III. The Vietnam war. Tet Offensive - N. Vietnamese Army + Viet Cong attack South simultaneously (67,000 attack 100 cities, bases, and the US embassy in Saigon) - Take every major southern city - U.S. + South Vietnamese Army beat back the offensive - Viet Cong destroyed
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- N. Vietnamese Army + Viet Cong attack South simultaneously (67,000 attack 100 cities, bases, and the US embassy in Saigon)
- Take every major southern city
- U.S. + South Vietnamese Army beat back the offensive
- Viet Cong destroyed
- N. Vietnamese army debilitated
BUT…it’s seen as an American defeat by the media
Johnson announces in 1968 he won’t seek reelection
“Hey, Hey LBJ how many kids did you kill today?”
Troop Morale plummets
- Disproportionate representation of poor people and minorities.
- Racial conflicts
Cam Ranh Bay, Republic of Vietnam (RVN), white sailors donned Ku Klux Klan-like outfits, burned crosses, and raised the Confederate flag.
- Drug problems rampant
Nixon’s 1968 Campaign promised an end to the war: Peace with Honor
-Appealed to the great “Silent Majority”
However, he also expanded the conflict
- Secret War in Cambodia and Laos
-Former defense analyst Daniel Ellsbergleaked govt. docs. regarding war efforts during Johnson’s administration to the New York Times.
- Gov. misled Congress & Amer. People regarding its intentions in Vietnam during mid-1960s.
-Primary reason for fighting not to eliminate communism, but to avoid humiliating defeat.
70% - To avoid a humiliating U.S. defeat.
20% - To keep [South Vietnam] (and the adjacent) territory from Chinese hands.
10% - To permit the people [of South Vietnam] to enjoy a better, freer way of life.
ALSO - To emerge from the crisis without unacceptable taint from methods used.
NOT - To 'help a friend'
-New York Times v. United States (1971)
- Last American troops left South Vietnam on March 29, 1973
- 1975: North Vietnam defeats South Vietnam
Saigon renamed Ho Chi Minh City
-3,000,000 Vietnamese killed
-58,000 Americans killed; 300,000 wounded
-Under-funding of Great Society programs
-$150,000,000,000 in U.S. spending
-U.S. morale, self-confidence, trust of government, decimated
-26th Amendment: 18-year-olds vote
-Nixon abolished the draft and created an all-volunteer army
-War Powers Act, 1973
President must notify Congress within 48 hours of deploying military force
President must withdraw forces unless he gains Congressional approval within 90 days