Napalm, Agent Orange And The Vietnam War

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Napalm, Agent Orange, communism, and death: the Vietnam War can be difficult to understand. However, American involvement in the Vietnam War was not justified because it did not fulfill the requirements of jus ad bellum. The United States did not have just cause or the right intent to fight yet they still sent millions of soldiers over in an effort to win. Our reasoning was not clear, war was not formally declared by congress, and there were no extraneous circumstances that would cause us to enter this Asian country. An easy victory was not probable and the U.S. allowed the situation to careen way out of control. However, the U.S. was not aggressively attacking to gain land or power and just because the reasoning was not by the books does …show more content…
Before a country goes to battle it must first publically and clearly define why it is entering battle (Orend 48-50). President John F. Kennedy warned the public of the domino effect of communism. Essentially, the domino effect is that if Vietnam was overtaken with communism, then each surrounding country would fall one by one and succumb. It is safe to say this is his main reasoning but it is not consistent with his actions and Gulf of Tonkin resolution. This is commonly known as the slippery slope fallacy. There is no concrete reason to think that the government in Vietnam will cause another and another country to fall to communism The U.S. entered Vietnam with many more troops and more offensive aggression after a torpedo boat came near the USS Maddox and did not heed to warnings and even warning shots. Neither the U.S. nor Vietnamese ships were damaged. The U.S. was seeking multiple reasons to justify sending forces to Vietnam, hoping that at least one would stick. The main problem is that United States was never attacked before it started its …show more content…
We had a much larger military and the Vietnamese seemed to be weak, war-torn, and ragged. The U.S. had no idea about the advantage the solider of Vietnam would have with guerilla warfare and surface-to-air missiles. We also did not account for the strength of their home field advantage. As we move forward in time, we learn from history what to do and what not to do. The United States did not follow jus ad bellum but jus ad bellum did not exist in the same way it does today. Orend was not around yet and the Vietnam War helped us to better understand when to go to war. There were pros and cons to each side and if the U.S. had not acted, nobody knows what might have happened. Perhaps we inadvertently stopped the Soviets from taking over the world. We may never know. My final judgment is that the U.S. did not follow the requirements of jus ad Bellum. We did not have just cause or probability of success. By not following jus ad bellum, we did not receive support from our citizens and we did not achieve what we wanted to in Vietnam. However, we learned many valuable lessons and hopefully these very lessons have prevented future

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