Cld War10 B Vietnam Ii Web


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Cld War10 B Vietnam Ii Web

  1. 1. Case Study 2: The Vietnam War Why did the US get involved?
  2. 3. <ul><li>Geneva peace accords called for elections </li></ul><ul><ul><li>US slammed USSR for no elections in E Europe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Vietnam US prevented elections for fear of Communist victory </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reasons for no-election policy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ike & JF Dulles convinced USSR & China intent on spreading Communism in S E Asia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Domino Theory’ – Vietnam first domino in SEA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ike & Dulles ignorant of region’s people </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1955: USA helped Ngo Dinh Diem set up Republic of South Vietnam </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Diem was Catholic, anti-Communist, but also anti-Buddhist (largest religion in Vietnam) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Member of landlord class who despised peasants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Very corrupt gov’t, appointed family-members, & refused even local council elections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ We knew of no one better.’ – John Foster Dulles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ike gave Diem $ 1.6 billion in 1950s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nov 1963: Diem overthrown w/ JFK’s blessing </li></ul></ul>What happened between Korea and Vietnam? Many neutral observers were critical of US policy. Explain why. Explain how the US politicians would have defended their policies. The American Dream , from Miss Saigon Quang Duc, 73-year-old Buddhist priest, burns himself to death in protest against the attacks on Buddhist shrines by Diem’s gov’t, 1963
  3. 4. Why did the USA become increasing involved in Vietnam? <ul><li>Support for Communists increased </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Succession of anti-Communist military gov’ts in south just as corrupt, inefficient & ineffective </li></ul></ul><ul><li>National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam ( Viet Cong ) grows </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communist-led </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Included South Vietnamese gov’t opponents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Large #s of North Vietnamese Ho followers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peasants who did not support Viet Cong ( VC ) faced threats, intimidation, death or worse </li></ul></ul><ul><li>VC started guerilla war </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Used Ho Chi Minh Trail for troops, supplies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Made countryside unsafe for SV officials by attacking gov’t offices, troops, supplies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also attacked US Air Force & supply bases </li></ul></ul>A little diddy for ya
  4. 5. Why did the USA become increasing involved in Vietnam? <ul><li>Kennedy increased US presence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1962: 11,500 US military ‘advisors’ sent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many of these were Special Forces, elite soldiers expert in training against guerilla war </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1963: tensions between Vietnams increased, as did US troop levels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>JFK said he was determined not to ‘blunder into war, unclear about aims or how to get out again.’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nov ’63: Three weeks after JFK OK’d Diem’s removal, JFK was assassinated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lyndon Baines Johnson ( LBJ ) took over </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LBJ more prepared than JFK for military action </li></ul></ul>Special Forces Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler wrote and performed Ballad Of The Green Beret
  5. 6. <ul><li>Gulf of Tonkin & ‘blank check’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Aug ’64: one night NV patrol boats battled US ships, though 2 nd night was false alarm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LBJ’s Sec Def, Robert McNamara, reported to Congress that 2 nd night was actual attack, though he knew otherwise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Congress, outraged @ NV, passed GoT Resolution authorizing LBJ to ‘take all necessary measures to prevent further aggression and achieve peace and security.’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LBJ had power to determine what means were necessary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>End of ’64: 23,000 ‘advisors’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>8 March 1965: 3,500 US marines land in Da Nang. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These were combat troops, not advisors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The United States was going to war </li></ul></ul>Why did the USA become increasing involved in Vietnam? REM performs Orange Crush
  6. 7. Focus Task A: Why did the USA get involved in Vietnam? <ul><li>Draw a timeline of the period 1945-1965 </li></ul><ul><li>Mark on it increasing American involvement using the following headings: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No direct American involvement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Political involvement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Military involvement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Write annotations to show the date on which each of these phases started and what events triggered the increasing involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Choose two events that you think were critical in getting the USA involved in a war in Vietnam. Explain your choice. </li></ul>
  7. 8. Fin
  8. 9. PSDs on the Vietnam War <ul><li>It was generally agreed that had an election been held, Ho Chi Minh would have been elected Premier … at the time of the fighting, possibly 80 percent of the population would have voted for the communist ho Chi Minh as their leader. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>President Eisenhower writing after the Vietnam War </li></ul></ul><ul><li>First is the simple fact that South Vietnam, a member of the free world family, is striving to preserve its independence from Communist attack. Second, South East Asia has great significance in the forward defense of the USA. For Hanoi, the immediate object is limited: conquest of the south and national unification. For Beijing [China], however, Hanoi’s victory would only be a first step towards eventual Chinese dominance of the two Vietnams and South East Asia and toward exploitation of the new strategy in other parts of the world. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Robert McNamara, US Defense Secretary, explaining in 1964 why he supported the policy of sending US troops in Vietnam </li></ul></ul>
  9. 10. PSDs on the Vietnam War <ul><li>I remember sitting at this wretched little outpost one day with a couple of my sergeants. We’d been manning this thing for three weeks and running patrols from it. We were grungy and sore with jungle rot and we’d suffered about nine or ten casualties on a recent patrol. This one sergeant of mine said, ‘You know, Lieutenant, I don’t see how we’re ever going to win this.’ And I said, ‘Well, Sarge, I’m not supposed to say this to you as your officer – but I don’t either.’ So there was this sense that we just couldn’t see what could be done to defeat these people. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Philip Caputo, a lieutenant in the Marine Corps in Vietnam in 1965-66, speaking in 1997 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>An increasing number of recruits scored so low on the standardized intelligence tests that they would have been excluded from the normal peacetime army. The tour of duty in Vietnam was one year. Soldiers were most likely to die on their first month. The large majority of deaths took place in the first six months. Just as a soldier began gaining experience, he was sent home. A rookie army which constantly rotated inexperienced men was pitted against experienced guerillas on their home ground. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From Four Hours In Mai Lai by Michael Bilton, 1992. The average age of US combat troops in Vietnam was only 19. Many recruits had just left school. This was their first experience of war. </li></ul></ul>