It is July 1965, and President Lyndon B. Johnson has made the decision to send troops into Vietnam. U.S. strategy in Vietnam demands a necessary escalation of force. American policy, stemming from Cold War doctrine, and events in Vietnam since at least 1954 have gone unchecked for too long.

Yet, U.S. policy is destined to buckle under a misaligned political elite and an angry and disenfranchised public.

In the present, we often reflect on the Vietnam War, through a lens that reveals the entire war. Armed with a point of view that leans on the fall of Saigon and the South Vietnamese government to the Việt Cộng – National Liberation Front (NLF) forces. We frequently look back and Monday morning quarterback how the United States was unable to prevent the collapse of South Vietnam and easily identify the key turning points in the conflict. Comfortably, we sit removed from the uninformed, yet critical decision points, and blind curves to reflect on the impact a decade of war had on American society.

Regardless, the U.S. at first forceful and then misguided, attempted to maintain its commitment to South Vietnam, even after the war became a stalemate, and many top officials concluded that it could not be won with reasonable costs.