The vietnam war


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The vietnam war

  1. 1. Jose Pulgar The Vietnam War
  2. 2. American Involvement • By the early 1900s, nationalism had become a powerful force in Vietnam. • Among the leaders of the nationalist movement was Nguyen That Thanh-better known as Ho Chi Minh.
  3. 3. American Involvement • His actions forced him to flee Indochina and live in exile in the USSR and China. • On his return, in 1941, the Japanese had seized control of the country. He organized a nationalist group, called the Vietminh, in the efforts to expel the Japanese.
  4. 4. American Involvement • Soon afterwards, the US began sending aid to the Vietminh. • The French had no intention in losing its former colony so, they began sending troops to Vietnam in 1946.
  5. 5. American Involvement • The US was against colonialism, but did not want Vietnam to be Communist. Truman was afraid that, since Vietnam fell to Communism, the rest of South East Asia would follow. This became known as the “Domino Theory”.
  6. 6. American Involvement • Despite the US’s aid, the French were having difficulties due to, the Vietminh’s guerrilla troops. • Rising casualties and lack of victories made the war unpopular with the French public.
  7. 7. American Involvement • Negotiations led to the Geneva Accords, which provided a temporary division along the 17th parallel.
  8. 8. American Involvement Deepens • In response to Diem, refusing to hold national elections, Ho Chi Minh organized a guerrilla army of South Vietnamese Communist. • By 1961, they had assumed direct control of most of the countryside.
  9. 9. American Involvement Deepens • Newly elected President, John F. Kennedy, continued to support South Vietnam. He believed the country was vital in the battle against Communism.
  10. 10. American Involvement Deepens • Diem became unpopular due to the creation of “strategic hamlets”. He also discriminated against Buddhism. • This led to his, inevitable, execution by Vietnamese generals.
  11. 11. American Involvement Deepens • Three weeks later, John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The problem in Vietnam was now in the hands of Lyndon B. Johnson.
  12. 12. American Involvement Deepens • On August 2, 1964, Johnson announced that North Vietnamese torpedo boats had fired upon two US Destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. He insisted these attacks were unprovoked and ordered American aircrafts to attack North Vietnamese ships and naval facilities.
  13. 13. American Involvement Deepens • Johnson asked Congress to defend American forces and allies in Southeast Asia. Congress agreed and passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution on August 7, 1964.
  14. 14. A Bloody Stalemate • In 1966 around 360,000 combat troops were sent to Vietnam. Lacking the US’s firepower, the Vietcong used booby- traps, ambushes, and other guerrilla tactics.
  15. 15. A Bloody Stalemate • To counter these attacks, American troops attempted to locate enemy positions, destroy their supplies, and force them into open combat. American planes dropped napalm and used Agent Orange.
  16. 16. Bloody Stalemate • North Vietnam sent supplies and arms south, through a network known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
  17. 17. Bloody Stalemate • Instead of conquering territories, American troops sought defeat enemy forces by wearing them down. They began measuring progress by the number of enemies killed.
  18. 18. Antiwar Movement Emerges • As the war dragged on, media accounts contradicted government reports. Many people began to develop a “credibility gap”.
  19. 19. Antiwar Movement Emerges • In March 1965, faculty members and students at the University of Michigan joined together in a “teach-in”. • In May 1965, over 122 colleges held a national teach-in.
  20. 20. Antiwar Movement Emerges • Many protesters focused on the unfair draft system. Young people, unable to afford college, were more likely to be drafted. • Between 1961 and 1966, African Americans made up about 10 percent of military personnel. In April 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., publicly condemned the conflict.
  21. 21. Antiwar Movement Emerges • About 500,000 draftees refused to go. Officials persecuted over 3,000 Americans, from 1965 to 1968. • Many draftees argued, if they were old enough to fight, they were old enough to vote. In 1971 the 26th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified.
  22. 22. Antiwar Movement Emerges • In time, the nation was divided into two camps. The “Doves” and the “Hawks”.
  23. 23. The Pivotal Year • On January 30, 1968, during Tet, the Vietcong and North Vietnamese, launched a massive surprise attack. • After a month of fighting, the US and South Vietnamese soldiers managed to hold off the enemy troops.
  24. 24. The Pivotal Year • Both Johnson and the war became very unpopular. • Realizing Johnson was vulnerable, Robert Kennedy, who opposed the war, entered the race for Democratic nomination.
  25. 25. On March 31, 1968, Lyndon B. Johnson announces he will not be accepting a nomination for another term as President.
  26. 26. The Pivotal Year • On April 4, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis by James Earl Ray. On June 5, Robert Kennedy was gunned down by Sirhan Sirhan, an Arab nationalist.
  27. 27. The Pivotal Year • Republicans selected former vice president, Richard Nixon, as their candidate. • Nixon wins the presidency on November 5, 1968.
  28. 28. Nixon Moves to End the War • Attempting to end the war, Nixon appointed Henry Kissinger who embarked upon a policy know as “linkage”, in order to persuade the USSR and China to reduce their aid to North Vietnam.
  29. 29. Nixon Moves to End the War • Nixon began the process of “Vietnamization” and announced the withdrawal of 25,000 troops on June 8, 1969, though, he increased airstrikes against North Vietnam and began secretly bombing Vietcong sanctuaries.
  30. 30. Nixon Moves to End the War • In the Spring of 1968, an American platoon, commanded by Lieutenant William Calley, had massacred South Vietnamese citizens.
  31. 31. Nixon Moves to End the War • In April 1970, Nixon announced that American troops had invaded Cambodia. Many believed this expanded the war, setting off protests. • On May 4, Ohio National Guards fired upon demonstrators at Kent State University, killing four students.
  32. 32. Nixon Moves to End the War • Congress began to work towards the President’s control of the war, consequently, repealing the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. • The following year, Daniel Ellsberg leaked what became known as the Pentagon Papers. It confirmed the government has not been honest with the public.
  33. 33. Nixon Moves to End the War • During the 1972 Presidential election, Nixon faced Democratic challenger, George McGovern, an critic of the war. Less than a month before the election, Kissinger emerged from his secret talks with Le Duc Tho to announce “peace is at hand”.
  34. 34. Nixon Moves to End the War • Soon, Kissinger’s negotiations broke down. In order to force North Vietnam to resume negotiations, the Nixon administration began the most destructive air raids in the war, the “Christmas Bombings”.
  35. 35. Nixon Moves to End the War • The negotiations resumed and on January 27, 1973, both sides agreed to end the war. After almost eight years, the nation ended its direct involvement in Vietnam.
  36. 36. Nixon Moves to End the War • Peace did not last. In January 1975, Cambodia fell under the control of the Khumer Rouge, a Communist group. • In March 1975, North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam. • Nixon resigned in August 1974, following the Watergate scandal.
  37. 37. Nixon Moves to End the War • On April 30, North Vietnam captured Saigon, South Vietnam’s capital. Laos, an area ran by a neutral coalition government, was taken over next. The domino effect has played out as predicted.
  38. 38. The Legacy of Vietnam • America used an estimated $173 billion in direct costs. Around 58,000 young Americans died, and some 300,000 were injured. An estimated 1 million North and South Vietnamese were killed, as did millions more civilians. • In 1982, the nation dedicated the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  39. 39. The Legacy of Vietnam • In 1973, Congress passed the War Powers Act, in order to set limits on executive power. • No president has recognized this limitation and the courts have tended to avoid this issue. • The war shook the nation’s confidence and made some question American foreign
  40. 40. Questions • How were the Vietnamese Communist forces so effective in the face of the far wealthier, technologically superior powers of France and the United States? • What was the end result of the Vietnam war?