One can name a lot of reasons why the United States of America lost the famous Vietnam War. To my mind, one of the most important reasons was that as a nation, the USA has never waged a war conflict in such setting as the opponent country of that time. The point is that all challenges in the geographic settings, the accurate and proper identification of the enemy and the confusion of the overall message all contributed to the lack of solid concentration that ended up pretty sad. In other words, the premise of the basic mission and scope of what the real goal was in this war was never stated clear. The stated purpose of providing the South Vietnamese with assistance was never fully realized because of the South Vietnamese’s government corruption and a lack of capacity to assume a strong leadership in the war conflict. The whole new idea of removing illegitimate government has never been acknowledges to the fullest manner for the reason that many Vietnamese – North and South – began to resent the presence of the United States of America in the land. And to the final end, the idea of victory being defined by attrition in actual fact has never been totally resonated with Americans, who are now associating the Vietnam War with more cost, more death and more sacrifices than they were supposed to initially believe in. Thus, all these aspects led to an absolute failure in the campaign.
However, we cannot leave behind all the other viewpoints. For example, it is highly important to mention that nowadays there are many veterans, who are ready to argue that the Vietnam War was never lost by the United States of America, rather this battle was lost two years after the country had left the war conflict in 1975 by the government and the Army of the South Vietnamese. As to my mind, I am not ready to absolutely agree with them. At the same time, I see what their point is.
So, if I take this question from the angle of why the United States of America were not able to win this fight, a certain number of factors may be listed. Here are some of them that, as I believe, should come into play.
First of all, the question is about distance. Let’s face it, the 10 000 miles supply line was absolutely inefficient and pretty costly. It alone could be a cause of a failure, but, nevertheless, there are much more.
Second of all, motivation is highly important. VC and NVA troops had an exceptional motivation to continue the fight. At the same time, the Army of the South Vietnamese was not motivated at all. A lot of soldiers of the United States Army also had a core purpose of serving out their year in the USA and then getting back home.
Third of all, the territory of Vietnam was a very hostile one for an invasion. The jungles and swamps of the country were perfectly known for the NVA and Vietcong, while Americans knew the terrain by reconnaissance photos and maps only. In other words, the Army of Vietnam had an opportunity to fight on home turf.
And fourth of all, it is important to mention Guerrilla Tactics. The Army of Vietnam attacked the soldiers of the United States of America when they were absolutely isolated, then ran right into the jungle, set off nightmarish traps in order to simply bled American forces to death. They came out rarely to fight on the USA terms, spending most of the time sniping at the American soldiers.