City Lights, We will have to live with the fact that mistakes will be exposed as well as, unfortunately, the fact that any course of action, right or wrong, will be second-guessed. Let that sink in for a moment. This not only means that we kept our troops.
McGurn is bizarrely trying to revive domino theory alarmism decades after it was thoroughly discredited. How much longer will our leaders allow the Afghanistan war to continue?
They were intensely committed to a worthy goal, but personal commitment sometimes blurred judgment. Both sides had trouble devising tactics that would be suitable for each type of warfare. Lambertson served in Saigon in various roles from toas spokesman for the American delegation to the Paris Peace Talks from toand then returned to the Bureau of East Asian Affairs in Washington as it was then known.
Nevertheless, we consistently underestimated the tenacity and sense of purpose of Hanoi, and overestimated our ability to break its will. Having been badly burned in Vietnam, the American people now appear to have quite different, and more limited, visions of our proper role in the world and our ability to influence events.
Military considerations will become dominant in policy if that balance is skewed and, as in Vietnam, we may lose sight of the fundamental nature of the conflict and our goals in it.
In almost all cases, American military intervention in the last half century has created more problems than it solved. I believe our efforts, militarily, diplomatically and politically, were not in vain. John Marciano is professor emeritus of education at the State University of New York, Cortland, and a longtime activist, teacher, and trade unionist.
But we can make much more intelligent distinctions between futile wars and genuinely necessary applications of military force. I have always believed, as have many observers, that our decision to save South Vietnam in prevented Indonesia from falling to communism and probably preserved the American presence in Asia.
Fatefully, Truman sided with the French. To draw meaningful lessons from our Vietnam experience it is essential to bear in mind the climate of the times during which fateful decisions were taken.
Another lesson would be the absolute importance of focusing our own remarks and the public debate on essentials—even if those essentials are not clearly visible every night on the television screen.
Could it be that war is so profitable for corporations and politicians that we now have the entrenched and permanent military-industrial-congressional complex that Eisenhower anticipated?
But the pessimistic reports, even if they were inaccurate, began to look closer to the mark until almost any government statement could be rejected as biased, not only by the opposition but by an increasingly skeptical public.
Some describe the excesses and even the criminal behavior of the U. These are brutal times.January 30th was the 47th anniversary of the start of the Tet Offensive. Tet was the tipping point of the Vietnam War, the battle that exposed the lie of “light at the end of the tunnel.” It is worth remembering to see if we can salvage any lessons from it.
Teaching the Lessons of Vietnam By Lindy G.
Poling S ince I was a child, I have loved the study of history, but as a young teacher I quickly discovered that not all of my students shared my passion. For America, the Vietnam War was the traumatic event of the second half of the last century.
48 Parameters Lessons of History and Lessons of Vietnam DaviD H. Petraeus This article was first published in the Autumn issue of Parameters. One of the few unequivocally sound lessons. Increasingly one hears appeals to the lessons of Indochina—generally if inaccurately referred to as the lessons of Vietnam—in support of or in opposition to current foreign policy initiatives around the world.
The Vietnam War is back, suddenly re-appearing in public consciousness on the 50th anniversary of the US escalation and 40thanniversary of the war’s end.Download