Every American has different experiences during the Vietnam War that has lasted about twenty years in the history that was full of pain and struggles. To the American armed forces, they have taken the war an immeasurable knowledge that what happened in the past during the Vietnam War is irreplaceable for any sort of involvement at present.
The most significant lesson I learned from the three areas; the diplomatic negotiations, presidential leadership, and cultural or social contexts are incomparable. Every area has shown me the opportunity to look into the experiences of every American in the past that would enlighten me to the real picture of torments and struggles.
The definition itself has brought the impact of what it intends to happen, that produced agreement among nations. The Americans learned most in the aspect of communication; the necessity to communicate with the enemy. Lyndon Johnson and other military leaders had used the bombing campaigns with its verbal agreement negotiation with Vietnam. Both parties were not willing to compromise or to enter in any discussion; the unwillingness to negotiate has led to terrible things to the lives of the many civilians and military (Thompson & Frizzell, 1977). If they allowed the constructive negotiations during that time, and both sides have decided to an agreement, possibly the war would have ended much sooner than what had happened.
The leadership has taken its unique distinctions, and it depends whom was the President of the United States at that time. There were unique appointments of its cabinet members with its unique style of leadership and teamwork. From President Eisenhower to Nixon, they have their own unique styles on how they handled negotiations that brought victory against the war in the North Vietnam. President Eisenhower and Kennedy have railed all over the foreign assistance to the South Vietnam. This foreign assistance was a form of training in the field of military along with the hopes to prove the leadership decision to alter the direction of war effectively. President Johnson has sent assistance to South Vietnam through military troops, and President Kennedy has negotiated the troop withdrawal from Vietnam as a sign of peace with honor. One thing I learned from these noble examples from different Presidents of its presidential leaderships in the history during the Vietnam War was to accept and to admit mistakes. The public could have shown sympathy towards the leaders and would have expressed the whole truth that concerns the war whether good or bad. History have witnessed that America was losing the Vietnam War; however, none a single president ever wanted to admit any defeat.
Cultural or Social Context
In the cultural or social perspective, the Vietnam War has left a mark or unforgettable impressions on the American public how they encountered the taste of war and felt the pain they experienced (Thayer, 1985). When the United States have chosen the level of involvement in the war, all Americans were torn from the very start of the event. I learned that through the determination and resourcefulness of the Vietnam people, any technology could be defeated accordingly. The Vietnam nation has proven the American leaders that they underestimated their will and capacity that victory is very difficult to obtain and war is not won through big weapons or bombs only. The military leaders and government should have conducted a thorough study about the culture of Vietnam before they declared war against them. The Vietnam people were not afraid to die for their country and shown compassion to both civilian and military communities. Their belief during the war was clear that they dedicated their lives fully; however, Americans were not certain about it and made some protests that reflected their uncertainty.
The Vietnam War has taught the military and the government in the United States leaders ideas about the diplomatic negotiations. In addition, they learned the importance of learning the cultures beforehand to engage war to other countries.
Personally, it is clear to me that the Vietnam War was a memory of painful experiences and struggles that Historians write the events for the benefit of the future generations. The result of the war was difficult to everyone who had experienced it, and difficult especially to the soldiers deployed in the war. The act of unwillingness to admit defeat during the term of President Johnson has cost his next term of presidency in the United States. The Vietnam people have marked the idea to let the military leaders at present to learn from the mistake in the past.
The history allows the present generation to learn from the mistakes in the past and change the course of strategy for the next disagreement of the nation, and to apply the proper techniques. The history could help develop the current military force to review the past failures and successes to be able to identify the importance of the events of war.
Thayer, T. C. (1985). War without fronts: The American experience in Vietnam(p. 23).
Boulder,CO: Westview Press.
Thompson, W. S., & Frizzell, D. D. (1977). The Lessons of Vietnam. Crane Russak & Co.