The Vietnam War

Vietnam was a Cold War conflict.The U.S. government viewed involvement in the war as a way to prevent a communist takeover of South Vietnam as part of their wider strategy of containment. U.S. involvement escalated in the early 1960s, with troop levels tripling in 1961 and tripling again in 1962.U.S. combat units were deployed beginning in 1965. Operations spanned international borders, with Laos and Cambodia heavily bombed. American involvement in the war peaked in 1968, at the time of the TET Offensive. After this, U.S. ground forces were gradually withdrawn as part of a policy known as Vietnamization.

In the post-war era, Americans struggled to absorb the lessons of the military intervention. The USA did not only pay the debt of the Vietnam War in blood and money, but in political cost as well. It weakened the public’s faith in their governments, and the honesty and competence of its leaders. Skepticism and a high degree of suspicion characterized the views of the American public following the wake of the war. As never before Americans after the Vietnam War neither respected nor trusted their own government, something which became evident again in the Iraq War or second Gulf War. Vietnam has remained deeply imbedded into U.S Collective Memory.

Does Collective Memory actually exist?

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