HIS2Q: The USA and Vietnam 1961-75 – Revision Booklet

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506476015430500-19177029972000The USA and Vietnam 1945?75Revision bookletThe Background to American involvementHo Chi Minh and the struggle for Vietnam’s independenceThe Geneva Conference and Eisenhower’s responseJohn F. Kennedy and US Policy in Vietnam, 1961–3, pp. 2-4Lyndon B. Johnson and US escalation, 1964–1968, pp. 5-7The crisis of the war, 1964–1968: Vietnam, pp. 8-10The crisis of the war, 1964–1968: inside the USA, pp. 11-13Richard Nixon, Vietnamisation and US Withdrawal, 1969–1975, pp. 14-16TasksRead through the topic information page for each of the five course areas above. You’ll then find a short task to test your knowledge of the topic, and exam style questions.Name: The Background to US involvement Vietnam before 1954Vietnam was a French colony, known as French Indochina. The French had exploited Vietnam's resources and its people since the late 1890s, but had established a university for the training of civil servants in Hanoi, which would become a training ground for radical opponents of French rule. Ho Chi Minh was the son of one such French Civil Servant.Ho Chi Minh was in exile between 1911 and 1941, travelling to France, the United States and the United Kingdom before travelling to Russia and China.In 1919 he was part of a delegation that presented a petition, for the self-determination of Vietnam, to Woodrow Wilson whilst he was in Paris to help arrange the post-war treaties, supposedly based on his 14 Points. One of those points was that nations should be based on the principle of ‘self-determination’. The request was ignored.Ho Chi Minh founded the Communist Party of Vietnam (later re-named the Indochinese Communist Party) in 1925, and was at war with the French, fighting for Vietnamese independence. In 1941 Ho Chi Minh created the League for the Independence of Vietnam (‘Vietminh’) and received weaponry from both the USA and Russia in his guerrilla warfare against the Japanese occupation.The context of the Cold War The Cold War began after the Second World War and was a bi-polar conflict between Communism and Capitalist democracy. It was based around ideological differences and the possession of nuclear weapons – this had the effect of creating a stalemante the use of nuclear weapons and an arms race. The arms race meant that the US feared war in Vietnam because of potential nuclear attack from the Soviet Union.Involvement in the Cold War was based on the policy of containment (keeping Communism within current Communist countries) and the Domino Theory (that if a country fell to Communism then those surrounding it would fall too). These become the main reasons for involvement in Vietnam.There was a Communist revolution in China in 1949. Mao Zedong was the ruler of Communist China (known as Chairman Mao). Nikita Khrushchev was the leader of the Communist Soviet Union after the death of Stalin in 1954. Both countries supported the Communist Ho Chi Minh.The US was also involved in a war in Korea to prevent the Communist takeover of the South. This set a precedent for US involvement in Asia against Communism.The Post-War situation in Vietnam, 1945-1954In August 1945 – At Potsdam, the big three decided to divide Vietnam into two, the north under China and the South under Britain, which promptly agreed to hand it over to the French. China - under Chiang Kai Shek had enough problems of its own and understood the difficulties involved in trying to rule in Vietnam, decided also to leave its portion to the French; The Emperor Bao Dai went into exile but was allowed to return in 1948 and was installed by the French as head of state in 1949. He was never popular because of his allegiance to the French but also because of his corruption. In September 1945 - Following Japanese withdrawal, Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the formation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and deliberately quoted from the American Declaration of Independence: ‘We hold the truth that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’</li>The French refused to recognise the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and in November 1946 the Vietminh officially declared war on the French. General Vo Nguyen Giap set out plans for a revolutionary war involving Guerrilla tactics. However, the Vietminh struggled to cope with the better trained French troops.The 1949 Communist victory over nationalist forces in China meant that Vietminh now received support from across the border as well as receiving diplomatic recognition.Between 1946 and 1952 90,000 French troops had been killed, wounded or captured; a growing number French people questioned France’s right to be in Vietnam.By 1952, Giap commanded over a quarter of a million regular soldiers and a militia numbering 2 million. Each army was supported by 40,000 porters carrying rice or ammunition along jungle trails and over mountain passes; they followed set rules when dealing with civilians, returning anything borrowed; not causing damage or fraternising with women;By 1953 the Vietminh controlled large areas of the north whilst the South lay under mostly French control. The French offered to negotiate.In December 1953, with talks scheduled in Geneva, General Navarre hoped to end the war by forcing Giap’s forces into a large scale battle by setting up a defensive complex at Dien Bien Phu, which would block the route of Vietminh forces into Laos.The Battle of Dien Bien PhuIn February 1954 - General Giap took up Navarre's challenge but instead of offering a frontal assault, amassed an army to outnumber the French (5-1). Thousands of peasant volunteers had dismantled heavy, long-range howitzers and anti-aircraft guns recently obtained from China and taken them piece by piece up into the surrounding hills. There, they successfully camouflaged the guns until they were ready to be fired. Realising he had been surrounded, Navarre appealed for help to the US but Eisenhower refused to intervene unless the British supported. Neither Congress nor Britain were in favour, after the unpopular war in Korea. Eisenhower probably recognised that it was going to be impossible to win in Vietnam with French colonialism and could settle for a divided country and an armistice much like the division in Korea.March 13th - Giap launched the offensive, which lasted 56 days; the French commander, Colonel Piroth committed suicide.April 26th – Geneva Conference began.May 7th - the French surrendered, having suffered 7000 casualties and 11,000 prisoners; the French announced their intention to withdraw the next day.</li>General Giap said: ‘The Dien Bien Phu campaign was a huge victory. It was the first time a poor feudal nation had beaten a great colonial power that had a modern industry and a massive army. The victory meant a lot, not just to us, but to people all over the world.’Truman, 1945-1953457200016319500As a new president, Truman wanted to appear tough and show that he had the ability to make difficult decisions.Truman did not know much about the rest of the world. He listened to his Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, who believed in standing up to Communism.Truman and Acheson supported the French because they were important allies against Communism in Indochina, Europe and NATO.In 1949 China became Communist. There was a fear that Communism would spread to the rest of Asia.When Chinese troops went into Korea during the Korean War, the Americans believed that the Chinese wanted to spread Communism to the rest of Asia.McCarthy hysteria in America which began in February 1950, which whipped Americans up into an anti-communist frenzy;US support for France – because France was such a key ally against communism in Europe, America was compelled to support its ally against Communism in the far East;Truman’s failures to prevent a Chinese take over of China, as well as the development of a Russian nuclear weapon in 1949, damaged his credibility and he was unable to launch a credible bid for a second term in 1952.Eisenhower and Vietnam, 1953-1960457200010287000Eisenhower gained the Republican nomination in 1952, with Senator Richard Nixon as his running mate, and campaigned against what he denounced as Truman's failures: "Korea, Communism and Corruption". He pledged to clean up the "mess in Washington," and promised to "go to Korea."Eisenhower promised the American people a ‘New Look’ defence policy that would go beyond Truman’s policy of containment.He believed in what he called ‘Domino theory’ and his Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, talked about ‘massive retaliation’, hinting at the use of nuclear weapons.In practice, Eisenhower and Dulles followed the same policy as their predecessors – they fought a ‘Cold War’ of based on containment and showed no appetite for the use of nuclear weapons.France threatened to be unhelpful in the fight against Communism in the West and to pull out of Indochina unless America gave them aid.Eisenhower wanted France to be a strong NATO member to defend Western Europe against the perceived Communist threat.Eisenhower was not prepared to help the French at Dien Bien Phu in 1953-4, and certainly not to use ‘tactical’ nuclear strikes as the French requested. Britain said it would not support US intervention; and having recently signed an armistice in Korea following a war that killed nearly 37,000 American soldiers, Eisenhower was in no mood to get into another South East Asian conflict.Moreover, the American presidency would be glad to distance itself from association with ancient colonialism. The French elimination from Vietnam would allow it to begin with a blank slate.However, in 1954 Eisenhower felt Ho Chi Minh had won at the Geneva conference:The Geneva Peace Accords (1954) split the country at the 17th Parallel. North Vietnam became Communist under Ho Chi Minh whilst South Vietnam became a democracy, eventually led by Ngo Dinh Diem. The Geneva Accords dictated that the division was to be temporary, with the country to be re-united following and election in July 1956 – which everyone expected Ho Chi Minh to win.Population was to be allowed to move freely between the north and the south (which in effect meant that Catholics moved south to get away from Communism)Nonetheless, the French were to withdraw from the North and the Communists were to withdraw from the South;The North would be under the control of Ho Chi Minh, and the South under President Bao and Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem.Neither the South nor the North were permitted to make a military alliance with another country.Eisenhower oversaw the creation of a South East Asian Treaty Organisation – whose membership included Australia, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, and the UK as well as the US – partly as a means of circumventing the provisions of the Geneva Accords.From the beginning, America made it clear that he supported the establishment of permanent non-communist state in the South.Ngo Dinh Diem seemed to provide America with its opportunity. A Vietnamese nationalist, who opposed French colonialism, but Catholic and educated in America, he seemed to offer hope. The Americans pledged their support within weeks of the Geneva agreement. But not everyone – least of all French advisers – were convinced.However, Diem’s strong actions to put down insurgents in the Mekong Delta and to take control of the country in a 1955 election convinced the Americans to stick with him. The Americans committed themselves to guaranteeing an independent South Vietnam and said they would help Diem. Diem was invited to America on a state visit in 1957 and thus made a very public commitment to South Vietnam and to its leader. Once the commitment was made America had to see it through.The Americans thought that Diem’s battles were against unpopular Communists and that he could win with more military force and money. Seven billion dollars was sent between 1955 and 1961. 1,500 American advisers were sent. Half of them were ‘military advisers’. This was a short step to putting American soldiers in Vietnam.The situation in Vietnam by 1961Ngo Dinh Diem was corrupt. Elections were rigged and the culture of the tribal Montagnards came under attack. The ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) led attacks against Viet Minh forces, which led to insurgency in the South. Ho Chi Minh wanted unity with the South and was supported by China and the Soviet Union who provided military and economic aid. The National Liberation Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NFL) was founded in 1960. The actions and policies of President KennedyPresident John F. Kennedy came into office in January 1961 with the same worldview as Eisenhower. He felt the forces of Communism were a threat that had to be met by the US. He became further involved in South Vietnam as insurgency led by the Viet Cong (also known as the National Liberation Front, or NLF) increased amongst peasants.One of Kennedy’s first actions was to sponsor an unsuccessful anti-Communist invasion of the Bay of Pigs in Cuba in April 1961. This failure led to an increased desire for success against Communism in South-East Asia.Laos was seen as a strategic interest because its fall to Communism would provide a military base for North Vietnam to attack the South. The US ensured the neutralisation of Laos, but this was a partial failure because the Viet Cong continued to use Laos as a route into South Vietnam.Kennedy tried to reduce insurgency in South Vietnam through two non-combat methods. Firstly, the Strategic Hamlet Programme placed peasants into armed and protected villages to deny the Viet Cong manpower, food and intelligence. The peasants disliked this because it uprooted them from their ancestral lands. Secondly, the Military Assistance Command (MACV) coordinated all US activity in South Vietnam. It used defoliants to remove cover and food for the Viet Cong. The destruction this caused alienated Vietnamese peasants.The significance of the assassinations of President Diem and President KennedyThe Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, when the Soviet Union began placing missiles in Cuba, was the closest the world ever came to nuclear war. Afterwards, talks between Kennedy and Khrushchev relaxed the tensions between the US and Soviet Union. This meant that the Soviet Union played a lesser role in Vietnam, reducing the fear of nuclear retaliation and increasing the chance that the US would go to war with North Vietnam.The battle of Ap Bac in January 1963 saw ARVN and US troops come up against Viet Cong forces. It demonstrated the weaknesses of the ARVN. The ARVN refused to fight and were easily beaten by the Communist forces.The Buddhist crisis was a period of political and religious tension in South Vietnam from May to November 1963. The crisis began with the shootings of nine unarmed civilians who were protesting against a ban of the Buddhist flag. Discontent with the Diem regime had long been simmering below the surface and this crisis demonstrated the problems of Diem’s corrupt government. The US felt something had to be done.The arrest and assassination of Diem marked the end of a successful CIA-backed coup d'état (the sudden overthrow of a government by a small group). On the morning of 2 November 1963 Diem and his adviser, younger brother Ngo Dinh Nhu, were arrested by the ARVN in Saigon. The removal of Diem presented the US with a chance to further their influence in South Vietnam.Kennedy was assassinated on 22 November 1963. Since Kennedy’s death, one of the major questions about his presidency concerns his commitment to the struggle against the Communist insurgency in South Vietnam. At the moment of his death, was Kennedy at the point of withdrawing US troops from South Vietnam?Background to US involvement in Vietnam, 1961–1963Knowledge taskUse the words below to complete the gaps in the paragraph which follows.nuclearColdCommunistssucceedHo Chi MinhDominocontainmentSouth VietnamCubaLaosChinaCommunismAfter the Second World War the USA and Soviet Union became involved in a ………… War. This was seen as a bi-polar war because it pitted the democracy of the “free world” against ………….………. . The US greatly feared the spread of Communism and introduced a policy of ……………………… to ensure Communism didn’t spread beyond the Soviet Union and ………….... . The US wanted this because they believed in the ……………….. Theory, the idea that if one country fell to Communism others would follow. This theory led to US involvement in South-East Asia, and ……………. became a ‘vital interest’. It was vital because if the …………………... succeeded here they would have the prefect base to attack Cambodia, Thailand and …………………………….. . The US was initially keen to avoid military involvement in Asia as they feared pulling the Soviet Union and China into a conflict, especially now the Soviets had tested …………………. weapons. Also, the US had failed miserably in an anti-communist invasion at the Bay of Pigs in …………… . This led to a more diplomatic response in Laos. The US involvement in Laos was seen as a partial failure because despite neutralising the Communist threat ………………………… was still able to use Laos to supply his South Vietnamese insurgents with goods. The failures in Cuba and Laos meant that it was vital for the US to ……………………. in Vietnam. Exam style question How far was President Kennedy committed to the defence of South Vietnam from Communism?Topic 3: Lyndon B. Johson and Escalation of the US war effort, 1964–1968Topic information sheetThe personality and policies of President JohnsonFollowing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as president of the United States of America on 22 November 1963.Afraid that large scale involvement might jeopardise his chances in the presidential elections of November 1964, and threaten his political and social welfare programme, Johnson cautiously expanded US assistance to South Vietnam. He increased the number of military advisers and the amount of economic assistance to the South Vietnamese, in the hope that an improved version of Kennedy’s Vietnam policy might prevent an escalation of insurgency in South Vietnam.Johnson continued Kennedy’s agenda for civil rights, political reform, Medicare health insurance for the elderly and education reforms. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and its impactThe Gulf of Tonkin incident on 2 August 1964 was when the USS?Maddox engaged three North Vietnamese P4 torpedo boats. Two days later the Maddox reported a second engagement with North Vietnamese vessels.The outcome of the incident was the passage, by Congress, of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which granted the President the authority to assist any Southeast Asian country whose government was considered to be in threat from ‘Communist aggression’.The resolution was Johnson's legal justification for escalating American involvement in South Vietnam. Some argue that Johnson had already had the resolution ready for some time and was just waiting for a chance to use it.Johnson won a landslide victory in the November 1964 presidential election partly because he was seen as the great protector, taking revenge on the North Vietnamese for the Gulf of Tonkin attack. The aims and objectives of the US army in VietnamJohnson and his advisers believed that a gradual build up of US forces in South Vietnam, combined with the increased bombing of North Vietnam would coerce North Vietnam into negotiations.General Westmoreland (head of the MACV) was convinced that the Communist forces could be destroyed by a war of attrition ? weakening the enemy by killing as many as possible.The Battle of Ia Drang was one of the first major battles between the US and PAVN (the People’s Army of Vietnam) in November 1965. The battle revealed that sending forces by helicopter worked well for the US, and that the support of bombers ensured a Vietnamese retreat. Using this strategy of attrition, the US forces inflicted an 11:1 loss ratio upon the PAVN.‘Search and destroy’ was the main tactic used by the US forces. The idea was to insert ground forces via helicopter, wipe out enemy forces and withdraw immediately afterwards. The biggest weakness of this tactic was that the Viet Cong would soon return to the area. This led to the US forces being stuck in a ‘quagmire’ (swamp) as they would have to return and clear the area again. The mass bombing campaignOn 6 February 1965, National Liberation Army units attacked a US army barracks and helicopter base in Pleiku, killing nine US service personnel and destroying five helicopters. In effect, the incident gave Johnson a reason to retaliate with a bombing campaign, known as ‘Flaming Dart’.On 2 March 1965, the USA launched ‘Operation Rolling Thunder’, a sustained bombing of the North in an attempt to disrupt Communist supplies and encourage the North Vietnamese to negotiate.Ultimately, the bombing campaigns failed as the US couldn’t stop supplies from getting to the Viet Cong in the south from China and the Soviet Union. The air attacks also had little affect on guerrilla warfare as the PAVN and Viet Cong forces learned that if they were close enough, the US would not use air support for fear of hitting their own troops. The North Vietnamese called this ‘grabbing the enemy by his belt’.Topic 2: Escalation of the US war effort, 1964–1968Knowledge task123456789Across4. ... Theory ? the idea that the US was stuck in Vietnam.5. Gulf of ... ? the location of the attack on the USS Maddox.6. The NLF attacked this base, sparking US retaliation.8. Search and ... ? the main US military tactic in Vietnam.9. He became president after Kennedy's assassination.Down1. Type of warfare used by the PAVN and Viet Cong.2. This document, about the Gulf of Tonkin incident, provided Johnson with the power to wage war in Indochina.3. The strategy which involved killing as many Viet Cong as possible.5. The main US bombing campaign ? Operation Rolling ... . 7. The Battle of Ia ... ? the first PAVN vs. US fight.Exam style question (24 marks)How important was President Johnson in bringing about an escalation of war in Vietnam in the years 1965 to 1968?Topic 3: The crisis of the war, 1964–1968: VietnamTopic information sheetThe Viet Cong: leadership, tactics and effectivenessGuerrilla warfare included the use of booby traps, close combat fighting and hiding out in fortified villages across South Vietnam. The VC (Viet Cong) and PAVN (People’s Army of Vietnam) were well equipped with modern arms from the Soviet Union and munist forces suffered some one million deaths according to their own estimates, but reserves were plentiful and key allies like China provided tens of thousands of troops to keep up border supplies and to keep transport routes open. Men, women and children supported, and fought for, the Communists.The Communist leaders had ruthless determination in their ‘continuing revolutionary struggle’. By the time of their final victory in 1975, many of these leaders had been on the field of battle for two munist motivation and morale was superior to that of the US forces. For VC and PAVN forces, the conflict was not simply another Cold War battle, but a life and death struggle against imperial domination, spanning generations. America did not understand this determination.The failure of the US to win the hearts and minds of the people of South VietnamOne of the main reasons the Americans could not defeat the Communists was because they were unable to win the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people. The North won because they waged a people’s war in which every man, woman and child became a part of the fighting.Throughout the conflict, the actions of the US and South Vietnamese forces upset the South Vietnamese peasants. The strategic hamlets programme moved them out of their homes, and the bombing destroyed their crops and livelihoods and killed many innocent civilians.US soldiers often struggled to tell the difference between the Viet Cong and South Vietnamese peasants, leading to incidents such as the My Lai massacre. Operation Phoenix involved the horrific torture of captured Viet Cong soldiers. Some US troops classed the South Vietnamese as subhuman and failed to understand their way of life.US troops spoilt Saigon (the South Vietnamese capital). Drugs were sold in bars, black market goods were sold on the streets and there were 56,000 registered prostitutes. Many soldiers fathered babies to Vietnamese women.The importance of logistical support from North VietnamThe Ho Chi Minh trail was a path that ran from North Vietnam to South Vietnam through the neighbouring kingdoms of Laos and Cambodia. The system provided manpower and supplies to the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army (PAVN).The trail was never a single route. There were several branches, along which were dotted repair workshops, store depots, hospitals and rest camps. Around 50,000 women were employed at any one time to repair the road. If one part was damaged by American bombing, the traffic would be switched to other branches whilst repairs were completed.The Soviets and Chinese provided thousands of cheap trucks. While Hanoi lost many trucks, each worth around $6000, the Americans lost many bombers, each worth several million dollars. American bombers constantly sought to destroy the trail, but failed.The Tet Offensive and its impactOn 31 January 1968, during Tet, Vietnam’s most important holiday, the Vietnamese Communists launched a major offensive throughout South Vietnam. It took weeks for US and South Vietnamese troops to retake all of the captured cities.The event shocked the American people. In recent months they had been told that the Viet Cong were close to defeat, and now they were strong enough to take important buildings in the Southern capital.The Tet Offensive proved to be a turning point in the war. In military terms it was a victory for the US forces. An estimated 37,000 NLF soldiers were killed compared to 2,500 Americans. It demonstrated, however, that the NLF appeared to have continuous supplies of men and women willing to fight for the overthrow of the South Vietnamese government.In March 1968 President Johnson was told by his Secretary of Defence that, in his opinion, the US could not win the Vietnam War and that a withdrawal should be ic 3: The crisis of the war, 1964–1968: VietnamKnowledge taskComplete the mind map using the topic bullet points. Include key terms with definitions, key dates and events.Exam style question (24 marks)How important was the Ho Chi Minh Trail in explaining the strength of the Viet Cong?Topic 4: The crisis of the war, 1964–1968: inside the USATopic information sheetThe importance of television and the media in influencing public opinionVietnam was the first television war. It brought the horror of war into people's living rooms and eventually turned many against it. The US administration, unlike most governments at war, made no official attempt to censor the reporting in the Vietnam War. Every night, on colour television, people saw pictures of dead and wounded marines.One of the most influential acts during the war was the decision of Life Magazine to fill one edition with photographs of the 242 US soldiers killed in Vietnam during one week of the fighting.Public opinion polls carried out at the time, however, suggested that tax increases to pay for the war, or the death of someone they knew, were far more likely to influence most people's attitude towards the war than the mass media.Growing student protests from 1966Many of the anti-war protesters were also hippies, a group of youths who protested against society as a whole. They used drugs and music to rebel against the norm and joined in with mass protest marches against the Vietnam War.Protests originated in colleges because, at the start of the war, men could avoid the draft by continuing their education. Students used a range of ways to avoid the fighting, including getting braces and claiming insanity.Alongside students, the Civil Rights Movement also had a role in anti-war protest. Black people were fighting for equality in America and they argued that it was unfair that black soldiers were dying in Vietnam for a country that did not recognise them as equals. Martin Luther King encouraged peaceful protest from African Americans.Johnson and Congress naturally paid great attention to public opinion. It is generally agreed that opposition to the war from the public and in the press was the main reason why Johnson finally decided upon retreat. Supporters of the war, however, continued to put pressure on Johnson to maintain the fighting.The impact of atrocities such as the My Lai Massacre16 March 1968 was a turning point in the public perception of the Vietnam War. In the course of three hours more than 500 Vietnamese civilians were killed in cold blood by US troops (Charlie Company). The soldiers had been on a ‘Search and destroy’ mission to root out Communist fighters in Viet Cong territory. Many appalling acts of violence were committed; women were gang raped, villages who had bowed to greet the Americans were beaten and tortured. Some victims were mutilated with the signature ‘C Company’ carved into their chest.It took more than a year for the shocking story of the My Lai massacre to reach the news because efforts had been made to cover up the atrocity. Troops claimed that between 20 and 28 civilians had been killed by accident, by gunship and artillery fire intended for Viet Cong fighters. Lieutenant Calley, commander of the 1st platoon at My Lai, was called back to the US as a potential suspect and, in September 1969, he was charged with 109 murders. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. Within three days he was out of prison, pending appeal, on the personal instructions of President Richard Nixon. He spent the next three years under house arrest. Freed on bail in 1974, his sentence was then cut to 10 years.Political divisions in the presidential campaigns of 1968By 1968, one of the most turbulent years in American history, the number of American troops in Vietnam had risen to more than 500,000. Nightly TV coverage of the ‘living-room war’ ignited an antiwar movement. After a weak showing in the New Hampshire primary, President Johnson shocked the country on 31 March by announcing that he would not seek re-election.Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who entered the race late and had not won any primaries, became the Democratic nominee at a convention in Chicago marred by disorder inside the convention hall and by televised violent confrontations between police and antiwar protesters.The Republicans nominated Richard M. Nixon, who was attempting a political comeback after losing the 1960 presidential election. Nixon claimed to speak for the ‘silent majority’ of law abiding citizens whose voices were drowned out amidst the social upheaval, and he promised a return to the stability of the Eisenhower years.The election was fought around the issue of instability in society due to protests over civil rights and the Vietnam War. Nixon claimed he had a secret solution to the Vietnam War and recognised the need for peace after the events of the Tet Offensive had made the war appear unwinnable. He won a substantial ic 4: The crisis of the war, 1964–1968: inside the USAKnowledge task12345678910Across3. Civil ... movement ? also involved in anti-war protests.6. The main method of protest.7. Youths who had chosen to rebel against society as a whole.8. Became president after claiming he had a solution to the Vietnam War.10. ... dodging ? another method of protest.Down1. Information on Vietnam was not ... in the media.2. My ... massacre ? where soldiers killed 500 innocent South Vietnamese civilians.4. Hubert ... ? the Democratic nominee after Johnson stepped down.5. Vietnam was the first ... war.9. ... rises ? helped create anti-war opinion.Exam style question (24 marks)How important was public opinion in the years 1965-1968, in putting President Johnson under pressure to withdraw from Vietnam?Topic 5: The end of the War, 1969–1975Topic information sheetThe aims and policies of Nixon and Kissinger Richard Nixon was elected as president of the US with a commitment to end the war in Vietnam and achieve ‘peace with honor’. This required Thieu (the leader of South Vietnam) to be left in power, in a strong position. Along with his National Security Adviser Kissinger, Nixon was prepared to do anything to end the war ? the ends would justify the means.Nixon knew he had to bring peace in Vietnam and the US. He introduced a policy of ‘Vietnamisation’ to quieten the anti-war protesters. This involved the gradual withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam, and an enlargement and modernisation of the ARVN force. By 1973 the ARVN was one of the best equipped forces in the world.Nixon also recognised that China and the Soviet Union would be vital in pressing Hanoi to a ‘peace with honor’ settlement in Vietnam. Nixon had decided that America could play off the two rival Communist giants against each other by improving relations with both through trade and arms agreementsBy mid 1972 an end to the war looked unlikely. The PAVN launched a massive attack in the ‘Easter offensive’ and Nixon responded with a bombing campaign known as ‘Linebacker 1’. Negotiations continued, but the US and North Vietnam struggled to agree over terms such as the final withdrawal and the return of prisoners of war.The reasons for, and effects of, the widening of the war into Laos and CambodiaAnother tactic from Nixon involved the ‘Madman theory’. This was designed to make the enemy believe that Nixon was prepared to do anything to end the war, including nuclear attacks. Nixon believed this would weaken the Communists and force the North Vietnamese, China and the Soviet Union into negotiations. Nixon used his ‘Madman theory’ to extend the war into Laos and Cambodia.The Viet Cong and PAVN troops had sanctuaries on the borders with Cambodia which had posed a problem for the US military campaign. As a signal to both North Vietnam and the Soviet Union, Nixon showed that he was prepared to take measures that Johnson had avoided to get the North Vietnamese to negotiate a peace treaty and began the secret bombing of Cambodia.The Cambodian invasion provoked a major challenge to presidential power from Congress. Many were outraged at the secrecy that surrounded Nixon’s actions in Cambodia. In June 1970, the Senate voted to end the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution of 1964, stripping the president of his control over the war and armed forces.In February 1971, Nixon again expanded the war by approving a major operation by the ARVN into Laos known as ‘Operation Lam Son 719’. The success of the Cambodian offensive had forced the VC/PAVN to become more reliant on the Laos section of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. However this highlighted the weaknesses of the ARVN after half of the force was killed.The impact on US policy of anti-war protests and the Watergate affairNixon knew he had to get peace on the home front as well as in Vietnam. By altering the draft so that older male students were not sent to battle, keeping his military attacks secret and giving powerful speeches which encouraged the US public to persevere with the war, Nixon felt he had calmed the American public.As troop withdrawals continued into 1970 and the number of casualties began to fall, the peace movement began to fragment. However, the extension of the war to Cambodia triggered major demonstrations on 5 May 1970 that culminated in the shooting of students. Four students at Kent State University and two at Jackson State College were killed in angry confrontations with the National Guard.The Pentagon papers ? a top secret history of US involvement in Vietnam to 1967 ? were leaked to the public and revealed many things, including JFK’s administration's involvement in the assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem, a consensus to bomb North Vietnam on 7 September 1964 (before the US presidential elections), and that Johnson had sent combat troops to Vietnam by 17 July 1965, before pretending to consult his advisors on 21 July 1965.The Watergate scandal resulted in the indictment and conviction of several of Nixon's closest advisors, and ultimately Nixon’s resignation on 9 August 1974. The scandal began with the arrest of five men for breaking and entering into the Democratic National Committee headquarters, at the Watergate Office complex in Washington on 17 June 1972. Nixon and his staff conspired to cover up the break in as early as six days after it occurred.US withdrawal and the position of Vietnam in 1975By October 1972 a peace treaty was agreed after Kissinger suggested that the US would not prevent the reunification of Vietnam, but Nixon got cold feet after Thieu refused to sign. Nixon launched a Christmas bombing campaign to show he was not abandoning the South. In January 1973, the Peace Accords were signed by the North Vietnamese, the South Vietnamese and the US, ending American involvement.With the signing of the Peace Accords, few of the Vietnamese representatives believed that this was the end of the struggle. Hanoi remained determined to unify the country, while Saigon was determined to maintain itself as an independent state.Nixon, meanwhile, promised to maintain full economic and military aid to the Saigon government, an offer reaffirmed when Thieu visited the US in April 1973. In June 1973, however, Congress approved an amendment requiring an immediate stop to all military operations in and over Indochina.In late 1974, the North Vietnamese began to prepare for a major offensive against the South, calculating that it would take up to two years to win the war. The PAVN pushed south, winning swift victories. On 21 April 1975, Thieu resigned and fled from Vietnam. On 30 April General Minh surrendered South Vietnam to the North. It had taken the PAVN 55 days, instead of the planned two years, to defeat the best equipped armed forces in ic 5: The end of the War, 1969–1975Knowledge taskMatch the key words to their descriptionVietnamisationFinally signed on 27 January 1973, this peace deal proclaimed a ceasefire in Vietnam and the end of the war for US forces.CambodiaTo demonstrate strength and continued support for the South, Nixon ordered one last bombing blitz over the Christmas of 1972.Kent State massacreA massive attack on the South by the PAVN in March 1972 in an attempt to weaken ARVN. The Communists felt close to victoryPentagon papersAs part of his ‘peace with honor’, Nixon withdrew US troops whilst training the ARVN to resist a Communist takeover.Talks with ChinaIn response to the Easter offensive, Nixon bombed the North to show he would do anything to end the war his way.Easter offensiveHaving become distant from the Soviet Union, the US played on Chinese fears of war to start diplomacy and negotiations.Linebacker 1After news of Cambodia broke, mass protests broke out. On 5 May 1970, four students were killed by the National Guard.Talks with the Soviet UnionLeaked to the New York Times in July 1971, these documents showed how presidents had lied about the US escalation in Vietnam.Linebacker 2 (Christmas bombing)As part of the ‘Madman theory’ Nixon escalated the war and began a secret bombing campaign against Cambodia.Paris peace accordsThe US hoped the Soviets could help provide an interval between the removal of US troops and the eventual NLF victory.Summary of Key PointsWhy did the US get involved? 1. Containment. China had fallen to communism in 1949, and America had fought in Korea in 1950-53 to contain the spread of communism. The US president, Lyndon B. Johnson, said: "I am not going to be the president who saw South-East Asia go the way China went." 2. Domino theory. Americans believed that, if South Vietnam fell, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand - and then Burma and India - would follow. President Johnson said: "If you let a bully come into your garden, the next day he'll be in your porch, and the day after that he'll rape your wife." 3. ARVN's weakness. It was obvious the South Vietnamese could not resist communist infiltration by the Vietcong without help. In 1963, the American commander reported that the ARVN - the South Vietnamese army - were "ill-equipped local militia who more often than not were killed asleep in their defensive positions." US advisers believed that good government and an efficient, large-scale war would defeat the Vietcong. 4. The US was attacked. The North Vietnamese had attacked the USS Maddox in August 1964, and then killed US soldiers in February 1965. Johnson became convinced that action in South Vietnam alone would never win the war: "We are swatting flies when we should be going after the manure pile."The key reasons for America’s defeat in Vietnam:The American hi-tech tactics continually killed the wrong people and demoralised their own troops. The Vietcong's guerrilla tactics were appropriate to the nature of the conflict. The US was trying to supply a war 8,000 miles from America. The Vietcong were supplied with weapons by China and Russia. The South Vietnamese regime was weak, brutal and corrupt. The South Vietnamese peasants supported and sheltered the Vietcong. US soldiers’ short (one-year) tour of service meant that American troops were always inexperienced. The Vietcong had been continuously at war since they resisted the Japanese during the Second World War. The morale of Americans soldiers was rock bottom - they took drugs, shot their officers ('fragging') and deserted. The Vietcong were fanatically determined to drive out the Americans, whatever the cost. The war became very unpopular in the US, and lost public support. The North Vietnamese were motivated, fighting at home to unite their country. ................
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