Lessons Learned from Vietnam War Assignment

Lessons Learned from Vietnam War Assignment Words: 677

Introduction The Vietnam experience was a war that lasted for almost twenty years. The American military and leadership appear to have learned some lessons from our involvement in the Vietnam War. This paper will discuss the lessons learned from the following arenas: diplomatic negotiations, presidential leadership, and cultural/social contexts. Diplomatic Negotiations Princeton University (2006) defines diplomatic negotiations as between nations. The lesson learned by the Americans was the need to communicate with their enemy. Our military leaders and president, Lyndon Johnson, used bombing as “verbal” negotiations with Vietnam.

Neither the Americans nor the Vietnamese were willing to compromise and enter into discussions. This refusal to enter into talks led to millions of deaths. The Vietnam War could have been avoided entirely or ended much sooner had the negotiations taken place. Presidential Leadership Presidential leadership styles vary from president to president along with their cabinet members. From Presidents Eisenhower to Nixon, each had their own style in how to handle negotiations and win the war in North Vietnam. Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy provided aid to South Vietnam in the form of military training.

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President Johnson sent aid to South Vietnam in the form of military troops. President Nixon negotiated the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam giving him “peace with honor” (Devry University, 2011). One of the best lessons that can be learned from our presidential leadership is that there is a need to admit mistakes. Although no one ever wants to admit when they are wrong, the public can be more forgiving when they are told the truth. America was losing the Vietnam War, but no president ever wanted to admit defeat nor did a president want to go all in.

The Rules of Engagement were so restrictive that it made winning a war in Vietnam virtually impossible. Cultural/Social Context The Vietnam War brought about changes in how Americans felt about war. Americans were torn in their feelings about being involved in Vietnam. One of the lessons learned was that technology can be defeated by resourcefulness and determination. The American leaders felt that the war could be won through guns and bombs. They underestimated the will of the Vietnamese. They (government and military) leaders were ignorant of the Vietnamese culture.

The Vietnamese were all in for the fight but the Americans were not. The Vietnamese fully believed in their cause but the American people were uncertain and later multiple protests were held across our country reflecting this uncertainty. Conclusion The experiences in Vietnam taught U. S. military and government leaders many lessons on diplomatic negotiations and the importance of learning the cultures of other countries. As a practical historian, I have learned the Vietnam War was not just a war that spanned a few years but many years. I have also learned that the war in Vietnam was not something any president wanted to have happen.

However, once the war escaladed and American troops were sent over to Vietnam, the restrictions placed on them made it very difficult for soldiers to fight the war. Also, many men only enlisted for a year, leaving units discombobulated with experienced and “green” soldiers”. This made for a lack of cohesiveness within the unit. President Johnson never wanted to admit defeat. In the end, it cost him a chance at a second term as president. There is great value in studying past history. When we examine our history, we are able to see why things are done the way they are now.

Studying history allows us to learn from our mistakes and change the direction or course that is taken the nest time. Military leaders and the government are not only able to review what worked and why, but also what failed and why. History of any subject is important because it teaches lessons learned. References Diplomatic Negotiations. (n. d. ). WordNet?? 3. 0. Retrieved from http://dictionary. reference. com/browse/diplomatic negotiations Moss, G. (2010). Waging limited war in Vietnam, 1965-68. Vietnam: An American Ordeal. (6th ed. ). Boston, Ma: Prentice Hall. pp. 160-191.

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Lessons Learned from Vietnam War Assignment. (2018, Sep 11). Retrieved December 3, 2021, from https://anyassignment.com/history/lessons-learned-from-vietnam-war-assignment-49580/