The Vietnam War is one of the most confusing and complicated wars in the history of humanity; this war is also very significant for the country of the United States as it has influenced its population more than any other war. This war is marked with a row of the most serious strategic, political, diplomatic and military mistakes; as a result of this there exist numerous lessons which are to be learnt judging on the sad outcomes of this war. Generally, the lessons to be learnt can be related to a few main categories including diplomatic negotiations, presidential leadership, and cultural/social contexts.
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Speaking about the area of diplomatic negotiations, this is the area where the biggest part of problematic issues has occurred. After the war the country’s leaders made a lot of readjustments in order to develop a brand new strategy of promoting the country’s interests in the Asian region. Were the politicians to do so before the deaths of multitudes of young American could be avoided, and the whole generation of people whose psychical health is ruined by the nightmare of this war could be saved?
Further, important lessons are to be learnt in the area of presidential leadership. Not all the presidents could be evaluated as successful leaders for the nation in this war. A few of them made serious diplomatic mistakes ruining lives of millions of people both in the country and in the invaded land. According to Mariney (1989), “the U.S. civilian and military leadership failed to heed the lessons of the past during the Vietnam War. They underestimated the enemy and the nature of the war”. Unfortunately, such commentaries are abundant which proofs that leadership is to be approached professionally and in a talented way, and President Kennedy showed an incredible example in this area. The President of the country is to do one’s best in order to avoid unneeded casualties, and to manage to solve the major problems on the level of diplomacy, and if the military actions are not be avoided one is to provide consistent guidance and not to concentrate all the powers in one’s own hands, thus, foredooming military leaders for shiftlessness as it has many times occulted during this war.
The other serious problem in the area of leadership is the very fact of the status of the United States in this war. There exists no unambiguous position as to the results of the War in Vietnam for the United States: can the country be seen as the winner in the war or the looser. Mariney (1989) argues:
The U.S. won the war on the tactical level but lost on the only level that matters – the strategic, political level. In some cases the military leadership has been criticized for employing an inadequate military strategy to defeat a communist insurgent movement, for misleading the civilian leadership and the American people by providing overly optimistic assessments that the war was being won, and for being more concerned about their careers than winning the war.
Finally, the other very important area is the cultural and social context. The war in Vietnam can be evaluated as the one of the most influencing when it is referred to social matters. With regards to the saddest outcomes of this war, so many lives of young men are to be mentioned, the grief of their families, the pain of those young men who did come back home, but did so being disabled. The American society was affected by the results of the Vietnam War so remarkably that the war’s echo is still very strong even nowadays after decades to pass.
As a final point, the Vietnam War is one of the saddest wars in the history of the country which caused a lot of casualties, and the saddest thing about those casualties in their ambiguous reasons. Politicians and historians still argue about the reasons of the war, its outcomes, the status the country acquired in it; and all of this happens along with the sorrow and pain of mothers who lost their sons eternally. The sad consequences of the war in Vietnam are connected to serious strategic, diplomatic and political mistakes; thus, a row of important lessons are to be learnt. First of all, diplomats should do everything on their part to prevent the beginning of the war. As a result of this war, the country’s leader had to change their foreign policy in accordance to the conclusions made after the war. Secondly, the leadership is very important in any war. The President of the country is to do one’s best in order to avoid unneeded casualties, and to manage to solve the major problems on the level of diplomacy, and if the military actions are not be avoided one is to provide consistent guidance and not to concentrate all the powers in one’s own hands, thus, foredooming military leaders for shiftlessness as it has many times occulted during this war. Finally, the war in Vietnam with its numerous unnecessary casualties affected almost every family in the country significantly changing its social balance. With regards to this, the lesson is to be learnt concerning the importance to put more efforts in the area of diplomatic negotiations in order to avoid every possible pain of every particular individual and family.
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Mariney, C. (1989) Vietnam: Lessons Learned. Web.