Vietnam: Looking Back at America’s (Second) Longest War

Scott Kaufman
Scott Kaufman
Francis Marion University

Scott Kaufman is a Board of Trustees Research Scholar and chair of the Department of History at Francis Marion University, where he teaches such classes as “U.S. Military History” and “The Vietnam War.” He is the author, co-author, or editor of twelve books on American military, diplomatic, and presidential history, including Project Plowshare: The Peaceful Use of Nuclear Explosives in Cold War America, and Ambition, Pragmatism, and Party: A Political Biography of Gerald R. Ford.



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Referred to as the “Second Indochina War,” “Nam,” or, even (until recently) “America’s Longest War,” the Vietnam War has a lengthy history. And even though the conflict ended nearly fifty years ago, its legacy resonates to the present. In this lecture, Dr. Kaufman will offer a broad overview of the war in Vietnam, starting with a brief discussion of U.S. support for the French during the “First Indochina War” of 1945-54. He will then address America’s escalation of that conflict—including the decision to send combat troops to South Vietnam starting in 1965—its de-escalation of the war following the Tet Offensive of 1968, and its withdrawal from the South in 1975. He will conclude with some thoughts on the legacy of what is now America’s second-longest military conflict.



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