Vietnam war part iii
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Vietnam War – Part III. Nixon-Vietnamization. Vietnamization. Tet provided the justification for U.S. troop withdrawals Plan was to withdraw the 540,000 U.S. troops in South Vietnam over an extended period

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Vietnam war part iii

Vietnam War – Part III

Nixon-Vietnamization


Vietnamization
Vietnamization

  • Tet provided the justification for U.S. troop withdrawals

  • Plan was to withdraw the 540,000 U.S. troops in South Vietnam over an extended period

  • The South Vietnamese, with American money, weapons, training, and advice, could then gradually take over the burden of fighting their own war

  • Between 1968 and 1972, American troop strength dropped from 543,000 to 39,000


Nixon doctrine vietnamization
Nixon Doctrine & Vietnamization

  • Nixon Doctrine (aka Guam Doctrine) July 1969 The Doctrine argued for the pursuit of peace through a partnership with American allies. Motivated by declining public support for Vietnam War

  • In Nixon's address to the Nation on Vietnam November 1969 he said:

    • First, the U.S. will keep all of its treaty commitments.

    • Second, we shall provide a shield if a nuclear power threatens the freedom of a nation allied with us or of a nation whose survival we consider vital to our security.

    • Third, in cases involving other types of aggression, we shall furnish military and economic assistance when requested in accordance with our treaty commitments. But we shall look to the nation directly threatened to assume the primary responsibility for providing for its own defense


Dove reaction to vietnamization
Dove Reaction to Vietnamization

  • Doves (antiwar movement)

  • Massive protest on the Boston Common in October 1969 with 100,000 and 50,000 next to the White House

  • Nixon tried to appeal to the “silent majority” (mainstream working class Joes) who he believed supported the war

  • Unleashed the vice-president to attack the “nattering nabobs of negativism” (doves)

  • Called student antiwar demonstrators “bums”


Reality of the vietnam war
Reality of the Vietnam War

  • By January 1970, the Vietnam War:

    • Was the longest in American history

    • 40,000 killed

    • 250,000 wounded

    • 3rd most costly war

    • Became very unpopular

  • Soldier fought against:

    • Vietnamese enemy

    • Booby traps

    • Hot jungles and terrain

    • Couldn’t determine foes

  • Boredom in remote bases led to low moral and drug use. (Often overstated)


Cambodian campaign
Cambodian Campaign

  • Nixon expanded the war when he ordered the bombing & invasion of Cambodia in 1970 (without Congressional consent)

  • The goal was to clear out NVA and VC camps on the border, from which the enemy was mounting attacks on South Vietnam

  • Nixon’s actions brought chaos and civil war in Cambodia and a fresh wave of protests at home

  • Allied military operations failed to eliminate many communist troops or to capture their elusive headquarters

  • Khmer Rouge (Communists) win the civil war and take over Cambodia


Kent state may 4 th 1970
Kent State May 4th, 1970

  • Since Nixon’s election and promise to end the war: My Lai was exposed, the draft lottery started, & Cambodia was being bombed

  • In Ohio, three days of unrest led to students burning the army ROTC building on campus in protest of the Cambodian Campaign

  • In response, the governor of Ohio ordered the National Guard to Kent State

  • When students threw rocks and empty tear-gas canisters at guardsmen , they fired into the crowd of protesters , killing 4, wounding 9


Jackson state may 15 th 1970
Jackson State May 15th 1970

  • In Mississippi, similar violence broke out

  • A confrontation between students and police left two students dead and 11 wounded

  • The outbreaks of violence against students shocked the nation


Pentagon papers
Pentagon Papers

  • June 1971, State Department official, Daniel Ellsberg, leaked a study to the The New York Times called the Pentagon Papers.

  • New York Times Co. v. United States. Supreme Court decided 6-3 that the injunction to stop publication of the papers was unconstitutional

  • "I felt that…as a responsible citizen, I could no longer cooperate in concealing this information from the American public. I did this clearly at my own jeopardy and I am prepared to answer to all the consequences of this decision" –Daniel Ellsberg


Pentagon papers1
Pentagon Papers

  • Papers revealed:

    • Kennedy administration was involved in Diem coup and assassination

    • The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution had been prepared a month before the Maddox incident

    • The U.S. destroyers had been in North Vietnamese waters trying to land marines of the South Vietnamese Army on the shore to engage in acts of sabotage

    • Carpet bombing in Laos and Cambodia


Continued antiwar discontent
Continued Antiwar Discontent

  • Antiwar protestors were partly pleased when:

    • Congress repealed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

    • 26th Amendment was passed in 1971 – lowering the voting age to 18


Easter offensive
Easter Offensive

  • Spring 1972, NVA and NLF forces launch the Easter Offensive, a massive conventional invasion of South Vietnam.

  • The NVA and NLF quickly overran the northern provinces and attacked from Cambodia, threatening to cut the country in half.

  • U.S. ground troop withdrawals continued and the ARVN folded, but American airpower halted the offensive.

  • It became clear that without American airpower South Vietnam could not survive. The last remaining American ground troops were withdrawn in August.


Peace in vietnam
Peace In Vietnam?

  • After the 1972 election, Nixon escalated bombing of North Vietnam

  • By the end of the year, the western half of South Vietnam was in the hands of the Viet Cong

  • Nonetheless, the bombing forced the North Vietnamese to agree to cease-fire arrangements on January 23, 1973


Peace in vietnam1
Peace In Vietnam

  • Nixon said the cease-fire agreements amounted to “peace with honor”

  • Paris Peace Accords October 1972

  • North Vietnam was more willing to negotiate after the failure of the Easter Offensive, continued U.S. bombing in the north, détente between U.S. and U.S.S.R. and Nixon opening diplomatic relations with China


Peace in vietnam2
Peace In Vietnam

  • In January 1973, the U.S., South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and the Viet Cong signed the Paris Peace Accords. Among the provisions in the agreement were:

    • All U.S. forces would be withdrawn

    • All prisoners of war would be released

    • An international force would keep the peace

    • The government in Saigon would seek a political settlement with the NLF

    • The South Vietnamese would have the right to determine their own future

    • The 17th parallel would divide the country until it could be reunited by “peaceful means”


American withdrawal
American Withdrawal

  • The Paris Peace Accord did not end the war between North and South Vietnam!

  • Fighting continued as both sides violated the truce

  • In the spring of 1975, North Vietnam launched new offensive, Campaign 275, against the South

  • South Vietnam president, Nguyen Van Thieu, requests U.S. aid to resist the communist offensive.


Defeat of south vietnam
Defeat of South Vietnam

  • President Ford (Nixon has resigned due to the Watergate scandal) was powerless because:

    • Two years before, Congress passed the War Powers Act, limiting the President’s ability to commit U.S. troops without congressional approval

    • Ford asked for military aid for South Vietnam, Congress refused


Fall of saigon
Fall of Saigon

  • NLF and NVA forces advance on Saigon residents begin to panic in fear of Communist reprisals against anyone deemed a counter revolutionary. (Hue 1968 mass graves)

  • April 3, Operation Babylift begins evacuating 2000 Vietnamese orphans, and Operation New Life evacuates 11,000 refugees under fire by NVA artillery


Vietnam united
Vietnam United

  • Operation Frequent Wind begins the final evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon

  • The last American troops were evacuated by helicopter on April 29, 1975

  • By early May, the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon fell

  • A military government was installed and on July 2, 1976, the country was united as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

  • Collaborators with the U.S. either fled or were interned in prison camps


War powers act of 1973
War Powers Act of 1973

  • Proposed in response to revelations that Nixon ordered continued bombing of Cambodia after the 1973 cease-fire agreement and Nixon’s veto of measures passed by Congress to stop the bombing

  • Nixon’s veto of the War Powers Act was overridden by Congress, it required the president to:

    • Within 48 hours of committing American forces to combat abroad, the President must report to Congress what he is doing and why

    • In 60 days, if Congress doesn’t approve or extend the time, then the troops must be withdrawn. 30 more days are allowed for the safe withdrawal of troops

    • Congress may end combat commitment at any time by passing a concurrent resolution


What happened to cambodia
What Happened To Cambodia?

  • In 1975, Cambodia fell to the Khmer Rouge,Communist.

  • Khmer dictator, Pol Pot, killed anyone remotely suspected of being pro-Western

  • 2 million Cambodians (1/4 of the population) were shot, while the rest died of starvation, disease, or mistreatment in labor camps

  • He was forced from power after a Vietnamese invasion in 1978, followed by a military occupation that lasted for a decade


Legacy of the war in vietnam
Legacy of the War in Vietnam

  • Longest U.S. war (10 years combat, 30 years treasure)

  • Only war the U.S. clearly lost

  • Death estimates Combatants:

    • 58,000 Americans dead; 300,000 wounded

    • 900,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong dead; 2 million wounded

    • 225,000 South Vietnamese dead; 550,000 wounded

  • 2.5 million civilian deaths (combined north and south)

  • The U.S. would spend millions of dollars locating troops MIA or still being held as POWs


Legacy of the war
Legacy of the War

  • More bombs fell on Vietnam than had fallen during WWII and the Korean War

  • 150 billion dollars (nearly 1 trillion 2007)

  • Landscape was marred from bombing

  • Birth defects from use of Agent Orange

  • With the North Vietnamese victory, Laos and Cambodia fell to Communism


Legacy of the war1
Legacy of the War

  • Millions of Vietnamese (500,000 went to the U.S.), Laotians, and Cambodians fled their country by boat to escape communism

  • American troops were not welcomed home as that had been during WWII (no big parades)

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • America lost self-esteem, confidence in its military prowess, and economic power


Legacy of the war2
Legacy of the War

  • There was distrust between the U.S. government and the American people. Credibility gap.

  • Ended LBJ’s presidency and the Great Society

  • Added to Nixon’s unpopularity as he came under investigation for the Watergate cover-up

  • The war made the U.S. unpopular in the less developed states and world public opinion

  • Vindictive U.S. policy ensured that Vietnam would continue to suffer economically because of a trade embargo


Reconciliation
Reconciliation

  • In 1982, a Vietnam Veterans Memorial was completed in Washington, D.C. to give veterans a sense that the war was worth something and to help heal the wounds of the war

  • In 1994, the U.S. ended an American trade embargo against Vietnam

  • In 1995, the U.S. agreed to restore full diplomatic relations with Vietnam