Four decades have passed since the fall of Saigon & South Vietnam to the North Communists in 1975 marking the end of the longest war in U.S. history. Apparently, North Vietnam who succeeded in reunifying the country won the war while South Vietnam lost it to the communists. However, the question whether the U.S. lost or won the war still remains debatable.
On the one hand, many claim that the U.S. lost the war as they forgot all their “noble causes” when first involving in Vietnam to abandon South Vietnam in 1973 and then let them fall into the communists’ hands in 1975. Even to date, Vietnam is still a poor communist country. What is more, the U.S. also suffered enormous losses while devastating the infrastructure, landscape and environment of Vietnam so much that it has still not fully recovered yet. Likewise, its society was deeply divided and the economy was brought down to the crisis of 1970s all due to the war in Vietnam.
On the other hand, many argue that the U.S. did not lose the war since they left Vietnam with the signing of Paris Peace Accords which gave the U.S. “peace with honor”. Moreover, owing to its involvement in Vietnam, other Southeast Asian countries (except Laos and Cambodia) did not fall into Communism. Therefore, to a certain extent, the U.S. did achieved its major objective of containing communism. In addition, how could the U.S. lose the war when they never lost any major battles? Last but not least, some indicate that since the Soviet Union carried a heavy burden of aiding Vietnam, Vietnam contributed to the end of the Soviet Union and thereby the Cold War.
The question does not seem to have an adequate and convincing answer yet. How about you? What do you think about this intriguing question? Did the US lose or win the Vietnam war? Let us know your opinions in the poll & comment section below: