The Vietnam War was truly one of the most unique wars ever fought by the United States against any country. It was never officially declared a war, and had neither an official beginning nor an official end. It was fought over 10,000 miles away in a virtually unknown country where the enemy and the allies looked exactly alike, and may by day be a friend but by night become an enemy. It was a war with no fronts and no way of measuring successes. The Vietnam War forced military planners to understand the new aspect of war, which was unfamiliar to them at the time, which was the war of press and public opinion. The Vietnam War matched the tried and true tactics of World War II (WWII) against a hide, run, and shoot technique known as "Guerrilla Warfare." The war matched some of the best-trained and equipped soldiers in the world against a largely untrained militia of farmers and fisherman who had the only goal of self-rule. .
For much of its history Vietnam has been under foreign rule. This trend started with the Chinese invading in 208 B.C.E and ruling for thousands of years. During this period the people of Vietnam adopted Chinese writing, language, and administrative protocols but resisted at assimilating the Chinese people and tried to keep their identity as a people. The French took over control from the Chinese in 1860 and implemented its own form of government and various social systems. This ruling lasted until the beginning of World War II when due to being conquered by the Germans the territory of Vietnam came under Japanese rule because of France's inability to protect their colonies. Japan then tried to create a puppet government, which lasted until 1945 when due to Japans defeat by America the Vietnamese people took back control of their country during the spring of 1945. In that spring Ho Chi Minh created a liberation army and joined forces with United States (US) Office Of Strategic Services (OSS), which was the pre-curser to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to create a free Vietnam.