Brett D asked in Politics & GovernmentMilitary · 10 years ago

do you think the Americans could have won the Vietnam war?

-- saw a show and it said that the General commanding the American forces said he thought he made the correct decisions at the time and if he had it to do over he would do the same things again and that he had no regrets. But under his command the American forces did not affect victory. So I wonder, if a General like General Patton or General MacArthur had been in his place could things have turned out differently?---- or to phrase the question differently, --- Do you think the Americans could have won the Vietnam war?

=== I personally think the question is hypothetical because with the millions of factor involving in history, how can any one second guess history -- so I was going to look at the answers as sort of a yes/ no vote-- consensus thingy


- never thought about it before but I wish instead of just a thumbs up or thumbs down - a comment might be added as to why?- I thought all eight answers so far are good and I am wondering about thumbs down so what but thumbs down WHY?

Update 2:

-- I was going to thank each of you personally for your answer but most of you guys don't accept e mail== so==I wanted to thank you for taking the time and trouble to express your opinion on my question where I asked if you thought the Americans might have been able to win the Vietnam war. I have read a bit and I have thought a bit and in reading all the answers I was impressed and liked all the answers and thought that all they answers said things I never thought of and probably would not thought of. Having sent you this thank you note I wanted to let you know after this question times out I was going to send it to vote just so more people read the question and the answers. Once again thank you for you time and trouble. BrettD

13 Answers

  • Ronald
    Lv 6
    10 years ago
    Best Answer

    Good Afternoon Brett D.,

    For years people have asked me your same question. I always smile. The United States dropped 7 million tons or 500 pounds, I repeat, 500 pounds of explosives per man, woman, and child in Vietnam. That does not include 12 million gallons of agent orange. The United States was fighting a country that had been fighting foreign involvement in various wars for over a hundred years.

    The great Vietnamese General Van Tien Dung: "We knew we would win the war. It was just a matter of time. We were prepared to fight for twenty years, but it ended sooner". Thank about that?

    As early as 1950, President Eisenhower warned that 80% of the Vietnamese people in free elections would vote for communist Ho Chi Minh.

    Yes, President Kennedy did send in advisors only. Kennedy also told Walter Cronkite that a war in Vietnam was unwinnable. He told Cronkite that it was a Vietnamese war, not an American war.

    Kennedy also stated: "To introduce US forces in large numbers, while it might have a initially favorable military impact, would almost centainly lead to political and, in the long run, adverse military consequences".

    Now here comes President Johnson who misled the American people about the incident in the Gulf of Tonkin in order to gain support for his policy in Vietnam. The Vietnam War.

    Brett D; Do you really believe the Hollywood movie "Patton" could have saved the day in Vietnam? How would you like to have your life on the line with some two pistol carrying general who thinks he is reincarnated? Lets get real.

    The same general who, in the Battle of the Bulge, would charge head on into German army tanks just to fight. In the Battle of the Bulge, this general killed thousands of soldiers. All he had to do was surround the German forces and cut off their supply lines. But no, this general wanted to fight. These are the true facts, not the Hollywood facts. Old blood and guts sounds great on the big movie screen before kids not smelling the blood and guts.

    But oh yes, he did get his Hollywood movie of himself. This Hollywood movie, called "Patton", forgot this general had the highest casualties of any general in history. A general who would play doctor and hit a sick private in a hospital bed. History lets the facts speak for themselves. No Brett D., General Patton would not have helped in Vietnam.

    The American people fought and won their country. The Vietnamese People fought for a hundred years, and now they plant crops on free soil drenched with the blood from their forefathers. This was their destiny.

    Thanks for your question. You have a great weekend, from Los Angeles.

  • Roxie
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    MYTH-BUSTER: FYI Marshal...the Viet Cong DID NOT WIN THE WAR in Vietnam. The Main-Force VC were mostly wiped out by the despised ARVN during the Tet Offensive in 1968. The National Liberation Front was defunct by 1975. NVA troops ran down the ARVN in Soviet tanks in 1975 because the neo-isolationist left-wing liberals in the US Congress refused to supply the South Vietnamese with replacement parts for their equipment or ammunition to defend themselves. After their victory in 1975 the North Vietnamese did not allow a single member to participate in the new "consolidated government." The NLF/VC were nothing but a front group for the North Vietnamese Communists all along. Just a historical fact. really need to get a hobby and stop trolling on Y!A....

  • 10 years ago

    It all depends on your definition of "won".

    This is the issue with all limited wars. War is not meant to be limited. You have to vanquish your foe. All unfair advantages must be exploited.

    Could we have destroyed all of North Vietnam? Yes.

    Did we? No. It wouldn't have been a popular move domestically or internationally.

    So we tried a limited war which always "fail" in the sense that you never really end up with a clear victory. You usually just call it a win and leave after a while.

    Fighting a war without the full support of the people at home is never a good move.

  • 10 years ago

    The US could have won. It would have come at a bloody price and permanently scarred the region, but it was possible. Arguably they could have modeled the war like WWII. Increase the production of napalm to clear the forest and create a massive no mans land. Also taking the country from east to west instead of south to north would ensure powerful naval support. This would have gained access to many ports and increased logistics capabilities. Many VC and the regular army would have escaped across the border. Using helicopters US forces would control the no mans land. It's important to remember the US had a high K/D ration in battles even after the civilians are taken out.

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  • 10 years ago

    The problem was that no one even knew what "victory" looked like. America intervened against a popular communist revolution first in support of the French colonialists, and then in support of a savage, murderous, corrupt dictatorship. Even if we "won," completely driving the Viet Cong out of South Vietnam, the moment we left the people would have simply risen up and killed the bastards in their beds.

    We killed about 2 million civilians in that war. We destabilized Laos and Cambodia, directly leading to the rise of the Khmer Rouge and the Killing Fields. There could be no victory for America, because it was never America's war to begin with.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    If the politicians wouldn't have had their heads so far up their butts then we could have won.

  • 10 years ago

    If people go to war NEVER let politicians run the war. Leave it to generals. Don't try to "rebuild" the country DURING a war. Wait to do that AFTER it is over. Did we try rebuilding Germany and Japan DURING the war? No....we would still be fighting.

    Do this and YES we could have won.

  • dee l
    Lv 5
    10 years ago

    If the politicians had defined the goal and therefore what constituted a win and then just turned the military loose, yes, we would have won. And of course along with turning the military loose, they could have and should have turned the justice department loose to prosecute certain slime guilty of treason.

    After all, we had all but won it at the time that the press and the politicians tucked their tails between their legs and and declared it a loss.

  • 10 years ago

    I don't know what WOULD HAVE happened, however, i think that if we had known that all Vietnam was going to remain a communist country in the end, we shouldn't have gone. then again, it was impossible to tell the future.

  • 10 years ago

    Meh, no one actually won the war we never signed a treaty, so as far as im concerned were still at war just at a stalemate

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