Reasons for America's Loss in Vietnam

Topics: Vietnam War, Cold War, United States Pages: 4 (1482 words) Published: January 20, 2014
There are many issues that influenced America’s loss in Vietnam. It could be argued that the primary reason was the lack of support from the American people; Johnson and Congress paid a great deal of attention to public opinion. The opposition to the war by the public and the press is generally agreed to be the main reason why Johnson finally decided to retreat American troops from Vietnam. However you could say that the Tet Offensive in January 1968 was a greater reason for Americas retreat as it helped spark the fire that set off American protests, one of the most famous photographs of the time was of a Saigon General shooting a Vietcong, bound captive in the head, taken on February 1, 1968. The American people were shocked at this and began to lose faith in their side of ‘the good guys’, pictures like these; of death and destruction turned many Americans against the war. Although it was later discovered that the reason the General had killed the Vietcong member was because he had earlier murdered the generals relative, the American people were still angry at the amount of violence that was happening in Vietnam. The Tet Offensive not only caused outrage to the Americans but also caused the Government to become shaken, it knocked their confidence. The attack was a big surprise to the US troops as the VC had been able to move with such impunity and so effectively through the south; they had broken the truce of the Tet holiday and even attacked the US embassy. This made headline news in the States, the Government knew that they could not risk any more attacks like that, not only would it cause people to begin to question the US troops’ strength but it would also mean risking the lives of civilians and soldiers, they didn’t want to lose more men as they did not have the finances to send more troops in. It was not only members of the American public turning against the War but even politicians. March Clifford is an example. At the same time as Tet, the battle of...
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