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Strategies Used by The USA and The Guerrilla Forces During The Vietnam War

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During the Vietnam War, the guerrilla forces used tactics and strategies like the guerrilla warfare which were used to slow down the enemy forces. On the other hand, USA used a wide variety of strategies and tactics such conventional tactics like aerial bombing, with the bombing campaigns called Rolling Thunder and Operation Commando Hunt. The US also used unconventional tactics such as chemical warfare and the hearts and minds campaign.

During the Vietnam War, the Viet Cong used a guerrilla warfare like booby traps, Cu Chi tunnels and Ho Chi Minh trails. These strategies were implemented because Viet Cong had less soldiers, so direct conflict would be a disadvantage. So, guerrilla warfare was effective in slowly demoralising and depleting South Vietnamese and USA soldiers without face to face conflict. Booby traps were used because they injured and killed many soldiers without the guerrilla forces being at risk. As the US soldiers were in unfamiliar terrain, the Viet Cong used it to their advantage to ambush soldiers when they were unaware or let their guard down. This was used because it could take down more soldiers without losing as many on their side. Also, elaborate underground tunnels like Cu Chi and trails like Ho Chi Minh were created to help transport weapons, food, equipment and soldiers around without being caught. Therefore, the Viet Cong used guerrilla warfare during the Vietnam War to avoid direct conflict.

On the other hand, the US used conventional strategies and tactics during the Vietnam War such as aerial bombing. The bombing campaigns like Rolling Thunder and Operation Commando Hunt would be planned in areas that would effectively harm their production of war materials. The bombing campaigns put military pressure on North Vietnam and to make them surrender and support the government of South Vietnam. As US had difficulty differentiating between the Viet Cong and normal civilians, bombing campaigns were effective in indiscriminately hurting everyone along its path. Although it was effective in injuring and killing ground troops it also harmed civilians. Hence, US used conventional tactics like aerial bombing to injure ground troops and civilians too.

The USA also used unconventional tactics like chemical warfare like Agent Orange and NAPALM and psychological warfare like the hearts and mind campaign. Agent Orange was a herbicide used by USA by using a plane that sprayed over parts of Vietnam. It was implemented because it defoliates the forest cover which destroys the Viet Cong’s opportunity to take advantage of the dense jungle. NAPALM was used by the USA by planes dropping the substance from the sky because it indiscriminately hurt anyone as it would burn through skin and it would cling on. The hearts and mind campaign were used by the US during the Vietnam War to attempt to achieve the support for the Vietnamese people. Although it failed it aim to support Vietnamese people by providing security to village, expanding access to services like electricity and a propaganda campaign showing the Vietcong as merciless aggressors.

Therefore, both USA and guerrilla forces used many different strategies and tactics, where USA used conventional tactics like aerial bombing but also implanted unconventional tactics like the psychological and chemical warfare. On the other hand, the Viet Cong used guerrilla warfare like tunnels, ambushes and trails. 

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Strategies Used by the USA and the Guerrilla Forces During the Vietnam War. (2022, July 07). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from
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