The U.S. never had a strategy to “win” the Vietnam War. The truth is that our military won the war, but our politicians lost it. The Vietnam War was a long, costly and divisive conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. In 1975, two years after the last American troops left Vietnam, United States about 2,700,000 men and women from this country fought in the war about 58,000 died. We are taught that it was a resounding loss for America, one that proves that intervening in the affairs of other nations is usually misguided. Others argue the United States did not lose the war because all U.S. combat forces had departed South Vietnam by the beginning of 1973, more than two years before the final North Vietnamese victory. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013. The Communists in North Vietnam actually signed a peace treaty, effectively surrendering. : 184 The task of the "stay-behinds" was political activism to ensure a victory for Ho Chi Minh in the national elections called for in 1956 in the Geneva Accords. By R. Cort Kirkwood Misalliance: Ngo Dinh Diem, the United States, and the Fate of South Vietnam. By that time the communists and South Vietnamese were already engaged in what journalists labeled the “postwar war.” Both sides alleged, more or less accurately, that the other side was continuously violating the terms of the peace agreements. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2013. His forces took over the city of Hanoi and declared it the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Did the United States win or lose the Vietnam War? The United States supported the South, while China and Russia supported the North. North Vietnam left behind in South Vietnam 8,000 to 10,000 covert civilian and military personnel, most of them members of the communist party. Triumph Revisited: Historians Battle for the Vietnam War. Nearly all of the fighting in the Vietnam War took place in South Vietnam, with some of it in neighboring Cambodia and Laos. The Vietnamese civil war began in 1959. The Vietnam War was a military campaign launched by North Vietnam against South Vietnam. Nguyen, Lien-Hang T. Hanoi’s War: An International History of the War for Peace in Vietnam. After the end of the Vietnam War, it was widely accepted that the United States had left many POWs behind, but high-ranking members of government said no, despite the evidence. Vietnam War - Vietnam War - The fall of South Vietnam: On March 29, 1973, the last U.S. military unit left Vietnam. 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