Seems like after the Vietnam War, the North kind of ‘unified’ with the South anyway. Just what good was it for

Question by Who Knew?: Seems like after the Vietnam War, the North kind of ‘unified’ with the South anyway. Just what good was it for
the US to be there in the first place? What was the purpose?

Best answer:

Answer by Sacagawea_Fan
The Vietnam War was a military conflict in present day Vietnam occurring from 1959 to April 30, 1975. The conflict was a successful effort by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV or North Vietnam) and the indigenous National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam, (also known as the Việt Cộng, or more informally as the “Charlie”, “VC” or “Cong”) to unify Vietnam as a communist state, defeating the South Vietnamese Republic of Vietnam (RVN).

To a degree, the Vietnam War was a “proxy war” between the U.S. and its Western allies on the side of the RVN, with the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China supporting the DRV on the other. As a result of this it is often considered part of the Cold War.

The chief cause of the war was the failure of Vietnamese nationalists, in the form of the Viet Minh, to gain control of southern Vietnam both during and after their struggle for independence from France in the First Indochina War of 1946–54.

he U.S., in particular, deployed large numbers of military personnel to South Vietnam between 1954 and 1973. U.S. military advisors first became involved in Vietnam as early as 1950, when they began to assist French colonial forces. In 1956, these advisors assumed full responsibility for training the Army of the Republic of Vietnam or ARVN. Large numbers of American combat troops began to arrive in 1965. The last American troops left the country on April 30, 1975.[2]

The Vietnam War was finally concluded on 30 April 1975, with the fall of the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon to North Vietnamese forces. The war claimed between 2 and 5.7 million Southeast Asian lives,[3] a large number of whom were civilians.

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11 thoughts on “Seems like after the Vietnam War, the North kind of ‘unified’ with the South anyway. Just what good was it for”

  1. “kind of ‘unified'”? The north conquered the south and took over.
    As the long Wiki quote in the first answer says, it was a proxy war in a stupid location where no western power (France, etc.) had succeeded. We thought we knew what was going on (Communist domino effect) and what should be done and we blew it by supporting bad leaders and ignoring the nationalism issues of the people.

  2. Kind of? They overran the country after the United States pulled out. Sort of like what will happen if the US pulls out of Iraq before the infant republic can get off the ground. The US was there to try to stop the Communist North from overtaking the remainder of the country.

  3. In 1975, the North won a military and political victory. The South ceased to exist. The nation was unified, and it still is. The purpose for the U.S. to be there was to CONTAIN Communism. To stop what the American politicians and people thought at the time would be the fall of Asia (like Dominoes) to Communism.
    Perhaps you do not understand the political environment of the U.S. in the late 1950s and early 1960s: the Red Scare, the Blacklists, McCarthy and Nixon – two who made their careers on anti-communism, and the others who felt Kennedy was “soft on Communism”.

  4. They didn’t kind of unify, the DID unify. It was unification by conquest: North Vietnam conquered South Vietnam.

    We fought in South Vietnam in order to prevent communism from conquering the world. It was just one theater of operations within a global strategy of “Containment.” We believed that communism was not a viable politico-economic system, and if we could contain it, then it would eventually and inevitably die from within.

    In the long run, our Containment policy worked. However, Vietnam taught us a major lesson about implementing the policy: choose your battles. Some countries were expendable–they could fall to the communists, and we could still win. Vietnam was a case of trying to block communist aggression at every point of advance.

    The Vietnam War was probably a strategic error, and it was badly managed by Pres. Lyndon Johnson (there was plenty of blame to go around, but Johnson probably earned the lion’s share). Nevertheless, intervention was justifiable from a moral perspective. Whatever sins we and the South Vietnamese may have committed pale in comparison to the utter evilness of the North Vietnamese communists.

    This became indisputably obvious after the war. Hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese languished for years in “re-education camps” (i.e., concentration camps). Particularly revealing: in its long history, Vietnam has been occupied by the Chinese, French, Japanese, and Americans, yet there was never a large exodus of refugees–until the North Vietnamese communists took over. Then, a million people tried to escape by sea in small, overcrowded boats. Perhaps 250,000 drowned or were raped and/or murdered by Thai pirates in the South China Sea. They were willing to face the risks rather than live under the communists.

  5. I second what Restless has to say. Though I’d also add blame to Robert Strange McNamara as well. He developed the stupid strategy, implemented it, and knew it would fail. Then he had the utter gall to write a book about it 30 years later saying he knew THEN it wouldn’t work and did it anyway…oh, then he said he was sorry.(can’t forget that…he said “I’m sorry”).

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