Jul 20, 2024  
2023 Undergraduate Bulletin 
    
2023 Undergraduate Bulletin

POLS 317 - The Vietnam War


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This class provides a political, strategic, diplomatic, and military analysis of the Vietnam War and its history from the origins of America’s incremental involvement during the 1940s and 1950s, through America’s indirect and increasing direct combat participation during the 1960s and early 1970s, to the war’s tragic ending in 1975 and its far-reaching political, diplomatic, and domestic social impact then and decades later. The course will examine US political, geostrategic, and diplomatic interests, motives, and rationale for America’s involvement with Vietnam, the evolving nature of US National Security Policy and Strategy for supporting the French and later directly prosecuting the war, and the mismatched military strategy and tactics employed in a failed attempt to achieve America’s political and strategic aims for a noncommunist South Vietnam and containment of communism in Southeast Asia. Finally the course will examine and evaluate key aspects of the War’s lessons as they were initially ignored, later relearned, and eventually applied to America’s recent foreign policy challenges and conflicts, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan.