Important Study Notes
The Second Indochina War
The Ten Components of the War
The Second Indochina War (1961 -75), commonly known as the Vietnam War, was a complex issue which culminated in the reunification of North and South Vietnam. The war is best understood by recognising its ten component parts: A Cold War Conflict – The Vietnam War was the largest chapter in the Cold War. America and its allies supported South Vietnam; the USSR, China and other communist nations provided aid to North Vietnam and the Viet Cong. An Ideological Conflict – American democratic ideals confronted the issue of communism in South Vietnam. Washington vowed to contain the spread of communism in Asia and avoid the scenario outlined by the “domino theory”. A Media Conflict - As no formal declaration of war existed between Hanoi and Washington strict rules of censorship did not apply. Accurate American reporting of the war became an issue by 1968. Sensationalist media editorials were generated by North Vietnam and the Viet Cong, which complimented their strategies. A Territorial Conflict – The Allied forces fought extensive campaigns against the North in an attempt to deny them one of the most crucial goals of the war: control of the countryside and the hearts and minds of the people. A Technological Conflict – The United States experimented with a vast amount of military hardware, gadgets, inventions and weapons of mass destruction. A Homefront Conflict – Community support for American and Australian war efforts in Vietnam became a critical issue in the late 1960’s. A People’s Conflict – Winning the support of the Vietnamese people was a major challenge that all armies in the war had to face. Propaganda determined the final outcome of where the public stood on the war. A Civil War – The war was waged between the people of North and South Vietnam. Both sides espoused their own definition of patriotism and nationalism, but the war would be won by the side with the stronger...
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