Just War Theory—The differences between Vietnam and Afghanistan

Just War Theory—The differences between Vietnam and Afghanistan

The Vietnam War was a counterinsurgency that involved us in guerilla warfare that was similar, in some ways, to what we face in Afghanistan today. But the way the Vietnam War was conducted was considered to be immoral and unjust by many. Some of this has to do with the Soviet Union meddling in the domestic affairs of the United States (that is where all the money came from for all of these anti-war protests). It also had to do with countries like China and the Soviet Union secretly providing the Vietnamese with pretty serious weapons to fight the United States.

  • What affects (positive and negative) did the idea of Just War Theory have on the execution of the Vietnam War?
  • What role did the Soviet Union play in making the Vietnam War tough to win? What did the United States later do to get even with the Soviet Union?
  • What were the different outcomes of President Johnson’s use of just war theory and President Nixon’s abandonment of that strategy for time-tested military strategy?
  • How is the war in Afghanistan different from that in Vietnam? What were some of the political objectives for engaging in these conflicts?
  • Describe the prevailing arguments of what constitutes a “just war,” and assess the justice of the Vietnam War in that context.
  • Speculate on how the world might be different today if the U.S. had not become involved in Vietnam. Remember, the crisis in Vietnam began with the French, not the Americans.

Keep in mind that you do not have to respond to each of the above bullets. Rather, this information is simply to provide some ideas on how to respond. As always, please feel free to ask questions.

Please remember to support your opinion with well thought out fact. Do not just state your opinion and leave it without giving the reasons why you think that way.