Why was the USA unable to defeat Communism in Asia between 1965-1973

Topics: Vietnam War, South Vietnam, Cold War Pages: 3 (1172 words) Published: May 4, 2014
Why was the USA unable to defeat Communism in Asia between 1965-1973? The policy of containment in Asia was probably one of America’s worst executed political strategies of the last centaury. There were a number of fatal flaws that meant the USA could never really claim a total victory in the war. These reasons can be separated out into Military and Political reasons, these include events that were occurring thousands of miles away from the conflict zone. These failures culminated in a Peace with Honour strategy that would never be counted as a defeat of Communism.

The first thing to evaluate in America’s failure in Asia was their political strategies. Only 2 years before this period started there was the Missile Crisis in Cuba, although this does not appear to have any link to the strategy in Asia in fact it does. The Cuban Missile Crisis resulted in the USA never committing its self to “total victory” because of the idea that this may result in Soviet/Chinese intervention and therefore nuclear war. This would of course be disastrous for the whole world not just America. This meant that despite all their military dominance the USA were never “whole hearted” in their campaign for victory over communism.

A further issue with the political strategy in fighting Communism was that the government was unable to call on significant political expertise due to the effects of McCarthyism and the Red Scare in the early 1950’s. This process had removed many of the “experts on communism” from the American society for fear that they were sympathisers or spies. As a result, the advisors left were inexperienced and unable to adapt their policies with the changing nature of the war. It was this inflexibility that was one of the main factors in the failure to defeat communism.

The continuing corruption in the South Vietnamese government also meant the war was elongated more than was necessary. The weakness of the military government and their vulnerability to corruption...
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