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Tuesday 30 May 2017

Why did America lose the Vietnam war?

 Oft said to be 20/20, history is a study in hindsight written by the victors. In today's highly polarized world even after 6 decades it is difficult to get an objective analysis of the Vietnam war. The common belief is that it was a war not worth fighting, that America had no business interfering with what was an internal matter for the Vietnamese, that the anti-war movement helped stop an immoral war.

I guess all wars are immoral, but fighting a war against military aggression is morally justifiable.

A recent Prager U video, Why did America fight the Vietnam War?, highlights some inconvenient truths about the war that are well worth noting.

  • The war was a result of military aggression by the North supported by communist allies Russia and China
  • In the Paris peace accords of 1973 the South and North had reached a settlement to establish two autonomous nations
  • Defeat only occurred because America failed to back the South after the North broke its agreement and launched another military offensive.
  • The consequences were the deaths and imprisonment of many thousands of South Vietnamese , displacement of hundreds of thousands, and probably led to the subsequent Cambodian genocide

This holds a sobering moral lesson for Americans with wars in Afghanistan and against Isis. The consequences of defeat or withdrawal are significant.

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