Vietnam, a unwinnable war?

Hello people of the alternative history forum, so I made a post a few weeks ago proposing a scenario where the United States would continue to fight the Vietnam war instead of withdrawing from the war, but many members complained that the scenario I proposed was too unrealistic and made no sense, and a moderator closed the discussion in this justification.

So I created this post with a different proposal, to discuss whether it was really possible for South Vietnam and the United States to have won the Vietnam War, and how this could have happened, or whether the war was really lost from the start.

In this scenario, we will debate what decisions the United States could have made and what could have happened otherwise, which could have influenced the outcome of the war.
 
IMHO, the only way the US wins the Vietnam War is by siding with the Viet Minh against the French in 1945 and from then onward.
 
I believe it could have been done, but it would requite a whole different kind of philosophy and a long-term strategy aiming to make South Vietnam less corupt and more committed to the fight. Furthermore bolder steps would be necessary to cut off any aid flow into N. Vietnam
 
I confess that I do not have much knowledge on the war, but perhaps an earlier process of Vietnamization, as well as someone more effective than Gerald Ford in the White House(No Nixon Impeachment or Tricky Dick appoints someone who actually wants the job, )..... At best, what can be achieved is maintaining the status quo like in Korea, not a total victory, but enough of one to ensure that containment is still viewed as viable.
 
What makes you say that?
Because the South Vietnamese government was at its core a colonialist remnant that never had the support of the majority of the people it claimed to represent. It was always going to go the same route as Rhodesia or French Algeria. The only variable is time.

The US would have gotten far more benefit out of supporting Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh from the beginning.
 
IMHO, the only way the US wins the Vietnam War is by siding with the Viet Minh against the French in 1945 and from then onward.
What is IMHO?

This is true, since Ho Chi Minh sought support from the United States at first, but because it was a communist-inspired movement and under strong pressure from the French, the United States ended up supporting the French.

We can imagine an alternative scenario where the United States had supported Vietnam, and the Vietnamese regime followed the American leadership, having a certain Western influence.
 
Perhaps if the Viet Minh downplays, or rejects outright Communist rhetoric and support, while maintaining a Nationalist idealogy then perhaps the US would not provide any support to the French. Still, I think the US screwing over one of their major allies by supporting their enemies is a bit of a stretch, especially as they would want to avoid France drifting to the Soviet camp at all costs....
 
Only way to win is Wilson giving them independence causing the young Minh to remain democractic.
That is a whole level of ASB in itself.
 
What is IMHO?

This is true, since Ho Chi Minh sought support from the United States at first, but because it was a communist-inspired movement and under strong pressure from the French, the United States ended up supporting the French.

We can imagine an alternative scenario where the United States had supported Vietnam, and the Vietnamese regime followed the American leadership, having a certain Western influence.
"In my honest opinion"

"Communist-inspired" had some wiggle room in 1945. Ho Chi Minh was a Vietnamese nationalist first and foremost, a communist second. A US-aligned and influenced Vietnam could easily have ended up something a lot closer to Norway or Denmark than the USSR, a social democracy/democratic socialist state (depending on what terms people prefer) rather than a Marxist-Leninist dictatorship.
 
I confess that I do not have much knowledge on the war, but perhaps an earlier process of Vietnamization, as well as someone more effective than Gerald Ford in the White House(No Nixon Impeachment or Tricky Dick appoints someone who actually wants the job, )..... At best, what can be achieved is maintaining the status quo like in Korea, not a total victory, but enough of one to ensure that containment is still viewed as viable.
Yes, the original goal of Vietnam war was to protect south Vietnamese sovereignty and independence. In the event of a victory for South Vietnam and the USA, the South would have remained independent, as in Korea.
 
So the US invades Laos and Cambodia earlier and makes even more people hate them earlier and not support the South Vietnamese government?
If you cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the VC withers on the vine. Not saying it would make less people hate the US, but it would defeat the Viet Cong. That's not even considering the fact that the NVA would have it's ass handed to it in a conventional fight with the US Army in Laos.
 
ecause the South Vietnamese government was at its core a colonialist remnant that never had the support of the majority of the people it claimed to represent. It was always going to go the same route as Rhodesia or French Algeria.
Yet after Hue, when it finally dawned on many in South Vietnam, the 'unification' meant many people you knew, both good and bad alike, would be shot in the head and dumped in a ditch.
That when things turned around, less deserting and the ARVN started to do it's real job, protect the people of South Vietnam, along with the RF/PF Militias.
By time the US troops were gone, the areas controlled by the South were more secure than they had been in a decade, being abke to travel on the main highways without a huge armed escort.
Get past 1975 to 1979, Republic of Vietnam would be around, as would be the North, who would be busy with an ever more hostile China.
 
So the US invades Laos and Cambodia earlier and makes even more people hate them earlier and not support the South Vietnamese government?
Just mining Haiphong and a few other ports would close off the goods needed to fight an external war in South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, no US Troops needed for invasion to try and cut the supply routes.
 
"In my honest opinion"

"Communist-inspired" had some wiggle room in 1945. Ho Chi Minh was a Vietnamese nationalist first and foremost, a communist second. A US-aligned and influenced Vietnam could easily have ended up something a lot closer to Norway or Denmark than the USSR, a social democracy/democratic socialist state (depending on what terms people prefer) rather than a Marxist-Leninist dictatorship.
He was a Communist first, who thought that was the best way to advance all of Vietnam.
 
If you cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the VC withers on the vine. Not saying it would make less people hate the US, but it would defeat the Viet Cong. That's not even considering the fact that the NVA would have it's ass handed to it in a conventional fight with the US Army in Laos.
And the US stays in place forever in Laos and Cambodia? Because once we leave, the trail can be restarted.
 
Just mining Haiphong and a few other ports would close off the goods needed to fight an external war in South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, no US Troops needed for invasion to try and cut the supply routes.

What happens when the Soviets deploy minesweepers to North Vietnam and starts having their navy escort shops into Haiphong?
 
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