What Are The Similarities Between The Korean War, The Cuban Missile Crisis, And The Vietnam War?


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Yo Kass Profile
Yo Kass answered
The common theme that runs through the Korean war, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Vietnam War is that they were all conflicts that arose because of tensions between regional communist and capitalist powers. Indirectly they are therefore all influenced by what is known as the 'Cold War'.

The 'Cold War' is a term that refers to the political and economic hostilities between the United States and the Soviet Union following World War II.

What exactly happened during the Cold War?

Following World War II and the victory of allied forces over Nazi Germany, two superpowers emerged: The United States and the Soviet Union.

Both held completely opposing political and economic views and whilst, the American backed Marshall Plan was the basis for the redevelopment of Western Europe, the Soviet Union decided to form the Eastern Bloc, comprising the Eastern 'allies' that it effectively controlled.

The Cold War, in this context, refers to the period of intense political tensions that followed this division.

Because both superpowers had developed nuclear capability, direct military conflict between the two was seen as something of a 'doomsday' scenario,

However, the hostility between the two powers was expressed through the forming of bitter propaganda campaigns, strategic troop deployment, and (perhaps most pertinent to the conflicts mentioned above), the financial backing and military support of client states.

The Korean war

The Korean war is considered the first conflict of the Cold War, and arose following the division of the Korean Peninsula towards the end of World War II.
The country was divided into two separate occupied territories along the 38th parallel of latitude with the North under Soviet control and the South under American occupation. The measure was a supposedly temporary solution - meant to last only until a permanent government could be instated. However, under the influence of their 'sponsor states', North and South Korea developed irreconcilable political and economic differences that ultimately contributed to the outbreak of war in 1950.

The Cuban Missile Crisis

The Cuban Missile Crisis is a term that refers to a confrontation between the United States and the USSR following the building of missile technology - on the island nation of Cuba - and that would have the capability of launching an attack on American territory.

The building of facilities capable of launching nuclear strikes in Cuba was a direct response to the United States' earlier development of similar technology in Italy and Turkey which was capable of reaching Moscow.

In public, the two sides engaged in strong war-like rhetoric and the situation escalated with the US military blockade of Cuba. In private however, the two nations accepted that military conflict would be likely to result in the nuclear destruction of both countries, and eventually the Cuban missile systems were returned to Russia. This was followed by American deactivation of their weaponry in Turkey and Italy.

The entire confrontation only lasted 13 days, but is widely considered to be the closest that the powers have come to igniting World War III.

The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War was another military conflict that can be tied to the Cold War between the US and the USSR that developed following World War II.

The outbreak of fighting in Vietnam was originally caused by tensions between French post-WWII occupiers and communist-backed Vietnamese forces. This is referred to as the 'First Indochina War'.

As part of the American's Cold War strategy of Communist containment, it was deemed necessary to intervene when it seemed likely that a Communist-backed North Vietnam was likely to invade South Vietnam. (This was essentially the motive for American involvement in the Vietnam War.)

The North Vietnamese army (and its guerilla Viet Cong partners in the South) viewed both France and America as colonial aggressors. Therefore, and backed by China and the Soviet Union, the North Vietnamese fought against both countries, as well as against South Vietnam, which was viewed as an American 'puppet state'.

The resulting conflict stretched over two decades and cost millions of lives.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
A misled public, sources of information that couldn't be revealed, embarrassing amounts of espionage- that's what all thee conflicts shared. Other than that, the three events really don't have much in common.

The cuban missile crisis was the US saying "I see what you're doing! Stop it!" and culminated in the bay of pigs.

Korea, on the other hand, was a traditional communist revolution involving a group of people that I have personally seen successfully argue with brick walls about the placement of the door. Koreans are stubborn, and the Chinese... Well, even after so many years of killing each other during the 'people's revolution', there were still a lot of them, and so it was just a battle. Big infantry mess.

Vietnam, last but not least, happened in part because the higher-ups said "oh, they're communist? We can't let them do anything, then" and managed to successively galvanize the rest of SE Asia (Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines) against communism. The real battle of Vietnam was actually a struggle for independence from French rule (remember, before the Vietnam war, Vietnam was known as French Indochina) and had nothing to do with communism, other than that the Vietnamese resistance only became successful when it was organized by the communists.

And so, what are the similarities you ask? Deceit, stifling bureaucracy (Roy Boem's book "first SEAL" details how the nukes were found in the missile crisis, I recommend reading it) and an ability to resolve all three conflicts quickly that was ignored by people who still claim to have done the right thing - and who knows, maybe they did!

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