and especially to the families of those whose sons and daughters gave their lives in that awful time. I have been to “The Wall” and a few of my own friends have their names engraved there.

    1. “…(portrayed) American Military Personnel as cads, dopers, murderers of innocents and all-around villains in this war.”

      I didn’t see this at all. Mogie Crocker portrayed as a “cad, doper, murderer,” etc? John Musgrave? Karl Marlantes? Edward Alvarez? John McCain? Vincent Okamoto? Tim O’Brien? Are you sure you saw the same documentary?

      I think you’re the same guy that in an earlier post referred to the Vietnamese as “gooks.” If you believe you look like a “fiend,” maybe it’s because you’re earning that title for yourself.

      1. So you were there in the middle of it were you? I am not discussing this with you because it is apparent that you know nothing about it at all.

  3. Thanx! for your service. My late older brother served in the Nam. Pleiku ’68-’69 U.S.Army As his younger brother, my brother Johnny confided many things he wouldn’t share with others. “No one should go through that” he’d say. The war never left our brother. I’m glad he is finally at peace. Thanx!

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