In my essay I expose what I feel is the lost truth about Vietnam really is and why it relates so strongly to what has just happened in Iraq and in Afghanistan. In a way, the purpose of the war was to prevent something that was bad going worse, and it is my hypothesis that what happened in Vietnam has now happened in the Middle East where the withdrawal of US troops has allowed ISIS to gain a sizable control of what were already unstable countries.
In late 1972, South Vietnam and the US were winning the Vietnam War in every possible way. At that point, there was no way the allied forces could have lost so long as they continued to work and fight in the same manner that they had. The reason this fact has been somewhat overlooked in history is because of what happened afterwards.
In late 1972, the North Vietnam officials had already made it clear that they were losing the war. A decisive victory was made all but certain when Nixon ordered the bombing of Hanoi, their capital city in order to destroy their manufacturing base, and ordered the bombing of Haiphong, which was a major port city. At this point the US and South Vietnamese had Northern Vietnam in a chokehold, which is when Nixon offered a deal. He said he would stop the bombing if North Vietnam would addend the Paris peace talks. The end of the war was finally here, so what went wrong?
In Jan 23rd 1973, the peace treaty was signed, and victory was won. Then, Watergate happened and Nixon resigned. The Democrats took power and de-funded the military aid that was being sent to South Vietnam. The Northern Vietnamese took their opportunity and quickly attacked the South, which dragged the US back into the war, which they eventually lost. The Democrats refused to help arm South Vietnam against their aggressors, even though it was part of the South’s peace agreement. Gerald Ford, to his credit, begged congress to send military aid as the South was being attacked, but most of his own party deserted him.
How Does This Relate To What Has Happened In The Middle East?
The US and UK troops were an integral part of the Iraq and Afghan peacekeeping force. Both Iraq and Afghanistan are not stable enough to survive on their own without help from superior forces, and for a long time they had that much-needed help.
Then, Barak Obama pulled his troops home, and within three months, we saw that ISIS had taken hold of most of Iraq, Afghan and Syria. As soon as the UK and US forced were removed, an aggressive and violent force took hold of the countries, and the same thing happened in Vietnam the moment that the US government removed support for the South Vietnamese.
The parallels between Vietnams and what has happened in the Middle East are shocking. When the US pulled support from the Middle East as it did in Vietnam, an aggressive and violent force took a strong foothold. Now, just like with Vietnam, the US has been dragged back into the conflict, which is now set to go on for many years.
The original reason to go to war with Vietnam was always that they were an aggressive force that was expanding their influence unchecked. The US came in and not only slowed the progress of their expansion, they also stopped the North Vietnamese and even had them sign a peace treaty. The point of the war was to stop an aggressive and violent force from spreading its influence, and just like now with the Middle East, when the US stopped supporting the victims, the war started up again. The fact that this chain of events has happened again is proof enough that the US’s reasons to go to war were both valid and required, and that if the US had seen the job through on both occasions, it would have stopped a lot of death and suffering.