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The Unjustness of United States Invasion of Vietnam

Patterson (2018) analyzes the ethics and morality of the Vietnam War by focusing on the factors that qualify the intervention as a just war. The author examines the conflict using the lens of just war ideas by notable scholars such as Michael Walzer and Paul Ramsey. The assessment of the source suggests that the unjustness of the conflict is based on the manner it started and economic, political, and social impacts. Based on the legitimate authority, fundamental criteria of just war, and the intentions, the author claims that for the U.S., it was justified to fight alongside South Vietnam to prevent communist aggression. The source is essential as it provides historically-accurate and thoughtful ideas useful in understanding the legitimacy of the war.

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The article focuses on the ethics of the Vietnam War and the conditions determining whether American intervention was just or unjust. First, the author admits the conflict was the most divisive event in U.S. history, as from Eisenhower’s to Nixon’s administrations. America’s intentions during the war were to contain the spread of communism that was quickly advancing across North Vietnam. According to Ewing (2017), the U.S. intervention in the war was justified based on the containment theory since America wanted to curb the spread of communism. The article further analyzes the war by reason of jus ad bellum and jus in bellum. It is an essential source for assessing the justness of war on account of various criteria, including Just War Theory.

Klein (2020) explains in detail the process of achieving just peaceful peace after a conflict between the two states. Although the article does not directly address the legitimacy of the U.S. intervention in Vietnam, the basis of the Just War Theory is examined. The source links the ideas of Michael Walzer to the conflict in Vietnam. The explanations of how jus post bellum and jus in bello were added into the Just War Theory. It provides a vital insight into the causes and intentions of the Vietnam War. With the understanding, one can determine whether America was justified in intervening in the conflict or not. The journal provides a different perspective for examining the start and end of a conflict with the inclusion of the Christian view.

An important school of thought regarding how the war end is the main concern in the article. The authors try to understand why many scholars are reluctant and skeptical to talk about wining in just wars. While the source concentrates more on providing reasons for victory being a taboo in just war, one can relate the ideas with the Vietnam War outcome. A controversy on who won the conflict in Indochina still lingers among the concerned and provides the background for understanding whether America was justified to intervene or not. The source is reliable, relevant, and recent, which qualifies the article to be used for college-level research.

John Kerry, a Vietnam veteran, gave a statement before the Senate Committee of Foreign Relations regarding the unjustness of the war. Kerry argued that there was a rising disenchantment with the ongoing conflict and registered his displeasure with the U.S. decision to join the war. In the claim, Kerry asserted that the Vietnam issue was a civil war in which the citizens were seeking freedom after years of colonial domination. According to Kerry, America had no right to intervene in Vietnam affairs. The source is crucial as it provides a personal opinion of not only an American citizen but a Vietnam veteran who was against America’s decision. The statement helps in supporting the unjustness of the war based on veterans and citizen’s displeasure.

Pope John Paul IV sent a letter to President Lyndon Johnson raising his concerns about the conflict in Vietnam. The Pope advised Johnson to consider urgent peace to avert more misery and destruction the war was causing to the nation. The sentiments are essential in understanding the views of global leaders regarding the conflict. Pope’s letter is an indication that most distinguished individuals around the world did not support the war, and America was blamed entirely for intervening. Hence, the primary source informs the research on how other world rulers perceived the conflict.

Fox (2019) examines events surrounding Vietnam War at home and abroad. The author analyzes the conflict focusing on the perception of the soldiers, military heads, and antiwar critics. A more interesting concept in the article is how the students were involved in protests against the conflict. The author claims that at the height of the fighting, most Americans became concerned about the legitimacy of the war. Students and other scholars took the responsibility to challenge the government to end the war immediately. Thus, it is a significant source for explaining the arguments opposing the intervention.

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In the article, Martignago (2018) provides a different perspective of the Vietnam War by examining the reactions of peasants. The author claims that the conflict was the most significant activity during the Cold War. Although a part of the source examines the U.S. involvement, the most interesting factor was how the squabble contributed to nationalism. Therefore, the article is crucial in explaining how the Vietnam War triggered the locals to fight for their liberation, a sign of discontent with foreign control.

In the article, the author examines the reactions, perceptions, and motives of the U.S. intervention in Vietnam. Gawthorpe (2020) analyzes the history and beliefs surrounding the Vietnam War by focusing on the work of the filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. The focal point is the documentary The Vietnam War, which the author claims elicited debate on the objectives of the U.S. involvement in the conflict. Gawthorpe (2020) claims America is portrayed in three different perspectives: good and decent people, anti-imperialist and isolationist, and on the opposite side as an aggressive and imperialistic nation. Thus, the secondary source is essential in analyzing the different views regarding the U.S. intervention in the war, which can be crucial in determining whether the decision was justified or not.

The article examines in detail the different interpretations of the Vietnam War. Falk (2016) argues that there are three dominant views regarding the conflict. The opinions are the war was a failure, immeasurable failure, and qualified failure. However, the author adds another point of view by suggesting that the war was entirely unjustified. Falk (2016) maintains that America’s intervention was morally and politically wrong. Therefore, the secondary source is vital in understanding the argument against America’s involvement in Vietnam’s affair. From the contents and ideas in the article, an individual can make an informed decision on whether the U.S. actions were justified or not. The source qualifies to be used for college-level research since it is relevant, recent, and credible.

In the article, the researchers present the result of a study aimed at understanding the political issues surrounding the Vietnam War. Specifically, the scholars focused on answering two significant questions. The first question was how the experiences influence the way individuals interpret a political issue. The other concern was the understanding of political problems impact people’s views on their experiences. Notably, the researchers utilized the Vietnam War since it was a highly divisive issue in domestic politics, and thousands of Americans served in the military at the time. To get a proper insight into the concept, the authors interviewed Americans who lived through the war period and made sense of it. Many of the respondents were selected from people who graduated in 1965. Generally, the study builds upon political socialization, with the primary objective being to understand political attitudes and behaviors. Thus, it is an imperative primary source that provides first-hand information of people’s perceptions on America’s intervention in the Vietnam War. The article is relevant and credible, thus qualify to be used for college-level research.

Kyianytsia (2019) takes a different perspective in analyzing Vietnam’s foreign policy and the relationship Vietnam developed with two world superpowers. The article aligns the argument towards international relations and how nations interact in the global arena. However, for proper analysis, the authors focus on the inception of the existing cooperation. The fact that Vietnam was the center of focus for both the U.S. and China during the Cold War explain why the early encounters with the two nations still guide contemporary relationships. During the Vietnam War, the U.S. intervened with the intention of preventing China from influencing Vietnam’s internal affairs. Thus, the article provides vital claims useful for supporting or criticizing America’s involvement during the war on the basis of interfering with liberal institutions and states. The primary source qualifies to be used for college-level research as it is credible, relevant, and recent.


Cramer, K. J., & Bartels, L. M. (2019). The Lessons of Vietnam: Social Identity, the Vietnam War, and Contemporary Political Divides. Midwest Political Science Association. Web.

Ewing, S. (2017). The Ethics of the Vietnam War. The Kabod, 3(2), 1-11. Web.

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Falk, A. (2016). The Vietnam War as a Guide to Future American Policy in Asia. Townson University Journal of International Affairs, 50(1), 13-26. Web.

Fox, M. E. (2019). The Vietnam War at home and abroad: Soldiers, military leadership, and the antiwar movement. University of Tennessee. Web.

Gawthorpe, A. (2020). Ken Burns, the Vietnam War, and the purpose of history. Journal of Strategic Studies, 43(1), 154-169. Web.

Kerry, J. (1971). Statement by John Kerry of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (1971). American Yawp Reader. Web.

Klein, A. W. (2020). Attaining Post-Conflict Peace Using the jus post bellum Concept. Religions, 11(4), 173. Web.

Kyianytsia, L. L. (2019). A ‘Triangular’ Relationship with the Great Powers: The Case of the post-Cold War Vietnam Balancing versus China and the USA. Ukrainian Policymaker, 5(5), 44-52. Web.

Martignago, M. D. (2018). Vietnamese Farmers That Changed the World: The Impact of the Vietnam War on the Cold War. The General: Brock University Undergraduate Journal of History, 3, 163-190. Web.

O’Driscoll, C. (2019). Nobody wins the victory taboo in just war theory. Journal of Strategic Studies, 42(7), 901-919. Web.

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Patterson, E. (2018). Just war & national honor: The case of Vietnam. Providence. Web.

Paul, J. (1965). Letter from the Pope to President Johnson. Docs teach. Web.

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