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Historians have suggested many reasons for America's defeat in Vietnam. The premise of this book is that disunity on the home front was the most significant and influential factor leading to our downfall in Vietnam. The disunity in America was incited and fueled by the antiwar movement. This movement, collectively consisting of the antiwar factions, the media, academia and congressional doves, gave rise to the "second front" which became a major weapon in Hanoi's arsenal. This second front was ever present in the minds of North Vietnam's leaders. It played a major role in Hanoi's strategy and was valued as the equivalent of several army divisions. The disunity fostered by the antiwar movement gave our enemies confidence and encouraged them to hold out in the face of battlefield defeats. Divided We Fall reveals the full impact of the second front, how it influenced the conduct of the war and most importantly, its effect on the outcome of the war. It is a testament on how the most powerful nation in the world can go down in defeat when its people are divided. The most important lesson of the Vietnam War is that disunity on the home front leads to defeat abroad.The divisions we have seen over the war in Iraq are a strong indication that we have not yet learned this lesson.
The thesis of this book was recently validated by a well known American statesman, Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State, National Security Adviser to presidents Nixon and Ford and US negotiator at the Paris peace talks to end the war in Vietnam. During the Lou Dobbs Tonight show on August 25, 2005, he made this statement of historical significance: "In Vietnam we defeated ourselves with domestic divisions."