越南战争在开战之前就被认为是不可能打赢的，其中一个主要原因是越南的历史。纵观历史，越南一直处于另一个国家的控制之下。无论是10世纪的唐朝，20世纪初到50年代的法国殖民主义，还是二战期间日本对越南的控制，越南一直处于另一个大得多的国家的阴影之下。正如詹妮弗·卢埃林(Jennifer Llewellyn)、吉姆·苏塞(Jim Southey)和史蒂夫·汤普森(Steve Thompson)在他们关于法国在越南的殖民主义文章中所写的那样，“法国在越南的殖民主义持续了60多年。”到19世纪80年代末，法国控制了越南、老挝和柬埔寨，它们被统称为“法国的印度支那”。这显示了法国对越南的控制持续了多长时间，这只会促使越南人更想追求一个独立的国家。越南独立是越南人民多年来一直追求的目标，尽管他们在10世纪唐朝灭亡后获得了独立，但他们最终被另一个强大得多的国家控制。寻求独立的希望一直是越南身份或文化的一个重要组成部分，他们经常追求建立一个独立国家的想法。由于美国介入越南，越南刚刚结束了与法国的血腥战争，也就是众所周知的第一次印度支那战争。胡志明领导的越盟，后来成为北越的领袖，与法国人进行了一场血腥的战争，1954年，法国人最终在奠边府被击败。由于美国的介入通常始于1955年，并逐年增加，这是一个非常糟糕的时机，因为越南人刚刚获得了他们自己的独立。他们一直在寻求建立一个独立的国家，他们肯定不愿意再被世界上最大的强国之一的阴影所笼罩。
One of the main reasons why the Vietnam War could be considered unwinnable before the war even started is due to the history of the state of Vietnam. Throughout history, Vietnam has always been under the control of another country. Whether that be the Tang Dynasty during the 10th century, or French colonialism in the early 1900s to 1950s, or Japanese control of Vietnam during WW2, Vietnam had always been under the shadow of another much larger country. As Jennifer Llewellyn, Jim Southey and Steve Thompson write in their article of French Colonialism in Vietnam, “French colonialism in Vietnam lasted more than six decades. By the late 1880s, the French controlled Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, which were collectively referred to asIndochine Français”. This shows just how long the French were in control of Vietnam, which would only have motivated the Vietnamese to want to pursue an independent nation even more.Vietnamese independence was always something that the Vietnamese people seeked throughout the years, and even though they gained independence after the collapse of the Tang dynasty in the 10th century, they eventually became under the control of another much more powerful nation. A hope for seeking independence has always been an important of Vietnamese identity or culture, and this idea of having an independent nation was something that they regularly pursued. Due to the timing of American involvement in Vietnam, the Vietnamese had just gotten out of a bloody war with the French, what was known as the First Indochina War. The Viet Minh, led by Ho Chi Minh, who would later become the leader of the North Vietnamese, engaged in a bloody war with the French, where the French were finally defeated at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. As American involvement typically began in 1955, and increased throughout the years, this was very bad timing as the Vietnamese had just gained their own independence. This search for an independent nation was something that they had always looked for, and they were for sure not willing to become trapped under the shadow of one of the worlds largest powers once more.