HIST 358: The Vietnam War

Instructor: Adrian Lewis

Day & Time:
Monday / Wednesday

Category I
Soldiers running to get into a helicopter

The Vietnam War

This course is a study of the American Vietnam War. The Vietnam War is considered by many the first war the United States has lost. How did the most powerful nation-state on Earth lose a war to a poor, undeveloped country? This is one of the questions we will discuss and debate. We will study and analyze the American conduct of the war in Vietnam from 1945 to 1975. The Vietnam War was one of the most controversial and divisive wars in American history. By 1968, some observers believed the country, the American people, were near revolution. The controversy did not go away when the war ended. We will place the war in the context of American foreign and military policies, national and national-military strategies, strategic and operational doctrines, conventional and nuclear technological developments, leadership and organization of the national command structure, and numerous other aspects of the national security structure. In the post-World War II period, national security policy changed in response to the Communist threat and the emergence of the Soviet Union as a “Superpower.” The nation and its armed services adapted to the new demands of a bipolar, hostile world. Permanent readiness for war and the constant threat of nuclear war became part of American life. This context is essential to understanding the behavior of the United States during this difficult period known as the Cold War.