12 Jul 2022


The Cold War and the Vietnam War

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Academic level: College

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This war (cold war) was as a result of rivalry that arose after the World War II, mostly because the Soviet Union decided that it wanted to be the major influencer of various worldly goals such as promoting democracy and international cooperation among countries rather than abide by what the United States was prepared to set as standards for the world. The Soviet Union was ready to go to war the United States as it wanted to create its own society rather than rely on a society that had been created by the United States, which included the formation of certain institutions such as the World Bank and the United Nations. The Soviet Union was also ready to go to war with the United States now that it was the only power that could go into war with it due to its large armies that were located in most of Eastern Europe including in the Eastern Germany. Its determination to be declared as being the one country responsible for global reconstruction made it start the Cold War. Its troops occupied most of northern Iran to pressure it to give them direct access to their fields which were rich in oil but withdrew when American and British forces put pressure in the same region. The army of the Soviet Union thus set up camp elsewhere 

The theory of containment represents the various strategies that the United States put in place as a way of preventing the spread of Soviet communism, which initially, had threatened to spread throughout the world. These strategies were suggested by the then American diplomat Gorge Kennan in 1946 via a telegram, and he lay the foundation for the policies of containment. One of the strategies was to establish the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which would defend the Europeans against being influenced by the communist Soviet Union, by strengthening military troops in what was the West, so as to protect the concerned countries from possible invasion by the Soviet Union. 

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The role of nuclear weapons during the war was to ensure that the enemy would be sufficiently deterred from wanting war with the United States, owing to the threat of annihilation and possible extermination that these weapons posed. It would also ensure that the United States won the war, and hence would prevent the army officials from going to prison as criminals of war. They were used to counter armies of the Soviet Union so as to prevent them from spreading communism and to weaken their forces from attacking them. 

After the Cold War, peace settlements could not be attained based on the decisions and policy making that had occurred. It also resulted in the Vietnam War that caused further deaths and destruction since more nuclear weapons were deployed during the war. 

The US failed to empathize with the enemy before and during the Vietnam War, as they were ready to send their military troops to the war, with nuclear weapons that would ensure total destruction of the enemy. This can be attributed to the resultant war since the US was unable to understand and empathize with the enemy, especially since they were experiencing civil war at the time. They were also against communism and were prepared to go to whatever lengths they would to ensure that it would not spread, and this resulted in massive killing of people and destruction of property. The North Vietnamese felt that the United States was only concerned with taking the as a colony and thus fought to keep their independence, and thus the lack of understanding between them resulted in a lack of empathy. 

The US had a clear idea of who the enemy was before and during Vietnam since they went to war in Vietnam, ready to put an end to communism. North Vietnam was regarded as being a communist state like the Soviet Union, which the United States was against. Empathy with the enemy would have prevented the Vietnam War as the US would have understood that Vietnam was only trying to fight for its independence. This would have changed the outcome as it would have reduced the possibility of destruction and would have made peace talks possible, in a manner that would have been timelier than they were. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). The Cold War and the Vietnam War.


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