Lessons Learned In Vietnam War Essay

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There are many different views and opinions of the war in Vietnam. It was one of America’s longest, most controversial conflicts to date. In a war that lasted over a decade it is no surprise that lessons were learned on all parts. This paper will discuss what I feel is important lessons learned by Americans from the following arenas: diplomatic negotiations, presidential leadership, and cultural/social context.
Diplomatic Negotiations
For there to be success during diplomatic negotiations, there must be clear goals for all parts included. These negotiations rely upon honesty, trust, and respect for all of those involved. The Geneva Conference
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leadership styles have varied from President Eisenhower to President Nixon. We first became involved in the Vietnam conflict when President Dwight D. Eisenhower was in office. He sent over a small U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) who provided the South Vietnam troops with military training. When President Kennedy had taken over he expanded the U.S. commitment in South Vietnam, instead of trying for a negotiating a settlement for Vietnam (Moss, 2010). Kennedy was “saving face” by not negotiating for fear that Soviet leaders and others may feel he was weak and vulnerable. Following the assassination of Kennedy, Johnson had taken over and became even more invested in the war. He continued to send aid in the form of military troops and even made the statement that he would not be the president who would lose the Vietnam war (Moss, 2010). Following the Tet Offensive, Johnson decided to drop out of the running for Presidency. It was president Nixon who then followed and eventually was able to withdrawal troops from Vietnam giving him what he called “peace with honor” (DeVry, 2014). Although all of the presidents were very much different, they all had one thing in common, none of them wanted to admit defeat. One of the lessons learned from our presidential leaderships was the need to be able to admit mistakes. None of them wanted to admit failure and be the president to “lose the war”. It’s hard for anyone to admit when they are wrong, let alone being the one that others look up to for

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