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The US Policy Towards Vietnam: International Influence


The Vietnam War is considered to be one of the longest wars that America has ever been involved in. The war that began in 1948 and ended in 1963 cost the country close to 60,000 soldiers and more than 350,000 were wounded. On top of this, close to 2 million Vietnam citizens perished in the war. Up to date, Americans are still left with questions on whether the Vietnam War was a necessity or a bungled up affair by its leaders. Although there are many things that made the war to be prolonged, one thing that comes out clearly is that America entered the war without having a clear policy on how to win the war. On top of lacking a clear plan on how it intended to win the war, America had to consider the influence that the international community had on the matter. (Barringer)

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Main Discussion

Although America was winning the war on every front, it had to tone down its assault due to criticism from its own citizens. As the war progressed, there was need to pump in more money to support it. This made the public begin questioning if the war was worth the high amount of money that they had to part with to support it. This gave rise to demonstrations by people who wanted to compel the government to pull out of the war. As the war progressed, President Jonson’s rating dropped from 40 to almost 25 percent. In order to protect his image, President Johnson came up with legislation that was meant to pacify the people. Despite this, Johnson and his Democratic party ended up losing the elections. (Garfinkle 52)

On top of the disgruntled public, America also had to deal with the international community that was against the use of force to solve disputes. It is worthy noting that by the time the war began the world had just emerged from World War 11. With the ravaging effects of the war on their minds, the world was unprepared for another round of uncalled for killings. During World War 11, many people had formed antiwar movements meant to bring an end to the war. When the Vietnam War began, all the existing movements united to oppose the war. During this time, even the core peace movements that had hitherto been unknown gained prominence by opposing the war. These movements were bolstered when they received the backing of key Civil Rights crusaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. this was intensified when King insinuated that most of the casualties in the war were African Americans. This cry was picked up by the international community who said that the war lacked any moral justification. In order to protect its image in the international community, the government backed out of the war. (Halstead 34)


Although the U.S. was on its way towards winning the Vietnam War, many things prevented it from enjoying the victory. Many Americans were opposed to the war simply because they felt that it was using up many resources that should have been used on the domestic front. On top of this, antiwar movements formed during World War 11 were opposed to the use of violence to solve conflicts. This external pressure caused the American government to back out of the war in order to gain both domestic and international acceptance.


Barringer, Mark. Modern American Poetry. The Anti-War Movement in the United States, 1999. Web.

Garfinkle, Adam. Telltale Hearts: The Origins and Impact of the Vietnam Antiwar Movement. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995. 52-54. Print.

Halstead, Fred. Out Now! A Participant’s Account of the American Movement against the Vietnam War. New York: Monad Press, 1978. 31-36. Print.

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