Weighing the Geopolitics of the Vietnam War
South Vietnam’s capital city, Saigon, fell to invading North Vietnamese troops on April 30, 1975. The image of an overloaded Huey helicopter on top of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, frantically loading refugees, was forever seared into the American mind. It was the ignominious end of more than a decade of involvement by the United States in Vietnam.
Ultimately, Washington’s failure to win the war in Vietnam resulted from factors beyond the conflict zone. The United States was heavily constrained by its global commitments — principally its need to secure Western Europe against Warsaw Pact invasion. Washington could not align military capabilities with realistic political goals to justify bringing the full might of U.S. armed forces to bear to defend its peripheral interests in Vietnam. Unable to comprehend North Vietnamese resolve and incapable of bringing about a swift victory, the United States’ will to continue the war crumbled as the human cost mounted. Today, the dominant narrative among the American public is that that Vietnam was a crushing American defeat. 40 years after the fall of Saigon, however, it is apparent that Vietnam had only a limited impact on the overall U.S. position within the broader context of the Cold War.
To Continue Reading CLICK HERE
Stratfor is a geopolitical intelligence firm that provides strategic analysis and forecasting to individuals and organizations around the world. By placing global events in a geopolitical framework, we help customers anticipate opportunities and better understand international developments.
We have two core offerings: Online subscriptions and custom consulting services. Subscribers gain a thorough understanding of world events through full access to our analysis, published around the clock. Clients get direct access to our analysts and to our global networks, enabling them to better assess geopolitical risk, make strategic investments and expand into challenging regions.
Best-selling author George Friedman founded Stratfor in 1996 to bring customers an incisive new approach to examining world affairs. Under his direction, Stratfor taps into a worldwide network of contacts and mines vast amounts of open-source information. Analysts then interpret the information by looking through the objective lens of geopolitics to determine how developments affect different regions, industries and markets.