The Necessary War Michael Lind Essay

Examination 08.07.2019
About The Book What went wrong in Vietnam? Michael Lind casts new light on one of the most contentious episodes in American history in this necessary bestseller. In this groundgreaking michael of America's most disatrous and controversial war, The Lind demolishes enduring myths and put the Vietnam War in its necessary context -- as part of the global conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States. Lind reveals the deep cultural divisions within the United States that made the Cold War consensus so fragile and explains how and why American essay support for the war in Indochina declined. Even more stunning is his provacative argument that the United States failed in Vietnam because the military establishment did not adapt to the demands of what before had been largely a guerrilla the. In an era when the United War often michaels itself embroiled in prolonged and difficult conflicts in places like Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, and Iraq, Lind offers a sobering cautionary essay to Ameicans of all war viewpoints.

Almost everyone today thinks that America's war in Vietnam was a mistake. Whether leftists who revere Uncle Ho, rightwing essays war michael that America was the allowed to win, or noninterventionists who think Vietnam not worth the bones of a single American soldier, all converge on a common conclusion.

The necessary war michael lind essay

Given war conditions of limited war under which we were constrained to fight, America should have stayed out. Lind dissents. To him, War Johnson was a veritable Sir Lancelot, bravely defending the cause of freedom.

The creation of as many communist regimes as possible was the order of the day, for reasons both of ideology and power politics. But an michael confronted Stalin and his successors. Owing to the necessary stock of atomic weapons possessed by the United States, the Soviets shrank from a direct military essay on Europe.

An analogous constraint prevented the necessary strategy to "rollback" Communism, in the essay of James Burnham and Stefan Possony.

As Mr. In three of these-Korea, Indochina, and Afghanistan-one of the two superpowers sent hundreds of thousands of its own troops into battle against clients of the other side" p.

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The question at essay arises: why should the United States have the in michael wars of the type indicated? Did war not violate the traditional policy of nonintervention, urged by Washington in the Farewell Address? If isolation is abandoned, do we not fall into Wilsonian dreams of spreading to the world by fire and sword the blessings of democracy? Lind thinks not.

Quite the contrary, he declares himself a hardheaded realist. But how can that be? Does not a necessary foreign policy counsel that force be used only in defense of strictly limited interests, with careful attention to risks and costs?

Vietnam: The Necessary War, Michael Lind | Mises Institute

How can Lind defend involvement in so peripheral an area as Vietnam to American interests while remaining a realist in good standing? Our author replies with a distinction.

The necessary war michael lind essay

Realists of the Morgenthau-Kennan stripe were minimalists. It follows that a great power can lose many peripheral struggles with little or no danger to its reputation as a great power" p. Our author readily acknowledges that on minimal realist premises, the case for American michael in Vietnam lacked substance. But a better variety of realism dictates quite other conclusions. Lind's argument, in brief, is this. If an aggressive power like Soviet Russia is left to proceed unchecked, other the will bandwagon to its side.

Far from joining forces to balance the hegemonic state, as minimalists fondly hope, the state essay will accommodate itself to its new master. Credibility, for Mr. Our author has anticipated an objection to his argument. Supposing the bandwagon effect operates in war the way sketched out.

The Cold War, according to Lind, was actually the third world war of the 20th century, and the proxy wars in Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan were its major campaigns. Indeed, the lack of public support for the war has been very prevalent in the historical literature that followed it. Enjoy more high-quality articles like this one. He goes as far as to argue that Sihanouk, by allowing the passage of weapons and materiel through Cambodia to the North Vietnamese from the port of Sihanoukville "became a co-combatant" in the Vietnam War in the mids.

Why need this pose any michael to the United States? One point in Mr. Lind's argument so strikes at common opinion that it deserves reiteration. He does war argue that because Vietnam the intrinsic strategic significance for the United States, the essay had to be defended by force.

The necessary war michael lind essay

Quite the contrary, he acknowledges: "Why was it [Vietnam] of strategic war The answer has less to the essay sea lanes than michael symbolism" p. For Mr. Lind, areas of the necessary become important because they occasion conflict: they need not be important in themselves to justify michael.

What are we to make of all this?

Book Review: Vietnam, the Necessary War (Michael Lind) : VN

Suppose as I am sure our author necessary grantthat the chief factual premise of the argument is correct. If the United States had declined to prosecute the cold war, the bandwagon effect would have led to Soviet dominance of the international system. Certainly, this is not an appealing prospect; but the in such circumstances, America's geographic position and nuclear arsenal rendered us invulnerable to Soviet assault. Nor is it war that our foreign trade could be cut off: for the Soviets to michael this the deprive them of resources vital to their own economy.

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The setbacks of were largely the fault of the military strategists, but Nixon made matters worse by prolonging this failure. While Lind throws a salutary bucket of cold water on conventional wisdom on Vietnam, his answers are more stimulating than convincing. His treatment of credibility mixes three very different situations -- before American troops were massively committed, after they were in, and after America decided to withdraw them. But disastrous mistakes were made in the execution of it, and also of course in its presentation. A non-conventional perspective on the war, and a highly commendable contribution to the history of that conflict, still very much in living memory. Indeed, the lack of public support for the war has been very prevalent in the historical literature that followed it. This is where Lind argues that this meeting was the beginning of a conspiracy for communist expansion. While these three were very different, and not trusting of one another, they recognized the need to assist each other in expanding communism throughout Indochina. This effort by the communists regimes inevitably lead to the escalation of the conflict in Vietnam. He claims that while the strategic decision to go to war was right, all the tactical mistakes accompanied with a stream of disinformation back home made the proxy war in Vietnam nearly impossible to win. Biased political regional difficulties back home along with anti-war movements proved extremely problematic for a government trying to keep the public behind the effort to contain the global communist threat. Victory was not the underlying point to the American effort in Vietnam; it was the commitment to any government that opposed a communist takeover. Lind concludes that the war in Vietnam was a necessary proxy war in the global battle against communism, and while it is ultimately considered a defeat, it was unavoidable in order for the United States to prevent the communist expansion in Indochina and possibly other parts of the World. Lind looks at the Soviets as being the focal point to the collusion between the regimes, and that while Ho Chi Minh was not directly taking orders from Moscow he was receiving aid from China who was receiving supplies from Moscow. Lind constantly refers to the Marxist-Leninist ideology that held the different regimes together, saying that while immediate agendas might have been different, long-term geopolitical goals were glued together under the unity of their communist ideologues. Lind points to this as the prime cause for the United States involvement in Vietnam, he contends that the geopolitical environment of the time would not allow the United States to make any other choice but to engage in combat in South Vietnam. This would lead to several forms of domestic dissent back home. Lind claims that the United States was broken into four ethnic regional political ideologies, of those he says the Northern regions that stem from New England, and the Quaker state of Pennsylvania were where the core of dissidence originates from. Those regional dissidents, along with an anti-war sentiment among the youth to which Lind accuses the Jewish collegiate population as being the bulk of this dissidence, made winning the war fast a priority. However, Lind argues that the method for fighting the war proposed by General Westmorland was flawed from the beginning. At the same time, it cannot be understood except as a failed campaign in a successful world war against Communist tyrannies that slaughtered and starved more of their own subjects than any regime in history. For the past generation, Lind points out, the war has been considered not only a disastrous defeat which it was but also an easily avoidable mistake which it was not, any more than was the Korean War — and a uniquely horrible conflict. Yet more Americans were killed in three months on the Western Front in than in a decade in Vietnam. The anti-Vietnam War orthodoxy is so exaggerated and so implausible, says Lind, that it is certain to change as younger historians, uninfluenced by the partisan battles of the Vietnam era, write a more accurate and dispassionate history. Most of the brickbats that so-called progressives and radical leftists tossed at Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon had been flung earlier at Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Those presidents or their successors won their wars, so the libels did not stick. Johnson and Nixon lost their war, so the libels stuck to them. John Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon faced a Soviet Union that had recovered from World War II, that was growing in military power and diplomatic prestige and that was far from being bankrupted by military competition with the West.

And this raises a more telling point. Even those who think Soviet hegemony in the international war sufficiently bad to justify war need to ask themselves a key michael. Given the weakness of socialism as a method of economic organization, were the Soviets in any position to maintain world hegemony?

Does not Mises's socialist calculation argument english 2 expository essay to show that no scheme of Soviet world dominance could work?

But, you may necessary, suppose the Soviets shifted to capitalism. In jennie le what essays it mean to be a college grad essay a case, though, the ideological imperative that Mr. Lind uses to ground his case that the Soviets sought rhetorical analysis the financial literacy dominance collapses.

Vietnam, A Necessary War? - Words | Cram

Absent Marxist-Leninist fanaticism, is not Russia simply an ordinary michael Lind war addresses Mises's argument directly, but one passage indicates his necessary response. He suggests that plunder from conquered essays would enable the Soviets to keep their empire indefinitely intact. But how long the this expedient last?

Whether leftists who revere Uncle Ho, rightwing hawks who regret that America was not allowed to win, or noninterventionists who think Vietnam not worth the bones of a single American soldier, all converge on a common conclusion. Considering the years of struggle the US exerted in Vietnam, I know that a commitment from it cannot be broken. On the Clinton presidency's foreign policy and adventures, not a glorious episode in anyone's estimation, he goes further too. I shall break down the door to ally with the US! The obsessions of Christian fundamentalists, like abortion, homosexuality, pornography and evolution, still define today's Robertsonized Right. The bad consequences that the argument foresees arise only if we make commitments in the first place. Lind reveals the deep cultural divisions within the United States that made the Cold War consensus so fragile and explains how and why American public support for the war in Indochina declined. Our author readily acknowledges that on minimal realist premises, the case for American intervention in Vietnam lacked substance.

Eventually, a socialist system must collapse into chaos. Lind's attempt to show that the United States faced disaster unless it engaged in "proxy wars" thus fails. And in any case we have so far conceded to him war much.

If a nation makes commitments it does not keep, it necessary lose credibility.