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Why Did America Lose the Vietnam War?

Glen Contrarian

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A lot of people on here are saying that we actually won the war, and others are claiming that our loss of that war was because of America's 'far-left liberals'. It is my stated opinion that we flat-out lost that war, that it wasn't 'just' the far left that opposed the war, but a majority of the American people, and that when the majority of our nation opposes our involvement in a war, then we should get the heck out of that war.
 

davidtaylorjr

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A lot of people on here are saying that we actually won the war, and others are claiming that our loss of that war was because of America's 'far-left liberals'. It is my stated opinion that we flat-out lost that war, that it wasn't 'just' the far left that opposed the war, but a majority of the American people, and that when the majority of our nation opposes our involvement in a war, then we should get the heck out of that war.
Technically the war isn't over.
 

Rainman05

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A lot of people on here are saying that we actually won the war, and others are claiming that our loss of that war was because of America's 'far-left liberals'. It is my stated opinion that we flat-out lost that war, that it wasn't 'just' the far left that opposed the war, but a majority of the American people, and that when the majority of our nation opposes our involvement in a war, then we should get the heck out of that war.
For the same reason the French did. The US didn't understand the enemy it was fighting and so, couldn't counter it.
 

Beaudreaux

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A lot of people on here are saying that we actually won the war, and others are claiming that our loss of that war was because of America's 'far-left liberals'. It is my stated opinion that we flat-out lost that war, that it wasn't 'just' the far left that opposed the war, but a majority of the American people, and that when the majority of our nation opposes our involvement in a war, then we should get the heck out of that war.
Diluting the Vietnam war down to a particular reason it ended the way it did, is impossible.

The reason popular opinion was so bad, was this happened to be the first war that came into our living rooms every night in living color on that little box against the wall, showing the true horrors of war. Before this, all we had were printed accounts with a rare still picture.
 

clownboy

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We lost the war at home, we were unwilling/unable to do the dirty, nasty things it takes to win, and there was way too much politcal involvement in all the wrong areas. Not defending or cheerleading for this conflict, just answering the OP question.
 

SayMyName

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A lot of people on here are saying that we actually won the war, and others are claiming that our loss of that war was because of America's 'far-left liberals'. It is my stated opinion that we flat-out lost that war, that it wasn't 'just' the far left that opposed the war, but a majority of the American people, and that when the majority of our nation opposes our involvement in a war, then we should get the heck out of that war.
As John Wayne said in the movie, "The Shootist," he wasn't the fastest, only the more willing. They had more will.
 

ttwtt78640

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A lot of people on here are saying that we actually won the war, and others are claiming that our loss of that war was because of America's 'far-left liberals'. It is my stated opinion that we flat-out lost that war, that it wasn't 'just' the far left that opposed the war, but a majority of the American people, and that when the majority of our nation opposes our involvement in a war, then we should get the heck out of that war.
Vietnam was basically mission impossible, as is Afghanistan. To stop the spread of something you must take on the source, or occupy and defend the target territory yourself, not simply try to slow the progress of the enemy. The US military won all the battles, yet refused to occupy/control the territory gained so many battles were then fought again in tha same places. To win a war requires more than simply winning the battles, you must keep what you fought for until the enemy relents. If you are unwilling to do so then don't participate at all.
 

ttwtt78640

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As John Wayne said in the movie, "The Shootist," he wasn't the fastest, only the more willing. They had more will.
Or as general Patton said: No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.
 

APACHERAT

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A truism worthy of note: Do not fear the enemy, for they can take only your life. Fear the media far more, for they will destroy your honor."

>"The 1968 Tet Offensive (which involved suicidal attacks by the Viet Cong in some 70 cities and towns, and 30 other strategic objectives simultaneously) turned the political tide of the war against America and eventually led to the protest movement that (in turn) led to the American defeat in Vietnam. From a military perspective, it is important to note that the Tet Offensive was a singularly unmitigated disaster both for Hanoi and for its Viet Cong troops in South Vietnam. Not one of the objectives of the Viet Cong in that Offensive was achieved. Yet, it proved to be a major turning point in the war.

Being the first major "television war," Americans watched the carnage in horror and concluded (incorrectly) that it was a military disaster for America. One of America's most trusted newsmen, CBS's Walter Cronkite, even appeared for a standup piece with distant fires as a backdrop. Donning a helmet, Cronkite declared the war lost. Eugene McCarthy carried New Hampshire and Bobbie Kennedy stepped forward to challenge the policies of an already distraught President. Six weeks later, Lyndon Johnson, in the midst of national protest, announced that he would not seek re-election. His ratings had plummeted to 30 percent after Tet. Approval of his handling of the war had dropped to 20 percent. He had concluded that the war was unwinnable.

In the end, American support for the Vietnam War faded. Giap admitted that the news media reporting of the war and the antiwar demonstrations that ensued in America surprised him. Giap said they would now go the limit because America's resolve was weakening and the possibility of complete victory was within Hanoi's grasp."<
 

apdst

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A lot of people on here are saying that we actually won the war, and others are claiming that our loss of that war was because of America's 'far-left liberals'. It is my stated opinion that we flat-out lost that war, that it wasn't 'just' the far left that opposed the war, but a majority of the American people, and that when the majority of our nation opposes our involvement in a war, then we should get the heck out of that war.
We didn't lose. Ever hear of the Paris Peace Accords that the North signed, promising to end all hostilities? They didn't sign it because they wete winning.
 

apdst

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Vietnam was basically mission impossible, as is Afghanistan. To stop the spread of something you must take on the source, or occupy and defend the target territory yourself, not simply try to slow the progress of the enemy. The US military won all the battles, yet refused to occupy/control the territory gained so many battles were then fought again in tha same places. To win a war requires more than simply winning the battles, you must keep what you fought for until the enemy relents. If you are unwilling to do so then don't participate at all.
The Allies never occupied Germany during, nor after WW1.
 

apdst

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For the same reason the French did. The US didn't understand the enemy it was fighting and so, couldn't counter it.
We defeated every move the enemy made. Tactically, we kicked the living **** out of the commies.
 

radioman

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A truism worthy of note: Do not fear the enemy, for they can take only your life. Fear the media far more, for they will destroy your honor."

>"The 1968 Tet Offensive (which involved suicidal attacks by the Viet Cong in some 70 cities and towns, and 30 other strategic objectives simultaneously) From a military perspective, it is important to note that the Tet Offensive was a singularly unmitigated disaster both for Hanoi and for its Viet Cong troops in South Vietnam. Not one of the objectives of the Viet Cong in that Offensive was achieved. Yet, it proved to be a major turning point in the war.

Giap said they would now go the limit because America's resolve was weakening and the possibility of complete victory was within Hanoi's grasp."<
____________________________

The USA had been assured by their leaders--military and political--that the enemy could no longer mount a serious offensive.
TET illustrated how wrong those leaders were.
While the communists lost this battle and others, their willingness to die trumped our willingness to kill.
Absent an enemy whom we hate, Americans are unwilling to decimate a country.
 

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We didn't lose. Ever hear of the Paris Peace Accords that the North signed, promising to end all hostilities? They didn't sign it because they wete winning.
They signed the Paris Peace Accords because they (North Vietnam) couldn't hold out any longer.

Many Presidents after leaving the White House are asked what was the biggest mistake you made during your Presidency ?

Ronald Reagan said his was signing the 1986 Immigration Reform Act (Amnesty) into law.

Nixon said his was not mining Haiphong Harbor and sending American troops across the Cambodia and Laos borders to attack the NVA in their sanctuaries of safety in early 1969. Nixon said if he would have done that, the war would have been over by late 69.

Both Nixon and Kissinger both said that it was the mining of Haiphong Harbor starting in 1972 that brought Hanoi to their knees and would sign the Paris Peace Accords. No ships could enter Haiphong Harbor to unload war supplies, fuels and food to continue the fight and you had many Soviet freighters trapped in Haiphong Harbor.

North Vietnam didn't have mine sweepers or the knowledge of counter mine warfare. When North Vietnam signed the treaty, part of the deal was that the U.S. Navy had to go into Haiphong Harbor and clear all of the mines. And that's what they did. In 1973 you saw U.S. Navy warships and mine sweepers inside Haiphong Harbor, who won ? That would have been like seeing Japanese warships inside of Pearl Harbor in September of 1945.

Nixon's biggest mistake occurred in 1969. He was bluffing and Uncle Ho called his bluff. That's why after almost a decade after the war Nixon said he should have followed through with his threats and did what he did in 1972 back in 1969.

Video: The Nixon tapes.

Pay attention to the polls.

Re: Other mentioning of polls on another thread, Americans saying that America's involvement in the Vietnam War was a mistake didn't mean that they called for retreating from Vietnam. Most Americans supported the American soldier and the war effort even though they knew it was a mistake getting involved in Vietnam. Liberals can't make that claim. It was JFK who refused to listen to his elders who were smarter and more knowledgeable than he and those who JFK surrounded himself with known as the "young and Brightest."

 

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____________________________

The USA had been assured by their leaders--military and political--that the enemy could no longer mount a serious offensive.
TET illustrated how wrong those leaders were.
While the communists lost this battle and others, their willingness to die trumped our willingness to kill.
Absent an enemy whom we hate, Americans are unwilling to decimate a country.
It was another 4 years before they were able to launch another offensive and they lost it, too. The commies weren't, at any point, winning.
 

Risky Thicket

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A lot of people on here are saying that we actually won the war, and others are claiming that our loss of that war was because of America's 'far-left liberals'. It is my stated opinion that we flat-out lost that war, that it wasn't 'just' the far left that opposed the war, but a majority of the American people, and that when the majority of our nation opposes our involvement in a war, then we should get the heck out of that war.
If you are truly interested in the answer I recommend the following:

The Vietnam Primer by S.L.A. Marshall and Col. David Hackworth

About Face by Col. David Hackworth

And just for sh*ts and giggles you might read the MAC-V Rules of Engagement.
 

ttwtt78640

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The Allies never occupied Germany during, nor after WW1.
We obviously learned something from that and did so, with a vengence, during WWII and have had no further problems with Germany. ;)
 

Bodhisattva

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A lot of people on here are saying that we actually won the war, and others are claiming that our loss of that war was because of America's 'far-left liberals'. It is my stated opinion that we flat-out lost that war, that it wasn't 'just' the far left that opposed the war, but a majority of the American people, and that when the majority of our nation opposes our involvement in a war, then we should get the heck out of that war.
I don't consider wars in which our military hands their hands tied with political limitations placed upon them as engaging in a war. We lost whatever Vietnam was because of the American hippy bastards and the politicians.
 

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____________________________

The USA had been assured by their leaders--military and political--that the enemy could no longer mount a serious offensive.
.
I'm unaware "our leaders" made that claim. Now before Tet I was still a civilian, more like a beach bumb who spent every day ripping up waves and chasing half naked young girls clad in their bikinis. But I always read the newspaper every day and watched the news every night.
Do you know which particular day "our leaders" made that claim ? I might have been down in Baja at the time ripping up waves and chasing young Mexican girls.


And "no longer mount a serious offensive" compared to which offense were they referring too ?
 

APACHERAT

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If you are truly interested in the answer I recommend the following:

The Vietnam Primer by S.L.A. Marshall and Col. David Hackworth

About Face by Col. David Hackworth

And just for sh*ts and giggles you might read the MAC-V Rules of Engagement.
Hackworth had big cajones. He said it as it really was.

You ever read Hackworths "The March of the Porcelain Soldiers" ? He tells it as it is, how the pantywaist libs have dumbed down the Army in the name of political correctness. -> http://www.hackworth.com/article04032002c.html
 

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Hackworth had big cajones. He said it as it really was.

You ever read Hackworths "The March of the Porcelain Soldiers" ? He tells it as it is, how the pantywaist libs have dumbed down the Army in the name of political correctness. -> http://www.hackworth.com/article04032002c.html
Hackworth was a soldier's soldier. I have read the two books I mentioned and also Steel My Soldier's Hearts, but I have not read March of the Porcelain Soldiers. I will now. Thanks for the recommendation. :thumbs:
 

APACHERAT

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Hackworth was a soldier's soldier. I have read the two books I mentioned and also Steel My Soldier's Hearts, but I have not read March of the Porcelain Soldiers. I will now. Thanks for the recommendation. :thumbs:
After you read it, come back and opine on it.
 

specklebang

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We lost that war because we entered it for the wrong reasons and thus never had the might of righteousness.

OTOH, the North Vietnamese knew exactly what they were fighting for.

Had we stayed the course, we eventually would have slaughtered enough of them to bring them to their knees. But why? Did we lose a valuable resource?
 

StillBallin75

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Or as general Patton said: No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.
To that point, we made millions of Vietnamese die for their country while our deaths numbered in the tens of thousands and yet we still couldn't win. So winning isn't all about body count. And the Vietnamese were actually willing to die for what they considered their country. Americans just viewed it as another Third World ****hole. Stakes were a lot higher for them than for us.
 
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