"IMHO though I don't think North Vietnam won the war either. There was too much death and destruction on both ends. I have never claimed that the US won the war." While not wishing to show disrespect for your argument, Amidala-Leia, I nevertheless feel I have to disagree. To state that the number of casualties suffered by the North Vietnamese(outnumbering as they did those of the Americans) detracts from the victory is not accurate. If the same rules were applied, the Soviet Union was not victorious against Nazi Germany. German casualties on the Eastern Front were approx 9 million, while Russian/Soviet satellite countries such as Estonia and Ukraine were far greater, some estimate as high as 26 million. Yet nobody would argue that the USSR failed to triumph against Hitler, because it accomplished even greater objectives than Stalin could ever have dreamt possible prior to June 1941. I don't wish to go into the details of those objectives at great length unless you wish me to do so(in which case I'd be more than happy to PM you so as not to distort the focus of this thread), but suffice it to say that the obvious objective of the defeat of Nazi Germany was undoubtedly achieved. By the same token, the limitation of casualties was immaterial to the VC(early evidence of this can be seen in the shape of Giap's victory over the French at Dien Bien Phu), who sought as its only objective the unification of Vietnam as a whole under one Communist government. An objective it undoubtedly did achieve. As for the notion that no one claims America won the Vietnam war. Maybe not explicitly, but by implication the US Military does - essentially, by claiming never to have lost one. The claim that it was not a 'real' war due to the absence of an official declaration meely calls into question the notion of whether or not it was a 'legal' war. Both Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan began wars without declaration, against Russia(June 1941) and the US(Dec 1941) respectively. Nobody however would claim that these weren't 'real' wars. Possible reasons for making a distinction are a) that both Germany and Japan surrendered to their enemies, unlike America, and b) that America was justified in taking 'Military Action', rather than a declared 'War', against North Vietnam because it felt it necessary to stop a threatening regime from spreading its sphere of influence and becoming a greater danger. However, to point a) I would say that 'surrender' versus 'withdrawal' is an insufficient distinction because it does not alter the fact that the objective was not achieved while the enemy's was. Hence this was a defeat. Albeit not total defeat. To point b) I would argue that both Germany AND Japan, by their own logic felt themselves to be far more threatened by their enemies - directly threatened - than did America in the '60s. Nevertheless, the severity of the threat, as perceived by those perceiving it is immaterial. The mere perception of the threat itself(to whatever extent) determines whether or not the nation in question taking action considers itself operating with legality(forgive the repetition, but lingustic creativity for a moment has to take secondplace for the purpose of consistency here). Hence the wars were as 'official' and 'legal' as each other by virtue of variance of the subjective ideologies of those waging them without declaration. Thus: America WAS at war with North Vietnam. => America failed to achieve its objective. => America's enemy did achieve its own. => America's enemy won. => America lost. => America claims never to have lost a war. => America claims not to have lost in Vietnam. => America claims to have won the Vietnam War.