Special Forces in Vietnam

American failure in the Vietnam War was a direct result of the Cold War; the American military had spent their time after World War Two preparing for what seemed to be an assuredly impending war with the Soviet Union, and it was this preparation that caused their military failures in the war against Vietnamese communists. After bombing Japan and ending World War Two, the Cold War began, and with tensions rising between the two global powers, neither one of them could bear to lose a single day of military preparation. The Soviet Union and United States dauntingly leered at each other across the Atlantic, preparing their military forces to be ready at a moment’s notice to begin a global war should the other nation make a wrong turn. Ironically, it was this military preparedness that caused the United States so much trouble in Vietnam. The American military was built to face off with a large, diverse military complete with hundreds of thousands of personnel armed and equipped with state of the art artillery, infantry, aviation, and nuclear bombs. Instead, they were met by guerillas. The American military had built itself into a great sledgehammer, ready to smash into the Soviets, but this sledgehammer did not meet with the mighty Soviet force it was made to combat. Instead, with the quick moving and stealthy Vietnamese, the American military was seemingly trying to use their sledgehammer to crush a mosquito.

The traditional tactics of the United States Military were greatly ineffective against the Vietcong insurgents, but this lead to some of the most profound military developments ever seen among the American Special Forces. In order to combat the Vietcong, President Kennedy created the now well-known and universally respected Army Green Berets and the Navy SEALs.

 

Credits

Jonathan Sears and Will Moon