Vietnam Legacies and Lessons  2009
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Vietnam Legacies and Lessons 2009

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Vietnam Legacies and Lessons  2009 Vietnam Legacies and Lessons 2009 Presentation Transcript

  • The Legacy and Lessons Learned
  • The Costs of the War • 58,000 U.S. Soldiers K.I.A. • 300,000 U.S. wounded • over 2,000 M.I.A. • 2 mil. Vietnamese K.I.A. • U.S. spent $150 billion • PTSD, drug/alcohol abuse
  • Vietnam Memorial a.k.a. “The Wall” View slide
  • The end is near.... • impact of protests--late 1960s • impact of media • election of Nixon in 1968 • Vietnamization • cease fire (1973) • collapse (1975) View slide
  • Modern Impact on Politics • Mistrust of the government • LBJ, Tonkin, My Lai, Nixon, domino theory.... • Impact on political elections • immigration connection
  • Lessons Learned • U.S. public will not tolerate long wars • impact of time + casualties • need for clear intro and “outro” strategies • establish clear goals “I'm not going to be the first American president to lose a war.” Richard Nixon (1969)
  • Lessons Learned • Military power does not triumph over will • 7,000,000 tons of bombs dropped on Vietnam or one 500 lb bomb for every person in the country “Tell the Vietnamese they've got to draw in their horns or we're going to bomb them back into the Stone Age.” --Gen. Curtis LeMay (1964)
  • Lessons Learned • U.S. gov. will try to control images/stories • ex. imbeds in Iraq War; coffin pictures • Importance of web, cable and satellite TV
  • Lessons Learned • Know the pre-history and culture of the region BEFORE getting involved • gather intell from multiple sources • communicate (Ho Chi Minh letters) • standards of living
  • Lessons Learned • Watch out for nationalism and racism • strength vs will? “It's silly talking about how many years we will have to spend in the jungles of Vietnam when we could pave the whole country and put parking stripes on it and still be home for Christmas.”-- Ronald Reagan (1965)
  • Long-term Questions • Why did the U.S. lose the Vietnam conflict? • Why would the Vietnamese choose communism? • Will we ever be able to trust our leaders? • How does the U.S. view the world? • What is the purpose of U.S. foreign policy and what principles should guide it? • What is America?