The American anti-war movement which opposed the Second Indochina War during the 1960??™s up to the late 1970??™s were responsible for the communist victory to a great extent. This was due to a number of reasons including the division of US citizens at the beginning of the war, the secrecy of the US government towards the US public, the media coverage of the war and most importantly the length of the war. These all led to a gradual rise in anti-war movements from the early 1960??™s to the early 1970??™s.At the beginning of the 2nd Indochina War, the American people and the American politicians had divided views on wether US involvement in the war in Indochina was necessary, but as the US sought itself as a powerful nation, it used the Tonkin incident as an excuse to move into South Vietnam.
The US also used the idea of containment of communism to gain support of the people and the support of the hawks (politicians supporting the war) to have American involvement in the war. At this point the US public and Government thought that it would be a short war and an easy win for the US thus there was some support for the war. The anti-war movements at this stage were at its lowest.The anti-war movement grew as more people began to know about the extent of the war in Indochina at the time. Until the mid 1960??™s the government had been able to keep the flow of information and the extent of involvement in the war hidden from the public but due to large media coverage and the newly arrived television this was no longer the case. This being the period of Kennedy and Johnson the hawks were still over powering the doves (candidates who opposed the involvement in the war) and American involvement was increased in the number of troops and funding regardless of the rising anti-war movements.
At this stage more of the public was opposing the war and supporting the anti-war movement but the war was intensifying with higher casualty rates than before.Another reason why the anti-war movements rose and eventually were partly responsible for the communist victory was the media coverage and how they portrayed the events which took place. The media and journalists portrayed the US in a very negative and inhumane way back in the US and the rest of the world. For example, in the Tet Offensive which was a surprise attack by the NVA and VC forces during New Year on the US and the embassy, the north lost many of its senior officials and it was a disaster for them. The American??™s had managed the offensive very well and had gained back control of lost territory very quickly and with much fewer casualty rates then the North and VC had, but this event in the media was portrayed very differently with the disastrous effects for the US as it was made to look like a total loss and mismanagement by them. Through the media the public was also shown a live feed of a senior official shooting a VC at point blank in the head.
Once the US public became aware of these events the anti-war movements grew dramatically and the doves began to hold the balance of power in government. However US involvement was still strong but people were beginning to ask questions about the US involvement.Following the media coverage of the Tet Offensive it was obvious that the war would not end in the near future so the anti-war movements grew further and at an incident at a university protesters were opened fire at by the national guard and this was a turning point for US involvement as more people joined the anti-war movements and more protests were carried out across the US.
By this stage Nixon came into power and through public pressure one of his policies was the withdrawal of the US forces from Indochina. As soon as Nixon came into power he began withdrawing US troops and handing back control to the ARVN (south army – Vietnamisation). IN the early full control gradually full control was given to the ARVN and due to a lack of leadership, morale and corruption it soon officially surrendered to the communist North. To worsen this situation Cambodia also fell into the hands of anti-American and communist Pol Pot. At this stage the anti-war movements had achieved its aim and the US was no longer directly involved.
In conclusion the anti-war movements in the United States were responsible for communist victory to a great extent as the anti-war movement forced the Withdrawal of American forces from Indochina, the South and others who relied on the US in Indochina was no longer supported thus leading to their defeat and the anti-war movements being responsible to a great extent for communist victory in Indochina.