The Summary of Vietnam War

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The Vietnam war occurred between 1954 and 1975. The prolonged conflicts of the communists of North and South Vietnam (Viet Cong) allied against the United States and South Vietnam governments (Sanz Cano, 2020). The war was against the Americans, claiming it was a mission to save the nation. The goal of the conflict was to unify the whole country, as they had already defeated the French colonialist. However, the South Vietnamese hindered the mission as they continued to seek ideas from western countries such as The United States. The U.S. sent large military troops to Vietnam while the Soviet Union and China proceeded to supply weapons to Northern Vietnam to combat the troops. The increasing casualties resulted in the U.S. withdrawing from the war in 1973 (Sanz Cano, 2020). The Vietnam War strained the relationship between the United States and Vietnam, and the war influenced International Relations, which led to the abolishment of the Nixon Doctrine and the implementation of Domino’s theory.

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Impact of the War

The Vietnam War resulted in the loss of over 500,000 civilians, and Agent Orange resulted in congenital disabilities, which continued to affect the children in Vietnam (Stellman & Stellman, 2018). The country collaborated, especially after the communists took over the Southern parts of Vietnam. Notably, Vietnam was a major rice exporter, but the conflict ruined most rice farms reducing the overall production that was insufficient for the inhabitants. Most professional and skilled individuals fled the country for fear of being prosecuted by the Vietnam troops. Globally, the United States had portrayed a negative image as the people claimed they were supporting a corrupt regime. Approximately 153,000 American soldiers were wounded, while 58,000 lost their lives (Sanz Cano, 2020). The U.S. spent roughly $828 billion on military troops and weapons, while the Vietnamese used approximately $111 billion (Sanz Cano, 2020). Therefore, the conflicts affected both states, where they lost their citizens and funds that would have increased development.

The Vietnam war had a psychological impact on the people involved. Over 100000 United States militants lost some of their limbs during the war and needed medical attention (Morrow & Inglis, 2021). The people treated the draft dodger harshly, resulting in some fleeing the country for safety. Draft dodgers refer to the individuals that refused to join the armed forces. The civilians treated the war troops as criminals, supposed to be in jail and not free to perform their daily business. The United States was a superpower and lost the fight to a smaller and less powerful country. The people no longer trusted the American military power, which demoralized the military forces.

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Influence of War on the World’s International Relations

The Nixon Doctrine

The Vietnam War significantly influenced international relations leading to most countries withdrawing aid and collaboration. The Nixon doctrine was one initiative the United States government implemented to counter the humiliation they got from the war. In 1969, President Richard Nixon implemented the Nixon Doctrine, a foreign policy stating that they would support international countries with military and economic aid instead of ground troops (Tierney, 2018). The president claimed they could no longer fully support most of its allies. Thus, the countries would contribute to their defense. Nixon noted that they used a lot of resources in the war and needed to amend the problem by creating the doctrine. Nixon hoped that Japan, China, Western Europe, the U.S., and the Soviet Union would coexist peacefully.

Domino’s Theory

The Domino theory was a cold war law that proposed a communist regime in any country would result in communists taking over the states and aligning them like rows of Dominos (Budd, 2021). The United States used Domino’s theory to justify the reason for intervening in the Vietnam War and supporting Southern Vietnam, which was non-communist. Ho Chi Minh, a Vietnamese leader, stated that Vietnam’s victory and independence from the France regime were due to communist power (Lin & Van, 2021). The rationale was that if the communists won in Indochina, it would spread throughout South-Eastern Asia. The process would lead to nations collapsing in South East Asia. Thus, leaders named it the ‘falling Dominos.’ In addition, the communist victory would spread to other countries such as Thailand, Japan, India, Cambodia, and Laos. Therefore, the dominos theory helped minimize the spread of communism to other countries.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Vietnam War impacted the people globally and, more precisely, the military troops. The civilian and military groups from the United and Asian countries lost their lives in the war. The United States’ interventions did not leap any benefits as they only accelerated the war. The war also strained international relationships, leading to the U.S. withdrawing its military troops. The U.S. implemented the Nixon doctrine that saw the country not providing ground troops to countries in wars. Instead, they would give economic and military aid remotely. The government also advocated for the anti-communist regime through the domino theory. The communist concept did not spread to South East Asia, but the European nations later became communists.

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  1. Budd, L. (2021, May 28). The revival of the Domino Theory under Brexit. Center of Bretix Studies. https://centreforbrexitstudiesblog.wordpress.com/2021/05/28/the-revival-of-the-domino-theory-under-brexit/
  2. Linh, H. T., & Van, V. H. (2021). Ho Chi Minh thought of “keeping calm is to cope with multi-unexpected changes” and the value of that thought to Vietnam’s foreign policy today. Journal of Natural Remedies21(9 (1)), 14-23.
  3. Sanz Cano, M. (2020). JFK and the reasons behind the Vietnam War: The Domino Theory. [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Comillas Universodad Portificia.
  4. Stellman, J. M., & Stellman, S. D. (2018). Agent Orange during the Vietnam War: The lingering issue of its civilian and military health impact. American Journal of Public Health108(6), 726-728.
  5. Tierney, D. (2018). Avoiding nation-building: From Nixon to Trump. Parameters48(1), 25.
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