The Vietnam war claimed the lives of millions of Vietnamese as a result of the United States aggression against the country.
The war lasted from 1955 to 1975 and in Vietnam it’s known as the “War Against the Americans to Save the Nation.”
The United States, having at its disposal the most advanced technological and chemical weapons at the time, committed horrific atrocities that continue to affect Vietnam and its people to the present day.
More two million Vietnamese civilians were killed, with an estimated one million Vietnamese soldiers killed. (Nick Turse, author of “Kill Anything That Moves”)
Over 2.6 million United States military personnel served in Vietnam during the Vietnam war, with 58,000 killed as a result. (United States Department of Defense)
U.S. military aircraft dropped between 5 million and 7.8 million tons of ordnance on Vietnam during the war. (Congressional Research Servic, 2014).
The amount of ammunition fired per soldier was 26 times greater in Vietnam than during World War II. By the end of the conflict, the United States had unleashed the equivalent of 640 Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs on Vietnam. (Nick Turse, “Kill Anything That Moves”)
An estimated 800,000 tons of unexploded ordnance remain from the Vietnam War, including bombs and landmines that contaminate 20 percent of the country’s area and affect 5 percent of its arable land. Vietnamese casualties from unexploded since the end of the Vietnam War include roughly 35,000 deaths. (Congressional Research Service, 2014)
The Vietnam War cost the U.S. $173 billion, equivalent to $730 billion in 2013 dollars. (United States Department of Defense)
The U.S. military sprayed approximately 11-12 million gallons of Agent Orange over nearly 10 percent of the South Vietnam between 1961 and 1971. One scientific study estimated that between 2.1 million and 4.8 million Vietnamese were directly exposed to Agent Orange," which has been linked to respiratory cancer and birth. (Congressional Research Service in 2014)
To motivate troops to aim for a high body count, competitions were held between units to see who could kill the most. Rewards for the highest tally, displayed on "killboards" included days off or an extra case of beer. Their commanders meanwhile stood to win rapid promotion." (Nick Turse, author of “Kill Anything That Moves” writing for the BBC)
Following the military defeat in Vietnam, the U.S. didn’t invade another country until the 1983 military attack on Grenada.
Che Guevara, inspired by the national resistance in Vietnam, famously called for “two, three… many Vietnams,” as a way of weakening U.S. military power.