Vietnam War 1961 1973 Why were we there

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Vietnam War 1961 - 1973

Vietnam War 1961 - 1973

Why were we there? • Stop communism • Domino Theory • Considered a “test”

Why were we there? • Stop communism • Domino Theory • Considered a “test” of our resolve (rest of world is watching…)

Basics • • • Vietnam – French Colony – Controlled by Japan in WWII

Basics • • • Vietnam – French Colony – Controlled by Japan in WWII – Defeats France (supported by U. S. ) for independence in 1954 Vietnam was split and was to be reunited by elections – Ho Chi Minh – Communist leader in North Vietnam – Dinh Diem leads S. Vietnam and supported by U. S. 1955 – 1961 U. S. gives $1 Bil in aid to SV 1959 – War between North and South 1961 JFK sends advisors to help South Vietnam – 17, 000 by 1963

Who is Fighting Whom? • North Vietnam: troops & supplies moved through the Ho

Who is Fighting Whom? • North Vietnam: troops & supplies moved through the Ho Chi Minh Trail • Viet Cong: Communist guerrillas in the South • ARVN: Army of Republic of Vietnam: supported by the U. S. • U. S. forces: led by Gen. William Westmoreland.

Escalation • GULF OF TONKIN INCIDENT – August 2 and 4, 1964 – LBJ

Escalation • GULF OF TONKIN INCIDENT – August 2 and 4, 1964 – LBJ claims North Vietnam attacked American destroyers with gun boats – LBJ says the US was ATTACKED • U. S. ship was fired upon on 8/2 • U. S. ship was NOT fired upon on 8/4 – Appears U. S. ships were protecting S. Vietnamese ships • You. Tube - Gulf of Tonkin Incident • You. Tube - War of Vietnam The Gulf of Tonkin incident

Escalating the War • 1964: Gulf of Tonkin “incident” led to Gulf of Tonkin

Escalating the War • 1964: Gulf of Tonkin “incident” led to Gulf of Tonkin Resolution: Pres. has authority to “take all necessary measures against armed attack” • Start of 1965: 25, 000 troops • End of 1965: 184, 000

VIETNAM WAR (1961 -1973) Aug Feb 1964 Gulf of Tonkin 1965 1969 Apr 1965

VIETNAM WAR (1961 -1973) Aug Feb 1964 Gulf of Tonkin 1965 1969 Apr 1965 Dec 1965 Jan 1966 1967 1968 March 1968 385, 000 Troops April May 1970 June 1970 Jan 1973 1975

U. S. Strategy • “Attrition”: enough casualties so NV would give up (Failed) •

U. S. Strategy • “Attrition”: enough casualties so NV would give up (Failed) • “Operation Rolling Thunder”: – bombing of NV factories, bases. – Failed: not a developed economy, NV went underground, bombing strengthened their resolve.

Strategy (cont. ) • Relocation: – push people out of homes, – send to

Strategy (cont. ) • Relocation: – push people out of homes, – send to camps or cities, destroy the village – get rid of VC – Failed: moved to a new place. • Military wanted – increased troops – increased bombing – some wanted to expand to other places – LBJ would not = “limited war” • Zippo Raid

1968 - Tide of War Turns • Tet Offensive: Surprise: Jan. 30 th –

1968 - Tide of War Turns • Tet Offensive: Surprise: Jan. 30 th – VC & North Vietnamese attack major cities, towns and military bases – including U. S embassy in Saigon • US won military victory, but lost “public relations war”. – Images on T. V. : increased opposition – Footage Seen In America Graphic Scenes and Language – You. Tube - The Vietnam War - Tet Offensive

Johnson’s Frustration • Due to public backlash and dislike of war LBJ announces he

Johnson’s Frustration • Due to public backlash and dislike of war LBJ announces he will not run for reelection – Stops Bombing raids in N. V.

Difficulty of War • Fought in jungles, swamps and sanctuaries. Large amount of support

Difficulty of War • Fought in jungles, swamps and sanctuaries. Large amount of support for VC and NV • SV seemed indifferent to Americans • Who was the enemy?

Difficulty of War (cont. ) • Elaborate underground tunnels • Land mines, grenades, animal

Difficulty of War (cont. ) • Elaborate underground tunnels • Land mines, grenades, animal snares • Saturation bombing: napalm, chemical defoliants

My Lai Massacre • March 1968: – village of My Lai is believed to

My Lai Massacre • March 1968: – village of My Lai is believed to be aiding VC – troops told to clear out village – troops are tired, tense, frustrated. • Villagers: men, women & children: over 300 massacred • U. S. helicopter pilot intervened • Story covered up, emerged in 1970 • Wm. Calley sentenced to life in prison. Sentenced later reduced to 20 years; released 3 years later • Brutality overshadowed the attacks on Hue during Tet.

1968 Election • Johnson decides not to run • RFK is killed • Hubert

1968 Election • Johnson decides not to run • RFK is killed • Hubert Humphrey runs for Dems. – You. Tube - 1968 Chicago – You. Tube - 1968 DNC: Democratic nightmare in Chicago • Richard Nixon runs for Rep.

Forms of Protests • Student Protests – college campuses • Students for Democratic Society

Forms of Protests • Student Protests – college campuses • Students for Democratic Society • Protest Marches • Draft Resisters • 1968 Democratic National Convention – You. Tube - 1968 DNC: Democratic nightmare in Chicago

Nixon and the War • Widens American bombing to Laos and Cambodia – Ho

Nixon and the War • Widens American bombing to Laos and Cambodia – Ho Chi Minh Trail • Many Americans, especially students, upset about expansion of the war

1970 • U. S. expands war into Laos and Cambodia • Kent State Massacre

1970 • U. S. expands war into Laos and Cambodia • Kent State Massacre – You. Tube - Kent State University Shootings • Gulf of Tonkin Resolution is Repealed • Vietnamization – “de-escalation” of US involvement – Turning fighting responsibility over to ARVN forces

Pentagon Papers • 1971 – New York Times v. US – Pentagon Papers –

Pentagon Papers • 1971 – New York Times v. US – Pentagon Papers – 7, 000 pages covering US relationship with Vietnam – “the truth” – Leaked by Daniel Ellsberg to NY Times – Times prints details from the article – US gov’t issues an injunction – Supreme Court rules the material is suitable to print – Upholds freedom of speech (1 st Amendment)

End of War • 1973 – Paris Peace Accords • Cease-fire b/t N. V.

End of War • 1973 – Paris Peace Accords • Cease-fire b/t N. V. and U. S. forces • American forces evacuate • 1975 – S. V. falls to N. V.

War Powers Act 1973 • Congress upset at the Gulf on Tonkin Resolution •

War Powers Act 1973 • Congress upset at the Gulf on Tonkin Resolution • President has to notify Congress within 48 hours of deploying troops • If they stay more than 60 days Congress must vote

1985: Welcome Home Parade

1985: Welcome Home Parade

Why did we stay there so long? 1) U. S. credibility with other nations

Why did we stay there so long? 1) U. S. credibility with other nations 2) Mc. Carthy Legacy Ø No President could politically afford to “lose” an area to communists. (“Who lost China? ? ? ”) 3) Wanted a win, but no clear notion of “win”: (Not like WW II)

Why we Lost? 1. “Guerilla War” was difficult to fight. 2. Lost war at

Why we Lost? 1. “Guerilla War” was difficult to fight. 2. Lost war at home. Ø Protest movement gained strength. Ø T. V. War 3. Enemy more capable and effective than originally thought. 4. We did not understand their culture

The Effects of Vietnam 1. People lose respect for US government. 2. Lose “prestige”

The Effects of Vietnam 1. People lose respect for US government. 2. Lose “prestige” abroad. a. Vietnam Syndrome 3. Isolationist backlash. 4. Congress Reasserts itself a. WAR POWERS ACT 5. Protest movement successful in applying pressure

26 th Amendment • 1971 • Voting age is changed from 21 to 18

26 th Amendment • 1971 • Voting age is changed from 21 to 18 • If you can die for your country shouldn’t you be able to vote?