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Historiography of the Vietnam War: Vietnam War because of its nature and the long period of its involvement

provided scope for very pointed debate and the major question was the Americas role and its moral responsibility. It underlies the study of Cold War. The main issues that are debated in all the three schools (orthodox, revisionist, and post revisionist) are the role of successive US administration and decision making, military tactics, the debate as to why the US lost the war and the moral arguments about US intervention in Indo-China. Before Vietnam War the moral issue of US intervention was never questioned, their stand against communism was considered right. In all the historical works, the Ho Chi Minh trail is always discussed as the example of failure of military tactics. The Orthodox View: The traditional view is very critical of the American admin. They criticised the Us intervention as unnecessary and even immoral and accused the us leaders of deceiving the nation. One of the earliest accounts to explore the role of Kennedy administration and its involment in Vietnam was David Halberstams Best and the Brightest (1969), He argued that the eagerness to succeed in the Cold War the Kennedy Admin made many mistakes, the biggest being the insufficient attention to the events in the South Vietnam and the Diem Regime. The second mistake was to believe that the Vietnamese wanted a democratic system based in that of the US. The US political class believed that people across the world wanted a democratic system. US thought this is the only right way of government. This point was further developed by Frances Fitzgeralds Fire in the Lake which explored the differences between the traditional world of the Vietnamese peasant and the US values of freedom, democracy and capitalism which underlay the decision to intervene in the Vietnam War. He argued that this admin (Kennedys) was eager to consolidate a policy on the Cold War tension. In that eagerness he became more and more involved and sent more and more advisors. Kennedys mistake was to send larger and larger military aid and advisors. He also argued that the US admin failed to understand the traditional world of Asian countries, especially the farmers and the agrarian society. US homogenised the entire continent, they thought that the world of Vietnamese farmer was the same of US administrator. In International History of the Vietnam War, R.B. Smith placed the conflict into a global context. His main argument was Vietnam was just one aspect of a larger global power struggle.

Revisionist view: The revisionist view challenged the traditional interpretation and argues that the Vietnam War was first, an anti-colonial war against the

French, then U.S. Second it was civil war between the Communist north and the pro-capitalist regime led by Diem in the south. George Mc T Kharin in his work entitled Intervention: How America Became Involved in Vietnam, 1986, argued that the insurgency in the S. Vietnam was directed by the NLF in an attempt to unify Vietnam, He also argued that if the YSA has more sensitive to the demands of the Vietnamese, t would have realised that the conflict that emerged in 1946 was primarily an anti-colonial struggle. After 1959, it became a civil war. This view was further developed in the 90s. Robert D. Schulinger in A Time for War: The United States and Vietnam, 1941-1975, 1997. He argued that there was always a sense among the US officials that time was running out. This urgency exaggerated the strategic importance of Vietnam. Post Revisionist View: Shifted the attention of historiography from the analysis of American involvement to the involvement of the other powers. China was involved because Mao was concerned for Chinese security ad China was trying to establish its own identity after breaking away from the USSR. Yang Kuisong: Change in Mao Zedongs Attitude Towards the Indo-China War, 1949-1973, 2002.