The Vietnam War ended in 1975 after 20 years of fighting and more than 55,000 Americans and between 3 and 4 million Vietnamese dead.
North Vietnamese tactics, management, and resilience were able to overcome the super-powerful tools and instruments of war of the United States, which was weakened by ineffectual leaders, poor policy and planning, and social unrest at home. The war split the country along partisan and ideological lines, a divide that still remains.
Americans of a certain age do not like to think about the long, lost war, and the reasons for the country’s defeat. The War in Vietnam remains tucked, generally, in the deepest recesses of the national consciousness, reemerging now and then like a repressed memory, brought back for cultural or historical reasons, like Ken Burns’ recent 10-part, 18-hour documentary “The Vietnam War.”