‘’Too Little, Too Late’’ – Could the Vietnam War have been won if intervention had started earlier, or firepower been increased?
‘’We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.’’ Were the words of Lyndon B. Johnson in October 1964, [Lyndon B. Johnson Re-election Campaign speech 1964] in reference to the pressure the American government had been facing from questions raised about how far their support in an ‘advisory’ role would extend to, as the Vietnamese civil conflict escalated. The Vietnam ‘War’ had been ongoing internally since the French defeat at Điện Biên Phủ [Vietnam in HD, History Channel]and the Geneva Accords division, and as a result of such there was widespread support for the Vietminh throughout the whole of the country, even with the recent divisions. The main argument supporting that the US contributed not enough and at a too late date doesn’t seem to be substantiated when the ideas of Rolling Thunder and the 1965 Combat Initiative [The Fog of War, 2003] are introduced. Furthermore, the subsequent rises in troop levels do not support the view that the US was inclined to contribute more. However, it is evident that possibly earlier intervention could have stopped the organization of the VC and NVA into a formidable fighting force, the main opponent of US victory in Vietnam, even with the political views of the Vietnamese people leaning largely in favor of Hồ Chí Minh. In 1954, the power vacuum left by the French withdrawal from Vietnam due to the French inability to fight such a large war for their colonial power, resulted in the US-led advisory role of military and political commanders to be sent to South Vietnam in support of the pro-western government there. By 1955, the US-sponsored President Diem of South Vietnam declared the South an independent state. Diem’s strong anti-communist beliefs, his persecution of Buddhists, and almost warmongering nature...
Bibliography: 1. Film - The Fog of War (2003) Errol Morris and Sony Pictures Classics
2. Film Series – Vietnam in HD (2008) History Channel
3. Speech – Lyndon B. Johnson Re-election campaign Speech 1964, Washington.
4. Website – US Armed Forces archives - http://www.archives.gov/
5. Film – Hamburger Hill (1987) – Paramount Pictures
Jamin Jamieson 11T
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