Vietnam and Gulf War

"No new taxes." This is a quote that most all of us remember
from the 1992 presidential election. Along with it we
remember that there were new taxes during that presidents
term in office. There are a myriad of promises made and
things done in a presidential election year that have
questionable motives as to whether they are done in the best
interest of the people or in the interests of the presidential
candidate. These hidden interests are one of the biggest
problems with the political aspects of government in modern
society. One of the prime examples of this is the Vietnam
War. Although South Vietnam asked for our help, which we
had previously promised, the entire conflict was managed in
order to meet personal political agendas and to remain
politically correct in the world’s eyes rather than to bring a
quick and decisive end to the conflict. This can be seen in
the selective bombing of Hanoi throughout the course of the
Vietnam War. Politically this strategy looked very good.
However, militarily it was ludicrous. War is the one arena in
which politicians have no place. War is the military’s sole
purpose. Therefore, the U. S. Military should be allowed to
conduct any war, conflict, or police action that it has been
committed to without political interference or control
because of the problems and hidden interests which are
always present when dealing with polit United States
involvement in the Vietnam War actually began in 1950
when the U. S. began to subsidize the French Army in South
Vietnam. This involvement continued to escalate throughout
the 1950’s and into the early 1960’s. On August 4, 1964
the Gulf of Tonkin incident occurred in which American
Naval Vessels in South Vietnamese waters were fired upon
by North Vietnam. On August 5, 1964 President Johnson
requested a resolution expressing the determination of the
United Sates in supporting freedom and in protecting peace
in southeast Asia ( Johnson ). On August 7, 1964, in
response to the presidential request, Congress authorized
President Johnson to take all necessary measures to repel
any attack and to prevent aggression against the U. S. in
southeast Asia ( United States ). The selective bombing of
North Vietnam began immediately in response to this
resolution. In March of the following year U. S. troops
began to arrive. Although the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
specifically stated that we had no military, political, or
territorial ambitions in southeast Asia, the interests back
home were quite a different story ( Johnson ). The political
involvement in Vietnam was about much more than just
promised aid to a weak country in order to prevent the
spread of communism. It was about money. After all, wars
require equipment, guns, tools and machinery. Most of
which was produced in the United States. It was about
proving America’s commitment to stop communism. Or
rather to confine communism in its present boundaries But
most of all it was about politics. The presidential political
involvement in Vietnam had little to do with Vietnam at all. It
was about China for Eisenhower, about Russia for Kennedy,
about Washington D.C. for Johnson, and about himself for
Nixon ( Post ). The last two of which were the major players
in America’s involvement in regards to U. S. Troops being
used ( Wittman ). The military involvement in Vietnam is
directly related to the political management of the military
throughout the war. The military controlled by the politicians.
The micro management of the military by the White House
for political gain is the primary reason for both the length and
cost, both monetary and human, of the Vietnam War (
Pelland ). One of the largest problems was the lack of a
clear objective in the war and the support to accomplish it.
The predominant military opinion of the military’s role in
Vietnam in respect to the political involvement is seen in the
following quote by General Colin Powell, "If you’re going to
put into something then you owe the armed forces, you owe
the American People, you owe just you’re own desire to
succeed, a clear statement of what political objective you’re
trying to achieve and then you put the sufficient force to that
objective so that you know when you’ve accomplished it."
The politicians dictated the war in Vietnam, it was a limited
war, the military was never allowed to fight the war in the
manner that they thought that they needed to in order to win
it ( Baker ). To conclude on the Vietnam War, the political
management of the war made it unwinnable. The military was
at the mercy of politicians who knew very little about what
needed to be done militarily in order to