Did the U.S. lose the Vietnam War?

Did the U.S lose the Vietnam War?

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:

Did the U.S lose the Vietnam War?

  • Yes, the U.S abandoned Saigon in 1973 because they knew they would lose. (44%)
  • No, it was South Vietnam, not the U.S, who lost the war. (16%)
  • No, the U.S won every major battle in Vietnam. They left undefeated. (11%)
  • Yes, the U.S lost the war politically to their "democratic" media. (29%)

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  • Lâm Tùng

    Good question! Anyone?

  • Endity

    US didnt achieve their major objective :preventing Communism in SEA. Because after 1975, all countries in Indochine Peninsula had a Communism governments. Besides, Paris Accord was negotiated from 1968, after 1968 Offensive and signed in 1973, after their defeat in Linebacker II Operation, is this coincidence?
    Of course, victory or fiasco depends on points of view. Maybe US didnt lose any major battles, they retreated in peace with an accord but they didnt achieve their objective and receive a uncountable loss. So obviously, US ‘s lost in Vietnam War 😀

  • galacticcannibal

    The USA has a violent habit of attacking countries who did not attack the USA. Our corrupt politicians and our scare mongering national media have succeeded in conditioning the minds of the US masses to accept this vile propaganda war tactic, “attack countries who did not attack the USA”. Vietnam , N Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Panama. . Fortunately for the world there is a country named Russia who has the nuclear firepower to stop the USA dead in its tracks . should we and our corrupt politicians decide to go full bore on world hegemony. Remember back in the 50’s when Americans were told there is a Communist under your bed . Fast Forward to 2014 when corporate America has sold out to Communist China and they are now our greatest source of manufactured goods. Hypocrisy and Stupidity Rules the USA in 2014.

  • A little speculation

    It was our politicians who lost the war due to them trying to limit the war, not our military. It’s hard to win when every time you are about to make decisive victory, the enemy slips into Cambodia or Laos. We were so afraid that China or the Soviet Union would intervene if we tried to expand the war. The Soviet Union would back down just as they had in Korea if we had tried to take North Vietnam and expand sustained operations in Cambodia and Laos. China on the other hand may have come in support to keep the angry dog off its back porch.Even though they would have intervened, it would have bettered the containment policy in that the NVA would no longer had a place to hide when it was loosing, as it did time and time again. There would be a situation reminiscent of Korea today. By the way Chinese where directly involved in major NVA engagments, ,read “We were Soldiers Once, And Young”. It also didn’t help that the media was having a hay day after the Tet Offensive, even though the NVA and Viet Cong achieved virtually nothing. Walter Cronkite, a civilian who new nothing about military strategy, judged the entire war from a few bold attacks by Viet Cong who never made it past the court yard of the US embassy. The American public eats media up and thinks its the truth, when they are just trying to get viewers. A exciting war were there is a real possibility of failure is much more exciting than stomping a long drawn out insurgency.

  • Rick Gauger

    I was an intelligence officer who served two tours in the Vietnam War. I don’t disagree with any of these votes and comments. They all have some truth in them. However, here is a strong argument for saying the US “won” the Vietnam War: Today, Vietnam, is a stable united country. It is an independent nation with a growing economy. The Vietnamese do not hate Americans. They trade with us and make our tourists and expats welcome. Most importantly, the Vietnamese government is wary of the Chinese Peoples’ Republic. The first thing Vietnam did after gaining unity and independence was to fight and win a small war with China. Each one of these things is the way the US wanted Vietnam to be. That was why the US fought the war. Today’s Vietnam is exactly the way the US wanted it to be. The US gained all of its war goals by “losing” the war. Is this victory or not?