• A silly Quora about the Vietnam War FWLIW

    From a425couple@21:1/5 to All on Wed Mar 10 13:25:22 2021
    XPost: alt.war.vietnam

    Answered by Wallace Lee
    Why couldn't the US military get used to jungle warfare during the
    Vietnam War, even though they had combat experience in the Pacific
    theater during WW2?
    Originally Answered: Why couldn't the US military still get used to with
    the jungle warfare during the Vietnam War, even when they had combat
    experience of the Pacific theater during WW2?

    Why couldn't the US military still get used to with the jungle warfare
    during the Vietnam War, even when they had combat experience of the
    Pacific theater during WW2?

    The US couldn’t win the Vietnam war because pretty much what your
    question is asking is based on wrong assumptions.

    Your line of thinking is a common misconception created by a very
    popular ‘simplfying’ mindset about the Vietnam war and warfare in
    general too.

    Most of people, when talking about warfare, they use to over estimate
    the fighting part.

    Here follows the ‘simplified’ (and wrong) mindset about war:

    WAR: countries fighting against each others.

    WIN: to fight better than the other side.

    Both those sentences are wrong.

    The Vietnam war was an asymmetical war, and a civil one.

    What does it means?

    Simly put, it means that while you are trying to find a HIDDEN enemy and
    fight it, and win your following ‘battles’ against said enemy… that
    enemy doesn’t want to fight. Your enemy will rather spend it’s time by bombing schools, hospitals, killing VIP people (politicians, cops, etc),

    And so, as soon as you start deploying your men to protect here and
    there, you scatter you forces on a wide area. Once your men are
    scattered enough, your enemy starts conventional attacks over
    conventional, undefended targets.

    The US STARTED fighting a guerrilla warfare (asymmetric warfare) using conventional strategies. That was the first part of the war and a very short-lived one.

    Because after that first phase… then yes, the US fixed fixed their
    strategy pretty well. And contrary to popular believes… The US changed
    it’s strategies and started winning pretty well in Vietnam.

    Yes, before pulling out from Vietnam the US was winning.

    The US created effective Counter-insurgency measures pretty soon, and
    started fighting using special forces and unconventional means with the
    goal of destroying the terrorist/guerrilla forces.

    And so, by 1969 the guerrilla/terrorist movement had been pretty
    destroyed. Thanks to that destruction, the communists had been
    effectively ‘forced’ by the US into fighting conventional, ‘films-like’ battles that the US started winning pretty easy.

    After 1969, the US started winning every single battle… But winning
    battles doesn’t lead to the final victory anyway because… As I said already, that’s not the way war works. Life is no hollywood film nor PC
    game neither, and winning a battle (or most battles) doesn’t necessary
    mean that you will win the war. There are plenty examples in history of
    sides winning their battles and losing their wars anyway.

    Let’s go back to Vietnam.

    The US deployment in Vietnam ended up with a major victory of South
    Vietnam against the communist forces in 1972, and what is really worth
    of note about that upteenth US victory is the fact that the US personnel
    on the ground was minimal. That was a victory of South Vietnam soldiers
    against the communists.

    But then the US forces quit the war when they were winning.

    Legendary general Giap was the major actor in the communist victory
    against the US.

    According to general Giap, had the US fighted for another couple of
    years or so, they would have win the Vietnam war for sure. Even further,
    he added that they actually WERE winning (Giap was lately forced to a ‘golden’ exhile by the communist regime because of those words).

    So let’s take a step back. Let’s go back to those two wrong assumptions about war:

    WAR: countries fighting against each others. -> wrong

    War is getting political objectives by ANY necessary means.

    WIN: the country fighting better will finally win -> wrong.

    Battles serve a purpose. War is the following of a purpose and if you
    re-read the Vietnam war by those terms, you will note that the US won a
    lot of battles but didn’t reached for it’s goals anyway, and that’s exactly how experts see the Vietnam war.

    The US wished to prevent South Vietnam from being invaded by the North
    and becoming a communist country. For seven years the US destroyed the terrorist movement effectively and won every single major battle (and
    most of the smaller battles as well). Also, the US was effective into
    turning the ‘destroyed’ Sout Vietnamese army into a well equipped, effectively-fighting army.

    But then, the American people were exhausted by the lenght, the
    casualties and costs of the war. By 1970, South Vietnam was one of the
    largest armies *of the world*, and thanks to a 99% of it’s equipment
    coming from… US ‘donations’ (airplanes, tanks, wapons, ammos, fuel,
    etc). The US were spending a chunk so big of it’s economy that people
    were stunned.

    The costs in both human casualties and money were too cumbersome for the
    US people already, and then the oil crisis hit the US very hard too. Unemployment rate in the US sky-rocketed and the US people were very
    upset by the never ending Vietnam war.

    So the US soldiers didn’t just pulled themselves out from Vietnam, but
    the US sopped funding and arming South Vietnam too.

    And so, after two years of war entirely spent on their own… South
    Vietnam finally lost the war.

    And when the communists attacked one last time, South Vietnam bases were
    filled with US-made war jets with no fuel to take off the base.

    And that’s why the US lost the Vietnam war.

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