Why Did The US Lose The Vietnam War?
|Short & Quick Answer:
1. First Reason: Guerrilla Warfare Techniques Against The US Forces By The North Vietnam Soldiers.
2. Second Reason: An Unexpected & Complete New War Environment For The US Soldiers. They Had No Experience Like That Before.
3. Third Reason: Internal Pressure In The US – Due To The Inability of Showing A Proper Cause For Fighting The War. Especially, Massive Public Protest Against The War.
5. Fourth Reason: Support For North Vietnam From Other Communist Nations, Primarily The Soviet Union And China.
Read the following explanation step by step.
Before the start of the Vietnam War, more than 60 percent of the United States citizens did never even heard the country’s name.
Similarly, the United States military personnel never faced that kind of situation before. And therefore when the conflict broke out, they had to pay a big price for that.
So let’s discuss in detail, why did the US lose the War of Vietnam?
Here are the four prime causes below:
1. Guerrilla Warfare Techniques Against The US Forces By The North Vietnam Soldiers
The Soldiers of North Vietnam already learned a lot about Guerrilla warfare techniques during the First Indochina War (1946-1954) against France.
The First Indochina War already uplifted them into experienced warriors.
In the Second Indochina War (or Vietnam War) locations, where most of the fighting occurred were quite easy to use Guerrilla warfare techniques.
North Vietnamese took full advantage of the situation.
They created hundreds and thousands of tunnels under the conflict locations.
It was very difficult for the American troops to find out these tunnels due to they were fully surrounded by dense jungles and rivers.
Even, they created tunnels in such huge numbers that they had the capability to hide all the soldiers of North Vietnam.
Their soldiers kept hiding until American troops arrived there. Whenever they saw Americans arriving in the jungles, they suddenly attacked and killed them.
This was one of the first biggest drawbacks of why America had to lose the war.
If you want to know how was the war of Vietnam really looked like, you can watch these movies; names are ‘We Were Soldiers’ (2002) and Platoon (1986).
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2. A Complete New Combat Environment For The US Soldiers
The 2nd biggest reason was the new combat environment for US soldiers.
The US military has already fought many major battles for a long time. They did some great performances during the first and second World Wars.
But in Vietnam, the situation was completely different.
Because here, the battlegrounds were fully surrounded by dense Jungles and rivers.
The US troops were inexperienced in fighting such ground-level battles.
But at the same time, it was the good luck of North Vietnam Soldiers that the locations were fully surrounded by Jungles, bogs, and rivers.
It helped them so much.
Because if, the situation were different then perhaps they would not be able to stand in front of the modern warfare techniques of the Americans.
Guerrilla Warfare and this new unfavorable environment were the two main causes why more than 58,000 US soldiers lost their lives and more than 1.2 hundred thousand soldiers got badly wounded.
Finally, in the end, it obligated the powerful United States to retreat its troops.
3. Internal Pressure In The US – Due To The Inability of Showing The Cause
North Vietnam was a Communist nation and they wanted to unite the whole country by capturing the power of the Southern part also.
(The South was fully supported by the United States)
For them, that was all their internal political matter.
But the US under any circumstances wanted to stop Communism’s expansion in Southeast Asia. Simply, they feared the Domino theory.
They feared that the rise of Communism in Vietnam would contribute to the fall of the Democratic governments in other South and Southeast Asian nations; mainly in India, Laos, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bhutan.
Therefore, they didn’t want that to happen. This was all a matter of fact of the cold war era. The USA never wanted the Soviet Union to become more powerful.
But for the citizens of the United States, that couldn’t be an argument for their country to fight against Vietnam and let their soldiers die.
For US citizens, the war was unnecessary.
Especially, when they saw some brutal incidents like the Mai Lai Massacre, they started protesting against the US government’s decision.
Even, the US media abandoned supporting the government.
Finally due to the pressure of protest, in 1973, President Richard Nixon obliged to withdraw American troops from Vietnam.
Many political analyzers also consider this incident a major failure of America’s foreign policy.
4. Support For North Vietnam From The Soviet Union And China
The leading communist nations USSR and China were also involved in the Vietnam War against the United States.
Actually, the small country became a battleground for these big powers’ proxy war.
The Soviets didn’t directly fight against US troops, but indirectly they created a lot of difficulties for the Americans.
Especially, they kept supporting North Vietnam by providing funds, military training, weapons, and other necessary supplies.
However, the Chinese send 320,000 troops for combat.
It helped them a lot.
Soviet Russia and China always wanted the country to get united and become a full communist nation like them.
These two major countries’ support also became a major factor in the defeat of the United States of America.
So, these were the four reasons why did the US lose the Vietnam War.
We hope the answer remained helpful to you.