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Old 01-13-2019, 11:01 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Tennessee, USA
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Originally Posted by CharlieAnderson View Post
I'm a veteran too and yes, Vietnam was a bad decision. Do you think Vietnam could have been avoided?
This is an extremely tough question to answer.

First a broad overview of the start of U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

It begins with end of World War Two and OSS operations in Vietnam that ended up supporting Ho Chi Minh with money and military supplies. With the close of the war, there was unofficial U.S. support for HCM's independence movement, NOT sanctioned by the U.S. Government. When France made the decision to deploy troops back to Indochina to resume control of its 'lost' colonies, HCM made the decision to fight.

France, at the time, was a critical member of NATO and was receiving extensive military and economic aid from the U.S., however, due to French laws, they were unable to deploy draftees to Vietnam, forcing them to rely upon Marine (Colonial) troops, volunteers and indigenous troops. To say that France fought the First Indochina War on an overstretched, worn out rubber band of resources overstates just how limited their resources were.

Imagine fighting a guerilla war with deuce and a half trucks and worn out C47s as your major transportation? One were your units had to march in and out carrying everything on their backs through some of the nasty terrain in the world. Worn out, out numbered troops fighting a battle of a thousand cuts.

Following earlier disasters, the French came to rely on U.S. support to keep their military running. Everything from CIA mercenaries flying C119 transports, to Air Force technicians, maintaining French military aircraft while wearing civilian clothes.

Then came the disaster of Dien Bien Phu. Here the French begged for U.S. air power to break the deathlock the Viet Minh had on the besieged French garrison. And it almost happened. There are stories of B29s on U.S. bases, wearing French roundals as part of a disguise to convince anybody watching that France had strategic bombers...With American air crews. There was even discussion about using atomic bombs on Viet Minh supply routes,but this was thankfully stopped.

When France withdrew from Indochina, it was thought that with the creation of North and South Vietnam the war had ended for good. It was not until the Kennedy Administration that U.S. forces in the form of advisors to the South Vietnam Army that the first 'official' U.S. involvement took place.

Kennedy was always against any major units being involved, it's not until the Johnson Administration that you see major deployments of military units. There are unconfirmed reports that Johnson had torn up a Kennedy executive order to withdraw the advisors.

So that's your answer, Vietnam was a war we should never have been involved in, in a country that we had no need to be involved with. We were tugged into this war in a vain attempt to prop up a colonia! power trying to relive its glory days, in a wasted effort to stop communist expansion. But perhaps the worst part of the Vietnam War, is that we didn't get to win it, Johnson's efforts led to piecemeal deployments of combat power, with bureaucrats trying to prove that they could fight a war better then the soldiers.
The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.

Last edited by dragoon500ly; 01-13-2019 at 03:32 PM.
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