The Vietnam War


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The Vietnam War

  1. 1. Learning Objectives Define the basic principles of Eisenhower’s foreign policy in Vietnam Outline the steps by which Johnson led the United States deeper into the Vietnam quagmire. Explain how the Vietnam war brought turmoil to American society and eventually drove Johnson and the divided Democrats from power in 1968. Describe Nixon’s foreign policy in relation to Vietnam Examine the conflicts created by the secret bombing of Cambodia, the American withdrawal from Vietnam
  2. 2. Background France controlled “Indochina” since the late 19th century9 Japan took control during World War IIo With U.S. aid, France attempted re-colonization in the postwar periodo The French lost control to Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Minh forces in 1954 at Dien Bien Phut President Eisenhower declined to intervene on behalf of France.
  3. 3. The Division of Vietnam International Conference at Geneva n Vietnam was divided at 17th parallel O Ho Chi Minh’s nationalist forces controlled the North O Ngo Dinh Diem, a French- educated, Roman Catholic claimed control of the Southo A date was set for democratic elections to reunify Vietnam Diem backed out of the elections – feared Ho’s victory
  4. 4. “American’s Mandarin” 1954-1963 Why did the United States initially support Diem’s regime? What led them to eventually support the coup that overthrew him?
  5. 5. U.S. Military Involvement Begins DiemRepressive dictatorial rule byt Diem’s family holds all powerl Wealth is hoarded by the elited Buddhist majority persecutedy Torture, lack of political freedom prevailThe U.S. aided Diem’s government i Ike sent financial and military aid a 675 U.S. Army advisors sent by 1960.
  6. 6. Vietcong forms; attacksthroughout S. Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh trail – supply lineopposition to Diem regime from North to aid Vietcong in South
  7. 7. Early Protests of Diem’s GovernmentSelf-Emolation by a Buddhist Monk
  8. 8. U.S. Military Involvement Begins Kennedy - 60 military “advisors” – counter- insurgencyr 1963: US supports coup d’etat – to overthrow Diem (Nov. 2)m Kennedy was assassinated just weeks later (Nov. 22)
  9. 9. Discussion QuestionWas America justified going into Vietnam? What if the Communist countries invaded a country to contain the spread of Democracy, would this be justified? What is the difference between the two situations?
  10. 10. LBJ Goes to WarRemembers Truman’s “loss”of China  Domino Theoryrevived “I’m not going to be the president who saw Southeast Asia go the way China went.”
  11. 11. Johnson Sends Ground Forces Advised to rout the communists by Secretary of State, Robert S. McNamarat Tonkin Gulf Incident  1964 (acc. to Johnson, the attacks were unprovoked), Tonkin Gulf Resolution – assistance for any Southeast Asian country whose government was considered to be jeopardized by "communist aggression;” legal justification for deploying U.S. conventional forces o “The Blank Check”
  12. 12.  [I]t is not simply that there is a different story as to what happened; it is that no attack happened that night. [...] In truth, Hanois navy was engaged in nothing that night but the salvage of two of the boats damaged on August 2. -internal National Security Agency historical study - declassified 2005
  13. 13. 1964 Election Johnson (D) v. Goldwater (R) LBJ – CR Act ’64, Great Society/War on Poverty; uses Tonkin Res. to his advantage Goldwater – extreme right-wing views; advocated the use of tactical nukes in Vietnam"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." ~ Goldwater
  14. 14. "Barry Goldwater from A to Z," was novelty booklet that reinforced the popular democratic stereotype of thei
  15. 15. U.S. TroopDeployments in Vietnam
  16. 16. The Air War 1965-1968 1965: Sustained bombing of North Vietnam -Operation Rolling Thunder (video)g Non-stop bombing of Hanoi for 3 years! Targets: industry, power plants, transportation systems, Ho Chi Minh Trail; Carpet Bombing – napalm Why was it ineffective? e Civilians - will, resourcefulness of guerilla fighters and farmers in S. Vietnam s Assistance from China and Soviets (competing for influence)
  17. 17. The Air War:A Napalm Attack
  18. 18. The Ground War No territorial1965-1968 goalso Body counts on TV every night Viet Cong supplied over the Ho Chi Minh Traill “search and destroy” in S.V. villageso Agent Orange – toxic The “living defoliant (jungles) room” war
  19. 19. Who Is the Enemy?
  20. 20. Who Is the Enemy? Vietcong (National Liberation Front): Front) a Farmers by day; guerillas at night. g willing to accept many casualties. t US grossly underestimated resolve and resourcefulness. The guerilla wins if he does notlose, the conventional army loses if it does not win. -- Mao Zedong
  21. 21. The Ground WarGeneral1965-1968 late Westmoreland, Westmoreland1967: We can see the “light at the end of the tunnel.”
  22. 22. The TetOffensiv e,January 196867,000 attack100 cities,bases, and theUS embassy inSaigon
  23. 23. The Tet Offensive, January 1968 NV Army + Viet Cong attack South simultaneously Take many major southern citiesa U.S. + ARVN beat back the offensive Viet Cong destroyed; N. Vietnamese army debilitatedy seen as an American defeat by the media – widened credibility gap (Fulbright)
  24. 24. Impact of theDomestic U.S.Offensive TetReaction: Disbelief,Anger, Distrust ofJohnson Administration Hey, Hey LBJ! How many kids did you kill today?
  25. 25. Johnson’spopularitydropped in1968 from48% to 36%.
  26. 26. Impact of the Vietnam WarJohnson announces (March, 1968): …I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.
  27. 27. American Morale Begins to Dip Disproportionate representation of poor people and minorities.m Major drug problems.m Officers in combat 6 mo.; in rear 6 mo. Enlisted men in combat for 12 mo.
  28. 28. Are We Becoming the Enemy?20 Infantry Charlie Company, 1 Battalion, st th e Mylai Massacre, 1968 e 200-500 unarmed villagersÈ Lt. William Calley, Platoon Leader
  29. 29. The Draft Lotteries Rep. Alexander Pirnie, R-NY, draws the first capsule in the lottery drawing held on Dec. 1, 1969.  The capsule contained the date, Sept. 14. The highest number called: 195
  30. 30. Embodying the national debate over U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, a U.S.soldier in Vietnam wears a peace symbol amuletalongside a bandolier of bullets. Photograph by Bettman/CORBIS “When we marched into the rice paddies… we carried, along with our packs and rifles, the implicit convictions that the Vietcong could be quickly beaten. We kept the packs and rifles; the convictions we lost.” – Philip Caputo
  31. 31. History Rocks: Amer
  32. 32. 1968 Election Nixon (R) v. Humphrey (D) v. Wallace (I)
  33. 33. Nixon and NamPeace with Honor Appealed to“Silent Majority”VietnamizationExpansion of theconflict  The“Secret War” Cambodia Laos
  34. 34. Anti-WarDemonstration s Columbia University 1967
  35. 35. Anti-War Demonstration s Student Protestors at Univ. of CA in Berkeley, 1968Democratic Convention in Chicago, 1968
  36. 36. “Hanoi Jane”Jane Fonda: Traitor?
  37. 37. Anti-War Demonstrations h May 4, 1970 h 4 students shot dead. h 11 students wounded r Jackson State University r May 10, 1970 r 2 dead; 12Kent State University wounded
  38. 38. The Nixon Doctrine/ Vietnamization US would: – honor all of its treaty agreements. – provide a shield if a nuclear power threatened an ally or a country the U.S. deemed to be vital to its national security. – provide military and economic aid to countries under treaty agreements, but the nation would be expected to bear primary responsibility to provide manpower for its own defense.
  39. 39. What contributed to the War at Home?  My Lai  Extension of War into Cambodia  Kent State  Release of the Pentagon Papers
  40. 40. The “Secret War”“Just do it. Dont come back and ask permission each time”- Nixon instruction to aides running operations in Cambodia
  41. 41. “Pentagon Papers,” 1971” Former defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg leaked govt. docs. regarding war efforts during Johnson’s administration to the New York Times.s Docs. Govt. misled Congress & Amer. People regarding its intentions in Vietnam t Primary reason for fighting not to eliminate communism, but to avoid humiliating defeat. a New York Times v. United States (1971) . Free press v. Govt. need for security? v FREE PRESS WINS!*
  42. 42. Beginning of the End 72 -Peace is at hand  Kissinger, 1972 h North Vietnam attacks South t Most Massive U.S. bombing commences. 73 - Ceasefire signed - U.S., South Vietnam, & North Vietnam Peace with honor (President Nixon)
  43. 43. Peace Negotiations L US & Vietnamese argue for 5 months over the size of the conference table!Dr. Henry Kissinger & Le Duc Tho
  44. 44. The Ceasefire, 1973 Conditions: 1. U.S. to remove all troops 2. North Vietnam could leave troops already in S.V. 3. NV would keep territoryr Last American combat troops leave on March 29, 1973m 1975: North Vietnam defeats South Vietnamn Saigon renamed Ho Chi Minh City
  45. 45. The Fall of Saigon South VietnameseAttempt to Flee the Country
  46. 46. The Fall of Saigon April 30, 1975America Abandons Its Embassy
  47. 47. The Fall of Saigon North Vietnameseat the Presidential Palace
  48. 48. A United VietnamFormerly Saigon
  49. 49. The Costs 3,000,000 Vietnamese killedm 58,000 Americans killed; 300,000 wounded Under-funding of Great Society programs 686 billion in U.S. spending. U.S. morale, self-confidence, trust of government, decimated
  50. 50. The Impact 26th Amendment: 18-year-olds voteo Nixon abolished the draft all-volunteer armym War Powers Act, 1973 ‫٭‬ I President must notify Congress within 48 hours of deploying military force n President must withdraw forces unless he gains Congressional approval within 90 daysn Disregard for Veterans  seen as “baby killers”
  51. 51. 2,583 American POWs / MIAsstill unaccounted for today.
  52. 52. And in the End…. Ho Chi Minh: If we have to fight, we will fight. You will kill ten of our men and we willkill one of yours, and in the end itwill be you who tires of it.
  53. 53. 58,195
  54. 54. Discussion Questions - What were the short-term andlong-term consequences of thecommunists victory in Vietnam? Howdo these affect an assessment of thewar? What could America have donedifferently to win the war in Vietnam?-What lessons for future Presidentscame from US experience in Vietnam?
  55. 55. Lessons for Future American Presidents1. Wars must be of short duration.2. Wars must yield few American casualties.3. Restrict media access to battlefields.4. Develop and maintain Congressional and public support.5. Set clear, winnable goals.6. Set deadline for troop withdrawals. Have we learned our lesson from Vietnam? Use details from our study of the war and the current day situation in the Middle East to support your opinion.
  56. 56. The Vietnam Memorial,Washington, D.C.
  57. 57. Memorial to USServicemen in Vietnam
  58. 58. Some American POWs Returned from the “Hanoi Hilton”Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
  59. 59. Memorial to US Nurses in Vietnam
  60. 60. President Clintonformally recognized Vietnam on July 11, 1995
  61. 61. Another Vietnam? ORA transformation of the Middle East?Only time & history can tell!