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Since we are discussing counterfactuals at this point I offer the following caveat to Professor Kaiser regarding American participation in the Vietnam War. As for Vietnam, American participation certainly changed the outcome of that war. Had North Vietnam unified the country in the late 1950's or early 1960's, Hanoi would have been well-placed to militarily dominate Southeast Asia - certainly far more so than after suffering substantial casualties and physical damage to their infrastructure. Even after the war and Hanoi's own self-defeating economic policies, Vietnam remained capable of invading and occupying Cambodia in 1979 while fending off China's " punishment" campaign border war. Not a small feat for a war-torn country. Imagine their geopolitical position if Hanoi's Communist rulers had been left many times stronger. Mark Safranski Independent Scholar > >From: "Kaiser, David, Prof." <firstname.lastname@example.org> > >Mark Safranski wrote: "Professor Kaiser is proposing what would seem to me >to be an impossibly high burden on statesmen. The United States (or any >major power) will inevitably make any war " more destructive " if not >longer, by joining battle. The same could easily be said for American >participation in WWII." > >I replied to the first half of this statement previously, but not to >the last sentence, which is equally if not more significant to the >argument. > >American participation in the Second World War almost certainly >shortened it, not lengthened it, by providing the Allied side with >overwhelming force. Without American participation the Japanese would >have fought indefinitely in China and the German-Soviet war might have >lasted much, much longer. If American participation did not merely >shorten the war, it did something even more important--namely, change >the outcome from an Axis victory to an allied one. But American >participation in the Vietnam war made it much longer and much more >costly without changing the outcome, which is why I find it so hard to >defend. > > David Kaiser