The Vietnam War: the Only War the Us Lost and Its Effects on Foreign Policy

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Introduction The Vietnam War was a monumental period in the US and Vietnam and had lasting effects on both countries. By the time that the US had withdrawn from the war and Vietnam, it brought to end a struggle that had occupied the Vietnamese for nearly 25 years. It was also one of the bloodiest wars the US had ever fought, and like the title says the only war the US lost. The war also left deep scars, scars on those who fought in the war, those at home who protested and watched the carnage on their living room TVs, and scars on the governments of both nations long after the war had ended. I believe that the Vietnam War had a major impact on foreign policy and that it still has lasting and valuable lessons almost 40 years later. Background and Prelude to War with the US Long before the US and Vietnam went to war there had been a history of violence and aggression in Indochina, the name of the region given by the French and comprised of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. After World War II there was a push for independence from France in Indochina, but unlike most countries after World War II the French refused to grant independence to the region. They were determined to maintain their control and dominance and resorted to the use of military force to maintain it. This resulted in the bloody First Indochina War that resulted in the French granting independence to Indochina and the creation of two Vietnams, North and South. But before we go into that I think it’s important to look at why the people of Indochina wanted independence in the first place. To start with the French despised the Vietnamese and treated them very poorly. They despised the country so much that they built the city of Dalat to resemble “a French alpine town”. (Hunt, 2012) The French used local laborers to build the city, but most were forbidden from visiting it, except for those that

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