Lessons Learned from Vietnam War Essay

683 Words Jan 7th, 2012 3 Pages
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
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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.
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

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