write a 500-750 word paper on the following topic.
In 1945, the then-colony of French Indochina (now called Vietnam) had been in revolt against its French colonial overlords since the French had conquered and colonized this region a century before. At the end of World War II, Vietnamese nationalists, inspired by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s pledge to support independence and self-governance for former colonial nations/peoples around the world, declared independence from France. Their leader, Ho Chi Minh, cited the U.S. Declaration of Independence in asserting Vietnamese nationalism. France and other western colonial powers, however, were concerned that Vietnam was not ready for self-rule. They believed that, left without colonial protection, Vietnam would fall under the influence of communist nations in the region and would be unable to protect vital European/American economic interests there. France therefore refused to accept Vietnamese self-rule and continued its occupation, attempting, with American support, to crush Vietnamese resistance. This resulted in a brutal colonial war that lasted until 1954, when an exhausted France finally decided to give up and leave the area, signing a multinational treaty dividing Vietnam into two political entities (North Vietnam and South Vietnam). The North was granted full independence while the South remained under western influence and a pro-American government. The treaty gave assurances to the South that it would have full independence and free elections in two years. However, the United States, fearing that these elections would result in a communist-friendly political administration, refused to sign the treaty and maintained control over the South Vietnamese government.
At this point, an insurgency erupted against the American-controlled government in South Vietnam. The insurgency was aided by troops coming into the country from North Vietnam and, despite increasing amounts of U.S. economic and military support (but no actual combat troops), the unpopular and repressive South Vietnamese government was on the verge of collapse. U.S. presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy were compelled to send more and more assistance to South Vietnam and came under increasing pressure to intervene in the conflict with the might of the U.S. military. In 1964, a U.S. naval ship cruising North Vietnamese waters was attacked by North Vietnamese patrol boats. In response, President Lyndon Johnson ordered bombing raids against North Vietnam, and the U.S. legislature passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which authorized further military action against North Vietnam. In 1965, Viet Cong insurgents attacked a U.S. airfield in South Vietnam that was shipping military supplies to the South Vietnamese government, killing eight U.S. military advisers. In response, the United States began a sustained bombing campaign against North Vietnam (Operation Rolling Thunder) and sent 80,000 combat troops into South Vietnam by July of that year.
Thus began the war in Vietnam, which lasted 10 more years and resulted in the deaths of more than 50,000 U.S. troops and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese civilians. In 1975, an exhausted America left Vietnam (much like the French 20 years earlier) and the nation of Vietnam was finally unified by the communist North.
U.S. advocates of the war stated that the invasion was ethically justified by the demands of the “cold war” between communist nations (especially the then-Soviet Union) and the democratic nations of the world, which were defending the freedom of other nations against the dangerous and impending threat of communist influence. Allowing Vietnam to fall under communist rule would be abandoning its citizens to dictatorship and subverting the integrity of democracy around the world, should the world see America defeated there. Critics of the war claimed that it was unethical because, rather than defending freedom, it hypocritically supported a ruthless pro-American dictatorship organized in the wake of a French colonial dictatorship; in so doing it was suppressing a popular movement for self-rule while killing thousands of Vietnamese civilians.
Summarize Grotius’ standards for just war.
Taking into account Grotius’ standards, was the Vietnam War ethically justifiable, and if so, to what extent? If not, why not?
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