Why did the US forces fail in Vietnam?

The Vietnam war started in 1955 on the 1st of November and ended on the 30th of April in 1975, lasting 19 years and 180 days. During the war, the strength of the US forces was numbered at 536100. By the end of the war 58315 US soldiers had been killed in action and a further 303644 soldiers had been wounded. There are four main reasons why the US forces had failed in the Vietnam War.

1. The first and main reason was that the North Vietnamese Army, Vietcong and the NLF (National Liberation Front) had lots of support among the ordinary people. This is because the ordinary people were against the South Vietnamese Government as they were inefficient and also had failed to introduce necessary reforms.

2. The second reason was that the Vietcong were highly efficient and experienced in guerrilla warfare as they were fighting on familiar terrain. Consequently the American forces found it more difficult to fight the Vietcong than compared to fighting the North Koreans in the Korean War. In addition, the Vietcong had no distinguished uniform, making it easy for them to blend in with the local peasant population, thus making it impossible to stop the flow of North Vietnamese supplies and reinforcements moving down the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

3. The third reason was that the Vietcong had received help from North Vietnam, China and Russia. This was very beneficial for the Vietcong as they were receiving troops from the North Vietnamese and were receiving arms and ammunition from China and Russia. Furthermore, after 1970 the Russians were contributing rifles, machine guns, long range artillery, anti aircraft missiles and tanks.

4. The fourth and final reason was that the North Vietnamese had dedicated every victory to the unification of their country. The North Vietnamese showed lots of resilience, despite the mass number of casualties and damage they had taken during the American bombings, they rapidly responded by evacuating the city people and also by rebuilding factories outside the cities.


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