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Various names have been applied what is known as the Vietnam War. These have shifted over time, although Vietnam War is the most commonly used title in English. It has been variously called the Second Indochina War, the Vietnam Conflict, the Vietnam War, and, directly translated in Vietnamese, Chiến tranh Việt Nam (The Vietnam War), In Vietnam it is commonly known as Chiến tranh Mỹ (The American War), or more formally as Kháng chiến chống Mỹ (Resistance War against America).

Second Indochina War

The name "Second Indochina War" places the conflict into context with other distinct, but related, and contiguous conflicts in Southeast Asia. Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia are seen as the battlegrounds of a larger Indochinese conflict that began at the end of World War II and lasted until communist victory in 1975. This conflict can be viewed in terms of the demise of colonialism and its after-effects during the Cold War.

Vietnam Conflict

The term "Vietnam Conflict" is largely a U.S. designation, it acknowledges that the United States Congress never declared war on North Vietnam. Legally, the President used his constitutional discretion—supplemented by supportive resolutions in Congress—to conduct what was said to be a “police action”.[citation needed]

Vietnam War

"Vietnam War" is the most commonly used designation in English. Most Vietnamese who interact with foreigners are familiar with the term Vietnam War.

American War

For people in Vietnam the common phrase is Chiến tranh Mỹ (The American War).[1]

Resistance War against the American Empire to Save the Nation (Chiến tranh giữ nước chống Đế quốc Mỹ)

"Resistance War against the American Empire to Save the Nation" is the more formal term used by the Vietnam government; it is more of a saying than a name, and its meaning is self-evident. Its usage has been reduced in recent years.[when?]


  1. "Asian-Nation: Asian American History, Demographics, & Issues:: The American / Viet Nam War". Retrieved 18 August 2008. "The Viet Nam War is also called 'The American War' by the Vietnamese" 

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