美國在越南的軍事參與規模非常大。同時，美國參與越南戰爭長達12年，是美國歷史上最長的一次對外戰爭。越南戰爭給美國造成了不可估量的痛苦和損失。在越南戰爭期間，美國在越南投下了80萬噸炸藥，遠遠超過了第二次世界大戰戰場的炸彈數量總和。越南戰爭造成了160多萬人死亡，1000萬流離失所的難民流離失所（Donnelly，2015年）。美國參與越南戰爭是一個漫長的、漸進的過程，而不是一夜之間發生的變化。1962年2月8日，美國在西貢設立了保羅·哈金斯將軍軍事指揮部，標志著美國直接參與越南戰爭的開始。1969年5月31日，美國宣布，自1961年美國實施越戰以來，美軍死亡達3.5億人，損失飛機5400架。1969年6月8日，尼克松總統在中途島宣布，8月底前一年，25000名美軍將從越南撤軍。這是尼克松政府首次從越南撤軍。1973年1月27日，經過長期談判，美國與越南民主共和國簽署了《巴黎協定》，宣布美國在越南的軍事行動失敗。美軍在南越撤軍后，美國留下了兩萬多名軍事顧問，并保留了相當規模的?？詹慷?，以支持南越110萬次軍事行動。與此同時，美國也遭受了嚴重的損失。越南戰爭使美國損失了5.6萬人死亡，30多萬人受傷，4千多億美元（Firestone，2013年）。下面將簡要分析越南戰爭對美國政治和社會的影響。US military involvement scale in Vietnam is very large. Meanwhile, US involvement in the Vietnam War lasts as long as 12 years, which is the longest foreign war in American history. Vietnam War causes to the United States immeasurable pain and loss.During the Vietnam War, the United States dropped 8,000,000 tons of explosives in Vietnam, far more than the sum of the battlefields of World War II bomb amounts. Vietnam War left more than 1.6 million deaths, and 10 million displaced refugeesin Vietnam and Indochina (Donnelly, 2015). US involvement in the Vietnam War is a long, gradual process, rather than results overnight change.On February 8, 1962, the United States set up by the command of General Paul Harkins military headquarters in Saigon, marking the start of direct US involvement in Vietnam War. On May 31, 1969, the United States announced that since 1961, since the United States implementation in the Vietnam War, US troops deaths reached 350 million, 5400 loss of aircraft. On June 8, 1969, President Nixon announced in Midway, in the year before the end of August, 25,000 US troops would withdraw from Vietnam. This is the Nixon administration's first withdrawal from Vietnam. On January 27, 1973, after long negotiations,the United States signed Paris Agreementwith the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, declaringthe US military operations in Vietnam fail. After the withdrawal of US troops in South Vietnam, the US left more than 20,000 military consultants, and retained a considerable scale of air and sea forces to support the 1.1 million South Vietnamese military operations. At the same time the United States also suffered heavy losses. The Vietnam War costs the United States 56thousand deaths, over 300 thousand people injured and more than $ 400 billion dollars (Firestone, 2013). In the following will give a brief analysis on the Vietnam War on American politics and society.
Firstly, it is on the perspective of politics. After World War II, leading by the United States and the Soviet Union, the cold war between capitalism and socialism lasted for more than a half century. Vietnam war broke out under the international atmosphere of the Cold War (Totten, 2014). It wasdeeply marked the Cold War imprint.
The Vietnam War not only led to violent social upheaval in the United States, but also triggered a deep political crisis. The negative impact of the Vietnam War on the US domestic politics is obvious. However, after the Vietnam War, the United States adjusted its international political strategy. This helps the United States made the Cold War triumph of great benefit in the end.Since the beginning of the Cold War, especially after the emergence of McCarthyism, as long as something detached and communism, the United States insisted obvious opposition.
After the Vietnam War, the United States recognized the importance of the internal economy in international competition. So the US started to compete to the Soviet Union mainly from the soft power, that is, economic, cultural and technological aspects. Soviet economic model emphasis on heavy industry and Soviet culture is under high-pressure control for a long period of time, which targeted competition, eventually caused the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Meanwhile, with the failure of Vietnam War,the United States temporarily took strategic contraction in Asia. The United States established diplomatic relations with MainlandChina, which led the Western camp’s reconciliationwith Socialist China. Meanwhile, the US’s contraction also stimulated the Soviet Union’sambitions to expand Asian ally. It led other Asian countries except Vietnam, especially China's resentment to the Soviet Union. Soviet’s expanding plan in Asia failed and at the same time, it pushed most of the most of the Asian countries to the American embrace. So while the United States lost the Vietnam War, temporarily shrink from Asia, which marked the start of the US new political strategy greatly helps the US win the Cold War.
Secondly, it is on the perspective of social.
The Vietnam War caused US soldiers on the war great psychological shadow. Although there are 50,000 people who fell down in Vietnam, there are 30 million people living back in sudden death after the war. About 100,000 Vietnam veteranscommitted suicide. In the 3.1 million of the US soldiers in the Vietnam War, nearly a third of them suffered with different degrees of post-emergency trauma disorders (Flores, 2014).
Vietnam War also caused huge domestic social dis-stability in the US. Vietnam War led to serious inflation in the United States. Student anti-war boom waved continuously. Student anti-war movement, the black movement, women's movement, etc. pushed the US domestic to the stream of counter-culture movement. These culture movements caused great influence for the domestic society for the US, and even has great impact until today. Because of the social unrest uneasiness, dissatisfaction with reality, as well as uncertainty about the future, young people in the United States of 1960s appeared to abandon the existing social values and seek to avoid the reality of nothingness of life.The 1960swas a decade of social upheaval in the United States.
In conclusion, the Vietnam War caused huge impacts on the US political and social aspects both for the time of 1960s and now.
1. Donnelly, William M. "This 'Horrible Example'": An Extraordinary Case Of Absent Without Leave During The Vietnam War."Journal Of Military History 79.2 (2015): 457-466. Historical Abstracts with Full Text. Web. 4 May 2015.
2. Firestone, Bernard J. "Failed Mediation: U Thant, The Johnson Administration, And The Vietnam War." Diplomatic History 37.5 (2013): 1060-1089. Academic Search Complete. Web. 4 May 2015.
3. Totten, Michael J. "Dispatch From Vietnam." World Affairs 177.4 (2014): 59-70. Academic Search Complete. Web. 4 May 2015.
4. Flores, David. "Memories Of War: Sources Of Vietnam Veteran Pro- And Antiwar Political Attitudes." Sociological Forum 29.1 (2014): 98-119. SocINDEX with Full Text. Web. 4 May 2015.