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Vietnam: Peace With Honor


Connection - Review • Explain why the Nixon Doctrine was announced in June 1969. (12 marks) • Go through the model answer to ensure you understand why the Nixon Doctrine was introduced in Summer 1969.


• The Vietnam Disaster • US could no longer afford, materially or politically, to fight limited wars of intervention to stop communism’s spread

• Full Soviet Nuclear Parity • By 1969, MAD was fully assured – the USSR had finally begun to surpass the US in nuclear production

• Long-standing Sino-Soviet Split • Opportunity to outmaneuver USSR politically; best accomplished by traditional power diplomacy


Lesson Objectives • Understand the goals, provisions and consequences of President Nixon's Vietnamization policy. • Describe the efforts of President Nixon to change global strategic alignments and the implications of his initiatives. • Describe and analyze changes in the military situation in Vietnam from 1969 to 1973. • Describe and assess the impact of US political developments from 1969 through 1975.


Major Issues What was Vietnamization? What was the impact of the Cambodian Incursion on the US domestic situation? • Specifically, how did Congress react to the Cambodian incursion?

What was Lam Son 719? • How did Lam Son 719 reflect on the Vietnamization effort?

What were the results of the Easter (Spring) Offensive of 1972? What action did the US take as a result of the Easter (Spring) Offensive of 1972? What was Linebacker II and what was its objective?


Troop Levels


Vietnam War Casualties


Buildup In Vietnam Why was our buildup in Vietnam so slow? Vietnam: 1964 - 1968 Gulf War: Aug 1990 - Jan-Mar 1991 Gradual escalation? Fear of Soviet or Chinese intervention? Lack of infrastructure?

Probably a little of each!


Strategy of Revolutionary War 1954-1965: Phase I (guerrilla warfare) • 1961-1965: Heated Politburo debate on transition 1965-1967: Phase II (guerrilla & conventional warfare) • Increased large unit actions (Ia Drang, Khe Sanh) 1968 (early): Phase III (Tet Offensive) (conventional warfare) • Military disaster (VC destroyed) • “General Uprising” did not occur • Strategic victory for the Communists none the less

Tactical Victory , Strategic Defeat


Richard M. Nixon

January 20, 1969


1968 Election President Nixon entered the White House with a mandate to end America’s participation in the Vietnam Conflict.


To that end, Nixon relied heavily on his national security advisor, Henry Kissinger. Both drew two basic conclusions about Vietnam. First, they agreed that the war was not winnable. Second, they decided that the U.S. could not just “cut and run.�


An abrupt withdrawal from Vietnam would damage U.S. credibility by showing both friends and foes that the U.S. could not be trusted to stand by its allies. Instead, Nixon sought to achieve “peace with honor.� He wanted to end the war in a way that left the reputation of the U.S. intact.


Vietnamization During 1968 presidential campaign, Nixon pledged to have a secret plan for ending the Vietnam War Initiated a plan to increase the size and effectiveness of South Vietnamese forces while drawing down size of US military role in that country.


Vietnamization

President Nixon gave major speech on Vietnamization policy November 3, 1969

Text

Video 32:24 Vietnamization begins 14:00

Silent Majority


Vietnam War Casualties


Vietnam War Casualties


Nixon decided on a carrot-and-stick approach – a tactic that combines actions that reward (the carrot) with actions that punish (the stick). Using this approach, he hoped to persuade the North Vietnamese to accept a negotiated end to the war.


In 1969, Nixon sent Kissinger to Paris to reopen talks with North Vietnamese diplomats. Kissinger proposed ending the bombing of the North (the carrot) – in exchange for an agreement on both sides to withdraw their troops from South Vietnam. In addition, he insisted that South Vietnam remain independent.


The North Vietnamese rejected this offer, saying they were prepared to remain in Paris, “until the chairs rot.�


When diplomacy failed, Nixon introduced “Vietnamization.” South Vietnam would gradually take over conduct of the war, while American GIs would steadily be withdrawn.


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Vietnamization – The Three Aims In Vietnam

1) Establish political reform by increasing public participation in government 2) Rural development – Economic opportunity in the countryside 3) Strengthen South Vietnams military forces


The My Lai Massacre had taken place in March 1968, but had been covered up by the military. U.S. soldiers, believing My Lai to be a Viet Cong stronghold, had gone there on a searchand-destroy mission. To their surprise, they found no armed Viet Cong in the village, just women, children, and old men.


My Lai Massacre Nevertheless, one morning the soldiers rounded up and executed about 500 of the civilians. Only a handful of villagers survived.


News of the massacre shocked Americans, though many doubted that such and atrocity could occur. Others believed the soldiers were just following orders or that their actions were justified. Enough Americans expressed outrage, that Nixon decide to accelerate the withdrawal of troops in Vietnam.


Troop Levels


Angered at the refusal of the North to take peace talks seriously, Nixon introduced another military strategy; the “madman theory,” which would make North Vietnam, the Soviet Union, and China, believe that he would do anything to win the war. Nixon briefly put nuclear forces on alert as a bluff. The invasion of Cambodia would be the “stick”.


Nixon had show a willingness to expand the war. In March 1969, he secretly ordered B-52s to begin bombing Cambodia, a neutral nation on Vietnam’s western border.


Cambodian Incursion 29 April - 22 July 1970


Cambodian Incursion 29 April - 22 July 1970

Results: Casualties:

US: 338 KIA

ARVN: 809 KIA

NVA: 12,000+ KIA (estimated) Huge stocks of NVA weapons, ammo, food captured

US Domestic: Widespread protest in US, particularly on college campuses Congress took first action to limit US involvement in SEA • Cooper-Church Amendment


Explain why President Nixon extended the war into Cambodia in 1970. (12marks) •1969 peace talks had stalled. The North were awaiting success on the battlefield to show America that Vietnamization was not working. Three weeks after the inauguration of Nixon, the NVA launched massive attacks, killing on average 1,000 US soldiers a month. •North Vietnam were demanding Americas unconditional withdrawal coupled with the overthrow of the Saigon Government. •Nixon retaliated with secret bombing attacks on Cambodia to disrupt supply lines (Operation Menu). The effect of this was to cause huge NVA withdrawals into Cambodia, from where they could not be touched. •The Cambodian Government had been ousted – The predecessors had allowed the movement of NVA troops through their country. This caused a Civil War, allowing US troops the opportunity to move in unmolested •On 25 April 1970 Nixon announced; “We have now reached a point where we can move…to a longer range program for the replacement of Americans by the South Vietnamese”. To taunt Nixon, the NVA launched more aggressive attacks. Nixon needed to retaliate. •Nixon wanted the North to show he meant business and would not capitulate.


Summary – Why Incur? •To summarise, the US invaded Cambodia to; •Show the success of Vietnamization •Uphold US credibility •Nixon believed the Cambodian invasion was the best way to get Americans out of Vietnam. He had grown tired of the North’s attitude at the negotiating table and of an enemy who played cat and mouse game from a neutral country. It would show that he was not afraid to show he was a tough president, and that it would ultimately improve morale amongst the military. •Did the Cambodian invasion get the North to the negotiating table? Kissinger commented; •“A combination of factors brought Hanoi to the point of accepting US terms, including the attack on the Cambodian sanctuaries in 1970.” •Nixon had stated he wished to achieve “peace with honour”. There would have been no honour in capitulation to the terms of the North. The attack killed thousands of NVA, crippled their logistical capability and ultimately showed that Nixon would take a hard line with the North Vietnamese, giving credence to the “madman theory”.


Kent State Massacre The invasion of Cambodia in 1970, increased another surge in protests. Students held mass rallies and demonstrations, some of which turned violent. The Kent State shootings were the most shocking example.


Kent State Massacre May 4, 1970

( 1:18 )


Congress and the War Use of Budget to Restrict Operations in SEA

Cooper-Church Amendment (1970) • Sponsored by Sen. John Cooper (R-KY) & Sen. Frank Church (S-ID) • Reaction to US-led invasion of Cambodia (April 1970) • Prohibited use of US troops in Cambodia after June 30, 1970 • Approved by Senate 58-37 on June 30, 1970, after troops US withdrew • House approved watered-down version December 1970

Significance: First time Congress had restricted the deployment of US troops in wartime


• By the end of 1970, Congress the repealed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which had allowed the president to increase the military efforts in Vietnam. • Congress had also learned that Nixon had secretly bombed Cambodia, In February 1971 it passed the War Powers Resolution Act, placing limits on a president’s power to use the armed forces in hostilities without congressional authorization. It forbade US troops from operating outside the borders of South Vietnam.

“Publicly, we say one thing….Actually, we do another.” -Richard Nixon


Review

US Strategy in Vietnam JCS Proposal 1965 • Build a Korean-war style defensive line across DMZ • Conduct operations into Laos to permanently cut supply lines (Ho Chi Minh Trail) • Proposed by Westmoreland in 1967, again in 1968 • Never approved or rejected by LBJ, SecDef Summers

In 1971, President Nixon approved the plan


Ho Chi Minh Trail


Lam Son 719 8 February - 25 March 1971

Attempt to cut Ho Chi Minh Trail Before one draws any comparisons between the Laos operations and airmobile operations conducted by the U. S. Army, it must be realized that LAMSON 719 was a very special operation in which strict rules governed U. S. military operations across the Laotian border. While the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces could operate freely on the ground and in the air within Laos, U. S. Forces were restricted to air operations under specific rules of engagement and were prohibited from fighting on the ground. Lieutenant General John J. Tolson, USA Airmobility 1961-1971, p. 236 Vietnam Studies series, CMH Pub 90-4 Washington: Department of the Army, 1989


Lam Son 719 Logistics


Lam Son 719 8 February - 25 March 1971

Objective: Tchepone & Base Area 604

Concept of Operations: US provided: • logistic support to border, • air support in Laos


Lam Son 719 8 February - 25 March 1971

Results: Casualties:

US: 215 KIA

ARVN: 1,500-3,500 KIA *

NVA: 2,000 KIA (estimated) Some NVA weapons, ammo, food captured ARVN did not perform well in face of stiff NVA resistance • Poor planning and execution by ARVN leadership

Generally regarded as indicating a failure of Vietnamization

* ARVN reports vary


In 1971, a top-secret study known as the Pentagon Papers were leaked to the New York Times. The study reviewed how previous administrations had deceived (lied) Congress and the public about Vietnam. Nixon fought to stop the publication of the study, however, the Supreme Court sided with the New York Times.


Update on Vietnam

Address - April 1971 Part 2 - 10:39


We leave it at April 1971. • Completed….. • You have now completed exam questions on either the protest movement or the media. • You have been provided with a model response to the following question; • Explain why the Nixon Doctrine was announced in June 1969. (12 marks)


• For next lesson, in your own words answer the following question. • Explain why President Nixon extended the war into Cambodia in 1970. (12marks) • Also, ensure you revise the response to the Nixon Doctrine.


Home Study • For next lesson, in your own words answer the following question. 1)Explain why President Nixon extended the war into Cambodia in 1970. (12marks) Time: Twenty Minutes 2)Revise the response to the Nixon Doctrine. Be confident you can respond to this question in the future. (30 Minutes at least‌) 2)Read through the classified documents on TGI Space regarding attitudes to the peace movement and thoughts on negotiation with the North. Record your thoughts on the documents. We will discuss as a class what you have learnt.(30 Minutes)


Nixon vietnamisation the end