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The US has been involved in several wars since its formation. Every war has its impact on the social, economic and political make up of the country. Most of the time, the repercussions of the wars were directly correlation to the power that the opposition held. However, the Vietnam War was different. Although fought against a relatively underdeveloped nation, the war cost America dearly in both, monetary terms as well as the number of lives lost.
The Vietnam War was the result of America’s support for South Vietnam and it’s so called socialist government against the communist government of North Vietnam. The South Vietnamese government, however, was corrupt and dealt with the common public with tyrannical methods. Hence, the general public of South Vietnam supported the North in what they considered was an American War against their homeland.
Fought between 1957 and 1975, the war was expected to be a one sided affair. The South Vietnamese government was supported by the well armed American troops. Although the North Vietnam troops were aided by Chinese intelligence and weapons, they mainly fought a guerilla war. This is where America lost the war. Battles were fought in forested terrain not known to American soldiers. Even though techniques such a Napalm bombing was used by US forces, it resulted in too many civilian deaths when compared to military casualties.
The US administration faced several public protests at home as questions were raised about the motive behind the war with millions believing that the war was an unnecessary interference in foreign affairs. After America lost the war, even the veterans returning home didn’t receive a hero’s welcome until much later.