The Vietnam War Through The Looking Glass Essay
Short Paper #1
October 5, 2016
The Vietnam War Through the Looking Glass Although the Vietnam War technically began in 1954, its escalation in the early 1960’s sparked U.S. involvement (History.com Staff). The Cold War set the stage for the Vietnam War because the United States entered not only in hopes of liberating the South Vietnamese from the North, but to also contain the spread of communism in Southeast Asia. On one side of the conflict, you have South Vietnam and the United States as its only ally. On the other side of the arena, North Vietnam is fighting alongside the Viet Cong guerilla force. This paper will analyze the Vietnam War using two different international relations theories: Realism and Economic Structuralism.
Realism is a theory of international relations that explains how international relations operate in a state of anarchy due to the lack of an international government, while states are interested in maintaining domestic security by using self-help tactics (Kauppi, Viotti 32). Military strength is what constitutes power looking through a Realist lens. The Vietnam War was the longest deployment of troops that the United States has seen thus far, and the military presence was full force for the majority of the conflict. “President John F. Kennedy 's decision to send over 2,000 military advisers to South Vietnam in 1961 marked the beginning of twelve years of American military combat” (Anderson). By 1969 the U.S. deployed over 500,000…