Why the Americans lost the Vietnam War

Tony Morse, managing partner with the Spatial Analysis Group, believes that the reason that the U.S. lost the Vietnam War is because they didn’t want to win as much as the Vietnamese did.  His reasoning for this is that the Vietnamese soldiers were fighting within their own country and were committed to winning the battle.  The Americans were not.

While in Thailand in 1971, when Morse was a soldier with the U.S Air Force, he had a conversation with an air controller who was upset about the fact that the Americans had not been using nuclear weapons.  The air controller felt they would be useful to use on Laos in order to keep supplies from being moved from North Vietnam to South Vietnam.

When Morse asked him why he thought this, his response was that the war was keeping the enemy from using the land and that nuclear weapons would be the best thing to use to accomplish this.

Morse believes that if nuclear weapons had been used, more than the war would have been lost by the Americans.

Jon Mixon, who has studied military actions during war times, feels that the Vietnamese War was lost by the Americans because South Vietnam was a product of France’s loss during the Indo-china War.  Because of the way that South Vietnam was put in place, he believes that the US stopped providing military help to maintain it.

He also suggests that if the Americans continued to provide military assets to the government of South Vietnam, it could have remained into the 1980’s, which was nearer to the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the removal of communist countries, with the exception of China.

Another reason that the U.S. stopped providing military assistance is because the American people did not want the war to continue or for more lives to be lost, the Slate reports.

Mixon also predicts that if America had invaded North Vietnam rather than keeping their participation within the south, the war would have been over during the second half of the 1960’s.  If this had happened, even though there would have been some internal fighting or some quick attacks from Cambodia or Laos, Vietnam would have ended up becoming a noncommunist, unified nation.

But since this didn’t happen, South Vietnam was in place and then it wasn’t.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE