Ruralia commoda

Johann Schuessler

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Johann Schuessler
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Dec 22, 1471
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Essay from the year 2002 in the subject History Europe - Germany - Postwar Period, Cold War, grade: A, University of St Andrews (Department of Modern History), course: America and Vietnam, 18 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The discussion of this question starts with the definition of "victory". Surprisingly John Kennedy perceived the definition of the victory as difficult when he mentioned: "how can we tell if we ́re winning?" (Herring,1981,p.606). The possible range of victories stretches from setting an end to guerrilla attacks to a complete non-communist Vietnam. The original aim of the U.S. government was most plausibly a situation in which North Vietnam was no threat any more to the South, and the "Communist danger" was banned. Due to various reasons it was impossible to reach that goal. I will show that it was not only the guerrilla warfare that defeated the U.S. Army, it was this special type of insurgency war in this special region under these special circumstances that made this war unwinnable only with military means. If the American generals would have made different decisions they also would have been proven wrong. The war could not end in a victory for the U.S. because there were plenty of constraints which could not be solved in either one way or another. In this context information and trust play an important role. The United States was used to fighting wars that took place in distant regions they were not familiar with before. The difference with this war was that knowledge about this conflict and this land was important. One plausible possibility to gain this information would have been a "combined command" between American and South Vietnam forces as general Westmoreland sought (Herring,1990,p.6). But this was not possible because "the South Vietnamese resisted such an arrangement [...] perceiving it as a form of neo-colonialism" (ibid.) and the U.S. did not trust the ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) fearing that they could be infiltrated by communists. It is understandable that the JCS (Joint Chiefs of Staff) were afraid of spies within the army of their ally as the "cells" of the North Vietnamese were practising for subversion and sabotage (Thompson,1969,p.32-33). The American leaders on the other hand enforced Saigon to organise its divisions the same as the U.S. ones to be able to "receive [...] logistical support" (Tran Van Don,1987,p.149). Consequently the Southern troops again lost something of their own structure and self confidence. So there did not exist an alliance strategy the Americans could join in, and their strategy was not suitable for the country.
Essay from the year 2002 in the subject Politics - International Politics - General and Theories, grade: 17 von 20 (A), University of St Andrews (Department of IR), course: IR 2004, 26 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The answer to this question seems to be very simple. Global governance is bound to be undemocratic because, according to Dahrendorf, Internationalisation “almost invariably means a loss of democracy”1. Why and if this is the case will be examined in this essay. Governance, in contrast to government2, “refers to the process of making collective decisions, [...] in international relations, for example, no world government exists to resolve problems but many issues are resolved by negotiation”3. After a discussion about democracy in this context, the focus will be laid on different global intergovernmental organisations (IGOs), followed by a future outlook over possible future alternative possibilities and restraints. It will be shown that international democratic decision making is not likely to happen. Before entering the discussion, it is necessary to define what the term ́democracy` refers to. Normally it is used in a national context, and even within this context there exist various forms in parallel in neighbouring nations, whose political styles span from governmental to federal, and from one party to multiple party systems. Regarding the international order, which can be seen as a society of states, definition becomes more difficult. A basic definition is offered by the MSN Encarta as follows: “A political system in which the people of a country rule through any form of government they choose to establish”4; but this refers merely to the ́people` and to a permanent institutional idea that does catch the real process. The definition of a “democratic governmental system [which describes] a system of government based on the principle of majority decision-making”5 might suit here better, although it uses the term government instead of governance. Hence a decision in international terms has to be supported by the majority to be called democratic. Yet it is not clear what kind of majority this could be. Is it the majority of states? This implies that each state would have one voice without special rights unlike a veto. However, is this really democratic? This would favour small (in size and population), generally powerless and poor states and put large, populous, generally rich and influential countries at a disadvantage.
Essay from the year 2002 in the subject History Europe - Germany - Postwar Period, Cold War, grade: 17 von 20 (A), University of St Andrews (Department of Modern History), course: America and Vietnam, 30 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: This Essay considers whether or not the Vietnam War can be seen as watershed in American history, and assesses the perceptions of the people to the involvement in this conflict. Furthermore it will examine if America as a country learned from that experience. As it is not possible to explore all the different opinions about this conflict and to discuss all the statements after the withdrawal from Southeast Asia, I will show my point of view in regarding some real actions (meaning everything happening outside the thoughts as speeches, orders, decisions etc.) that have been undertaken by politicians and the U.S. forces. The main weight of this discussion will focus on foreign policy as the effects of this provide clear understanding. Due to the vast scope of this topic I am only able to highlight a few events and developments and thus e.g. the full domestic issue cannot be covered. In the aftermath of this war the opinions about the consequences and lessons were widespread and controversial (Ravenal,1978,p.9); so the NEXIS search found 493 articles containing "lessons of Vietnam," and the 135 pieces of this sort carried in the The New York Times and the The Washington Post contained references to fully 31 separate "lessons"( Melanson,1991,p.7). Different myths and suggestions about the cause of the defeat were discussed although the majority agreed to have Vietnam "Never Again" (Ravenal,1978). Nearly all of the arguments have seen the Vietnam war as a failure: Some judged the U.S. involvement as wrong in itself, others considered the intervention as a "noble cause" (Herring,1981,p.596; Melanson,1991) or blamed the "home front" for the debacle, but even they recognised that the war should have been fought differently. The lessons drawn by the politicians differed totally, but the decisions of all Nixon′s subsequent successors were influenced by their attitude towards the legacies of Vietnam. It was a great illuminating failure because in the following years this issue did not vanish. The memories of the Vietnam war remained a part of thinking and so influenced important decisions over the years; it could not been forgotten because in nearly all major U.S. interventions the comparison with Indochina was discussed.
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