What If: The US stays in Vietnam

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,364
here
They'd never cease. Have they ceased between PRC and ROC? Ceased between DPRK and ROK?

If RVN could have held it together, there would likely have been a ceasefire agreement with PRVN. The DMZ would have remained hostile, the RVN vietcong insurgency would not have ended, but PAVN would likely have stopped directly invading RVN, which would have been enough to eventually stabilize the country.
Weren't the VC a spent force by the mid 70s? Most of the Communist offensives being carried out in the later years were carried out by NVA/Regular troops. It's ironic, imo, that just as the the US is pulling out of the war, the the war is turning into an increasingly conventional conflict, something the US handles very well.


I don't mean to suggest that there would have been a never ending conflict. But the conflict would not have ended, there would still be hostilities, military and political.
But for how long? Depending on what happens in this alternate timeline, North Vietnam may lose funding and support from countries like the USSR and China. If the USSR still collapses in 1991 then I think that's a huge loss for the North. And I'm hazy as to the details of the Sino-Vietnamese war, but maybe that's another way that N. Vietnal loses an ally.

How well could the North carry out hostilities on their own?

And might they soften at some point as they have historically? Seeing that maybe it's better for everyone involved to "get along?"
 
  • Like
Reactions: Futurist
Jun 2019
3
North Bay Ontario Canada
You mean, "What if the U.S.A. beat the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong?" It might be like South Korea is today, or it might be a quagmire of civil wars and strife like Iraq turned into after that huge faux pas...hard to say.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Futurist
Jun 2019
3
North Bay Ontario Canada
True, but on the other hand, you know half that country, probably more than half, didn't want the U.S.A. way at all...there just as well have been nothing but headaches for the Americans if they won that war...likely playing a huge role as to why they lost it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Futurist

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,364
here
You mean, "What if the U.S.A. beat the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong?" It might be like South Korea is today, or it might be a quagmire of civil wars and strife like Iraq turned into after that huge faux pas...hard to say.
I think one could argue both that: (A) The US beat the NVA/VC on many/most occasions. And that (B) the US was achieving its goals (was victorious) for the 10+ years it was involved in Vietnam. If the goal was to keep the South an independent, non- Communist country, then I think its fair to say that occurred up until 1975. Now, I think one could argue that maintaining that status quo was too costly for the US and was unsustainable, perhaps, yes, if casualties stayed as high 1966-70 levels. But, they did not remain that high, American casualties were greatly reduced from 1971 onward. Vietnamization was working, but the victories and gains that happened during the war in years after Tet went really under reported and not really analyzed, they didn't fit the popular narrative. I find that sad.

So, no, I speciificallly didn't phrase the thread title "What if the U.S.A. beat the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong?" because that's too vague and open to interpretation.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,461
SoCal
And I'm hazy as to the details of the Sino-Vietnamese war, but maybe that's another way that N. Vietnal loses an ally.
That war probably won't happen in this scenario since if the US stays in South Vietnam, Pol Pot and his bunch of crazies probably never actually gain power in Cambodia--thus ensuring that there would be no need for (North) Vietnam to overthrow them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Menshevik

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,813
USA
Weren't the VC a spent force by the mid 70s? Most of the Communist offensives being carried out in the later years were carried out by NVA/Regular troops. It's ironic, imo, that just as the the US is pulling out of the war, the the war is turning into an increasingly conventional conflict, something the US handles very well.
The core infrastructure of the NLF/VC was largely eradicated between the Tet Offensive and the success of the Phoenix Program. But sympathizers still existed in large numbers, they just didn't have as many local leaders anymore, having suffered the attrition they could never fully recover from. But with North Vietnamese sent South, they effectively usurped the movement fully. One they'd previously controlled at the top levels but going on to control it all the way to the bottom.

But for how long? Depending on what happens in this alternate timeline, North Vietnam may lose funding and support from countries like the USSR and China. If the USSR still collapses in 1991 then I think that's a huge loss for the North. And I'm hazy as to the details of the Sino-Vietnamese war, but maybe that's another way that N. Vietnal loses an ally.
The communists are still a threat to this day, their violent revolutionary death cult never died, just was weakened to some extent when the Soviet Union and European communist nations collapsed.

Vietnam managed to survive anyway, and considering govt monopoly on power and their ability to accept misery of their own populace, using other communist countries as examples, they could have slunk rather low and still worked relentlessly to keep it together, much like North Korea.

I think had the US remained committed to defending South Vietnam, similar situation to the Korea peninsula would have happened in SE Asia. A continued cold war, occasionally getting spicy, between combloc and democratic capitalists.
 
Aug 2016
977
US&A
Weren't the VC a spent force by the mid 70s? Most of the Communist offensives being carried out in the later years were carried out by NVA/Regular troops. It's ironic, imo, that just as the the US is pulling out of the war, the the war is turning into an increasingly conventional conflict, something the US handles very well.
To actually implement an ideology, an organization needs to take and hold land. Ironically, conventional warfare is the ultimate goal of all guerrilla movements. The North Vietnamese government only played at an insurgency purely to demoralize the civilian-led government of us Americans. I sincerely feel Vo Nguyen Giap is a military genius for his ability to understand and attack the weaknesses of far more powerful countries. No military training whatsoever, and his tactics were successfully used to fight off the Japanese, French, and US Armed Forces. He quickly changed his tactics to suit the situation. He understood both the military and political aspects of warfare. He exemplified the idea of understanding oneself and one's enemy. The glorious bastard even lived to 102.