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Us involvement in the vietnam war 1
 

Us involvement in the vietnam war 1

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US involvement in Vietnam War

US involvement in Vietnam War

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Us involvement in the vietnam war 1 Us involvement in the vietnam war 1 Presentation Transcript

  • US Involvement in the Vietnam War
  • The Three Stages1. 1945-1964: Assistance to France and then to South Vietnam2. 1964-1968: Escalation—US involvement goes from 15,000 military advisors to 500,000 soldiers under Pres. Johnson3. Vietnamization: Nixon’s attempt to achieve “peace with honor”
  • Background Not a new area of the world in which the USA held interests After WWII the French wanted to regain control over Indochinese peninsula (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand) USA had been supplying Ho Chi Minh against Japanese—at end of WWII Ho Chi Minh declares independence for Vietnam, but France with British aid send in a military force to re-establish French rule
  • The “Communist Threat” When France asked USA for help in regaining colonial rule, Truman said “no” But then, the situation changed:1. Soviet threat in Europe2. Truman Doctrine3. Mao Zedong in China4. Korean War
  • American Involvement in Vietnam Begins 1950: Truman gave the French $40 million in economic assistance and military equipment 1950 to 1954: USA gave $2.6 billion to French, accounting for half the total cost of the war (400,000 French troops are losing the war) Spring 1954: knock out blow—The Battle of Dien Bien Phu
  • Battle of Dien Bien Phu 10,000 Fr troops were surrounded, cut off and captured Fr pleaded with Ike to send in ground forces but he refused on VP Nixon’s advice France is defeated and the Geneva Conference tried to restore peace
  • Results of Geneva Accord, 1954 S Vietnam and USA did not sign Acquiesced to the division of north and south at the 17th parallel with UN supervision of the cease fire Viet Minh in North under Ho Chi Minh French forces in the South 450,000 refugees fled N to S—mostly Roman Catholic (50,000 went S to N) UN supervised elections were to be held in Vietnam in 1956 to unify Vietnam Ho Chi Minh sure to win > USA got involved covertly CIA supported govt of S Vietnam > Ngo Dinh Diem Diem cancels elections SEATO > South East Asia Treaty Organization created for collective security of region included USA, UK, France, Australia (no Indochinese states are included)
  • Initial American Involvement Diem became President of S. Vietnam (Republic of Vietnam) Ho Chi Minh’s guerilla units (Viet Cong) began infiltrating the South Eisenhower continued to support the Diem regime and provided equipment, weapons and 1000 US soldiers as advisors to arm, train and mentor the army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) 1957: Viet Cong (VC) began active operations in S. Vietnam (controlling jungles and attacking towns, cities and ARVN bases) By 1959, VC had killed 2600 officials and controlled large portions of countryside
  • Kennedy Administration 1961: 8000 more US advisors are in SV Ineffectual: ARVN units were badly led, poorly trained and unmotivated Without assistance from USA, South would lose Foreign policy nightmare for Kennedy
  • Kennedy’s Foreign Policy Problems Events undermined Kennedy’s intentions 19611. Bay of Pigs fiasco2. Berlin Wall3. Commitment of more forces to Vietnam4. Sent VP Johnson on a “fact finding mission”
  • Result US covert involvement in the overthrow and murder of the corrupt, authoritarian leader of the South, Diem (ahhh! Remember the USA had originally supported him— yikes!) Historical debate about the extent of Kennedy’s support for actions in Vietnam (remember the term: plausible deniability) USA had no choice but to start escalation of its involvement in Vietnam When Kennedy is assassinated in November of 1963 in Dallas, the course is set
  • Escalation 1964-1968 August 1964: USS Maddox was involved in a sea battle with N. Vietnamese torpedo boats Gulf of Tonkin Resolution: passed by Congress on Aug 7 1964, authorized President Johnson to use conventional military forces in Southeast Asia without a formal declaration of war Americans were no longer “assisting”; they took over
  • Operation Rolling Thunder An air campaign to bomb NV into submission Thousands of missions; thousands of tonnes of bombs Ground war heated up as well Helicopters lifted ground forces to remote jungle regions VC countered with ambushes
  • Public Opinion Turns Mounting casualties lead Americans to question the cost of this war Media brought disturbing images home to USA “I can’t get out, I can’t finish with what I’ve got, so what the hell do I do?” Johnson Tried to win the war before the 1968 election By June 1965, 3600 bombing missions a month By the end of 1966, 450,000 American ground troops Whitehouse tells American public they are winning
  • The Tet Offensive January 1968 General Westmoreland had told the US public that NV were being “systematically ground down” USA needed a major victory and anti-war movement was gaining momentum Tet = Vietnamese New Year During lull in fighting, 85,000 Viet Cong infiltrated the major cities in SV—attacked Jan 31 Seized control of key govt buildings and US embassy in Saigon Saigon briefly fell to North Took 2 weeks to expel invaders and casualties were high Westmoreland asked for 200,000 more troops A turning point…
  • The Tide of War Turns “The war was fought on many fronts. At that time, the most important one was American public opinion.” General Vo Nguyen Giap (NV) Americans wondered how a guerilla army “on the verge of collapse” could mount a siege of such magnitude
  • Johnson’s Decision March 31, 1968 President Johnson went on national television and announced:"I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president," he said on that night in 1968.
  • De-escalation and Vietnamization Johnson suspended bombing campaign, opening the door to negotiations Nixon won the November 1968 election (Rep) Promised to bring “peace with honor” and an end to the war “Vietnamization”: to turn the war over to the SV Army and withdraw US forces
  • Results Peace talks dragged on Nixon authorized heaviest bombing raids of the war as leverage 1970, he authorized secret operations in Cambodia and Laos to disrupt the NV supply routes on the Ho Chi Minh Trail Troop withdrawals between 1969-1972 Last US bombing raid was in Aug 1972 Paris Peace Accords signed Jan 1973 Brief ceasefire but fighting began again in 1975; Saigon captured on April 30 Vietnam reunited under the Hanoi Government Many refugees fled to escape Communist rule
  • Domestic Impact Created heightened tensions in an American society that was already under strain The media’s role in the criticism of government policies increased drastically Encouraged Americans to reconsider their global image Emergence of a counter culture that demanded social and political reform Clear racial and class divisions among those who had to serve and those who escaped the draft Reputation of the US army in tatters (Mai Lai Massacre-March 1968) “It seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate….But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.” …..Walter Cronkite
  • Overall Impact 1964-73: 2 million American served while 500,000 resisted Divisive; optimism and pride shattered Fall of the entire peninsula to Communism: Vietnam, then Cambodia, then Laos Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot killed approx. 1.5 million Cambodians Brought USA and USSR to negotiate SALT Nixon opened relations with China Trudeau condemned war and accepted draft dodgers 3 million civilians died 2 million military deaths: 1.1 million NV; 220,000 ARVN; 58,000 US; 2,000 SEATO forces
  • Pulitzer Prize WinningPhotos of the Vietnam War
  • Thích Quảng Đức’s selfimmolation on 11 July 1963 in protest of Diem’s administration
  • Combat photography of Horst Faas
  • Kyoichi Sawada’s combatphotography of the Vietnam War
  • General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Viet Cong prisoner in Saigon photographed by Eddie Adams during the Tet Offensive
  • Photo of a young girlrunning following a napalm attack by the SouthVietnamese, taken in Trang Bang by AP photographer Nick Ut
  • ‘Burst of Joy’ photo taken of a POW returning home after 5 years in captivity.Photo taken by Slava Veder