The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, from 1 November 1955 to the 30 April 1975. This war was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of South Vietnam, supported by the United States of America and other anti-communist countries
The U.S. government viewed involvement in the war as a way to preventa communist takeover of South Vietnam as part of their wider strategy of containment. The North Vietnamese government and Viet Cong viewed the conflict as a colonial war, fought initially against France, backed by the U.S., and later against South Vietnam, which it regarded as a U.S. puppet state. American military advisors arrived in what was then French Indochina beginning in 1950. U.S.involvement escalated in the early 1960s, with troop levels tripling in 1961 and tripling again in 1962. U.S. combat units were deployed beginning in 1965. Operations spanned international borders, with Laos and Cambodia heavily bombed. American involvement in the war peaked in 1968, at the time of the Tet Offensive. After this, U.S. ground forces were gradually withdrawn as part of a policy knownas Vietnamization. Despite the Paris Peace Accords, signed by all parties in January 1973, fighting continued.
U.S. military involvement ended on 15 August 1973 as a result of the Case–Church Amendment passed by the U.S. Congress. The capture of Saigon by the Vietnam People's Army in April 1975 marked the end of the war, and North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year. The war exacted ahuge human cost in terms of fatalities. Estimates of the number of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed vary from less than one million to more than three million. Some 200,000–300,000 Cambodians, 20,000–200,000 Laotians, and 58,220 U.S. service members also died in the conflict.
is a term used in the United States, in public political rhetoric and political analysis, todescribe the perceived impact of the domestic controversy over the Vietnam War on US foreign policy after the end of that war in 1975. Since the early 1980s, the combination of a public opinion apparently biased against war, a less interventionist US foreign policy, and a relative absence of American wars and military 'Vietnam paralysis'.
In the speech in which he coined the term "Vietnamsyndrome", President Reagan alleged that the Soviet Union was outspending the US in the global arms race, and warned that America's global power was decreasing, while the Soviet Union was becoming more powerful. He accused the Carter administration of being "totally oblivious" to the Soviet threat.
Alluding to the Paris Peace Accords (signed by the Nixon administration) as an undesirable example ofcompromise that needed to be avoided in the future, Reagan claimed that Carter's policies of Détente were endangering the continuation of US military superiority in the Cold War. Instead, Reagan argued, US policy should and could combine a commitment to protecting freedom and human rights with securing US global dominance and US access to resources such as oil and minerals through military might anddiplomacy:
One wonders why the Carter Administration fails to see any threatening pattern in the Soviet presence, by way of Cuban proxies, in so much of Africa, which is the source of minerals absolutely essential to the industrialized democracies of Japan, Western Europe, and the U.S. We are self-sufficient in only 5 of the 27 minerals important to us industrially and strategically, and so thesecurity of our resource life line is essential. Then there is the Soviet, Cuban and East German presence in Ethiopia, South Yemen, and now the invasion and subjugation of Afghanistan. This last step moves them within striking distance of the oil-rich Persian Gulf. And is it just coincidence that Cuban and Soviet-trained terrorists are bringing civil war to Central American countries in close...