A lot of people think the Tet offensive was won by the North Vietnamese. In truth, it was a dismal failure for them and the US wiped out most of their conventional forces. They had to resort to a guerrilla was after that.
There’s a more important conflict to be won here before we commit any more blood or treasure overseas.
That is entirely correct. The commanding NVA general (his name slips my mind) said, in papers published years later, that the North Vietnamese Army after Tet could not wage an effective division-sized campaign for at least six months. Their “victory” had crippled them. If we had struck with everything we had, Ho Chi Minh City would today be known as Westmoreland.
Well, that is somewhat beside the point. George Washington lost most of his battles too as did the commies who were fighting the Russians in Afghanistan. The important victories in war, especially guerrilla war, are ones of perception and the ability to keep the war going by the enemy. And in this sense Tet was a NVA victory. It showed that U.S. forces could be attacked anywhere and everywhere and that the war could be endless. In this sense, it dealt a gigantic psychological blow which ultimately led to LBJ's bombing halt and Nixon's Vietnamization.
To be really precise, the Tet offensive was waged primarily by the Viet Cong. As a result they were nearly wiped out as an effective fighting force. It was after Tet that NVA regulars began doing the brunt of the fighting in the south.