Did the U.S. win major battles in losing Vietnam?
By Louis Jacobson
Published on Tuesday, September 6th, 2011 at 12:39 p.m.
During a speech before the 93rd annual conference of the American Legion on Aug. 30, 2011, President Barack Obama praised the Vietnam War veterans in the audience for their service and achievements.
"You, our Vietnam veterans, did not always receive the respect that you deserved — which was a national shame," Obama said. "But let it be remembered that you won every major battle of that war. Every single one."
When we noticed Obama’s claim, we were skeptical. Was it really true that the United States, even as it lost the Vietnam War, actually won every major military battle?
We checked with a variety of historians specializing in the period, and 10 of them responded to our inquiries, raising questions about what constitutes "winning" and what constitutes a major battle.
We found the statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details. Although the U.S. may have won most of the major battles, it's important to note that there is wide agreement that the U.S. lost the war. We ruled it was Half True.
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