Agent Orange In The Vietnam War

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Introduction The Vietnam War was a Cold War era proxy war which took place between 1954 and 1975. It occurred between North and South Vietnam. During this war, both North and South Vietnam were supported by powerful countries. South Vietnam was supported by the United States of America, who feared the spread of communism in East Asia, while North Vietnam was led by the communist Ho Chi Minh and supported by the USSR and China. The USA believed they had to do whatever was necessary to prevent the spread of communism. One of the USA’s attack strategies was the use of chemical defoliants, especially Agent Orange. The USA however, was to no extent justified in their use of this defoliant. This is due to the fact that Agent Orange had a negative…show more content…
The US Army was notified that the defoliant had a substance which could be toxic to humans, yet did not conduct further testing, even after American soldiers began to show adverse effects.This source is a relatively valid source, as it provides information summarised from a wide variety of sources which have been referenced. The source is also neutral, as it contains little emotive language. This source is a secondary source and thus contains hindsight go the use of Agent Orange and was published recently, showing it is up to date. The source’s objectivity, along with the fact it was obtained from a university thesis (and has therefore been peer-reviewed) increase its validity. This source is also a reliable source as it contains no contradictions or factual errors. It is consistent with other sources of the time. However, this source has limitations, this source was written by King, an American writer, whose thesis from which this comes was anti-Vietnam War. The source therefore only contains evidence to support this point of view and is therefore slightly…show more content…
The USA was not justified in their use of Agent Orange as as a result of their actions, many Vietnamese citizens suffer from cancers and birth defects are frequent (Maitland & Weiss, 1982). Often children are born blind or deaf and are bed-ridden for most of their lives (Farberov, 2013). Furthermore, Agent Orange has impacted the American soldiers who were exposed to it - many soldiers reported suffering from a variety of health problems such as migraines, skin rashes, liver problems (Young, 1991) and cancers (Maitland & Weiss, 1982). In addition to this, the environment was also severely impacted by the use of Agent Orange. “The effects of the chemical warfare that was waged on Vietnam.. can still be seen.. decades later”(King, 2010). The use of Agent Orange destroyed large areas of farmland and forests. It infiltrated Vietnam’s soil and water system. As a result of this infiltration, the dioxin found in Agent Orange, which has been known to cause cancer, has accumulated in the tissues of people and food sources, such as fish and shrimp. Recent studies conducted in Vietnam show high levels of this dioxin in the blood and tissues of those who live near to where Agent Orange was sprayed - as a result, these people are more susceptible to illness and cannot rely on the environment (King, 2010). In addition, USA had attack strategies more effective and

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