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Containment Through Military Power Essay

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In the fallout of World War II, decolonization around the world was taking place after colonial rulers had been wasted of any feasible measure to retain them. At the same time, the communist superpower of the USSR began a campaign to set up a buffer zone of satellite states, against their former allies and the emerging North American Treaty Organization (NATO). A feeling of mutual antagonism between the two created a global stalemate, and the only measurable way to demonstrate their power was in small conflicts: such as in Afghanistan for the Communists and Vietnam for the Americans. For the United States, their duel with the Communists led to a strategy to hold Communist sympathies in controllable, isolated areas. The American strategy became known as containment, most aptly through military power. Since their fellow NATO allies were unable to provide substantial support the United States would be alone in their venture of containing the rapidly expanding Communist regimes
Apart from other NATO allies, France, who was embarrassingly conquered by the Germans in a matter of weeks, attempted to regain past prestige by re-establishing their dominance within the Indochina sphere. The war pitted the French against a highly fervent population against the colonial rulers. When the war turned in favor of the Vietnamese after the battle of Dien Bien Phu, America attempted to provide support until the eventual exodus of the French. Vietnam, now, was becoming an American issue, due to a substantial support in the North for a Communist regime. A plan of action would then have been deemed necessary to keep communism out of the Southern, American friendly, sector of Vietnam. I, therefore, submit the American test case for containment in Vietn...


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...erican troops. Therefore, the major reasons for an American military failure found its genesis in a weak ally and a strong, empowered Northern force. Although it is safe to state that, though the problem within Vietnam created a fiasco in itself, American arrogance in their military superiority and complete ignorance of the recent history of the Vietnamese, similarly, produced a circumstance where failure was inevitable.



Works Cited

Dyke, J. M. (1972). North Vietnam's strategy for survival,. Palo Alto, Calif.: Pacific Books.
Kolko, G. (1985). Anatomy of a war: Vietnam, the United States, and the modern historical experience. New York: Pantheon Books.
Prados, J. (1995). The hidden history of the Vietnam War . Chicago: I.R. Dee.
Thompson, J. C. (1980). Rolling Thunder: understanding policy and program failure. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.


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