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Government 50: Vietnam War

Government 50: Vietnam War

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Published by Alexander Taylor
These documents were used as a supplement originally at Yale University and then in the Topics of International Relations Course at Dartmouth College. The course was taught by Allan C. Stam.
These documents were used as a supplement originally at Yale University and then in the Topics of International Relations Course at Dartmouth College. The course was taught by Allan C. Stam.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Alexander Taylor on Sep 23, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Vietnam war:Not going to talk much about the history of the war, since it’s laid out so well in theKarnow book.
What we will talk about today:
Popular myths about the war,B.
the larger context in which the war was fought,C.
the fact that the United States won the larger war.D.
Start be reviewing the outcome of the Korean war
Korean War: OutcomeA.
Winners and Losers1.
Popular view is the war ended in a stalemate, or draw.
But, remember what United States goal was at outset:return to the status quo, it was the quick and easy success indriving the North Koreans up the peninsula that expandedout aims (briefly).
Syngman Rhee, leader of South Korea. Without USintervention he’s toast. Lasts for years afterwards until hisdeathb)
NK reputation among 3
Chiang Kai-shek stays in power in Taiwan without firingshot, and suffers no destruction.d)
These are all local or friends to United States.(1)
Who cares about North Koreans reputation,(2)
they cannot project power,(3)
so poor that we really don’t have to worry aboutthem in the international context.
NK and South Korea civilians(1)
NK civilian have to live in communist totalitarianstate(2)
South Korea civilians have to live in a capitalisttotalitarian state
China (red)
prevented from taking Taiwan(2)
kept out of UN for 20 years(3)
begins split with Soviet Union.(a)
Mao angry that China has to bear the burdenof spreading the message.
Soviet Union (biggest loser of all)
Allowed US to convince much of the rest of theworld that Stalin was on the march.(2)
Leads to rearmament of Germany and Japan(3)
Held responsible for outbreak of war by west(4)
Held accountable by east for not aiding its alliesenough(5)
exacerbates Sino-Soviet tension which later enableUS to engineer split there.
In big picture, outcome of Korean war is stalemate in short runbut sets up Vietnam war which will create the biggest strategicopportunity of the cold war.III.
Vietnam: Popular View, Larger context, United States wins.A.
Popular view of the war1.
It was a tie?
When we leave in 1973, it is a tie. Much like in Korea, adivided country. South run by a corrupt dictatorship,marginally capitalist, North run by a brutal communist closeregime.
we lost?
NVA overruns south in 1975. All for naught? Vietnam isunified, we lose 57,000 lives for nothing.
It was unpopular and popularity dropped from outset.a)
least popular war going? What war was most popular?
Do survey of class,(a)
% supporting wars going fromRevolutionary war, war 1812, Civil war,WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf-war.
Revolutionary war serious problems within thecontinental army and problem of Tory support forBritish.(3)
Civil War, Lincoln very concerned about waningsupport in North: leads to emancipationproclamation, not because he was so devoted to theslave cause, but he needed to shift the war aims in away designed to increase popularity(4)
World War I, Wilson so concerned about supportthat we don’t become involved, then passes alienand sedition act in which simply speaking against thewar is a crime against the state.(5)
In WWII, Roosevelt’s popularity drops every yearof the war.(6)
By 1947, 70% thought the war was a good idea,24% felt it was a mistake.
draw support for Korean war
December 1950: If Chinese continue to send largenumber in, what should we do?(a)
28% withdraw(b)
27% use A-bomb(c)
25% escalate against China(d)
4% strategic retreat(e)
2% negotiate(2)
January 1951: Now that China has entered war,what do you prefer?(a)
66% pull our troops out as fast as possible(b)
25% keep our troops their to fight(c)
9% no opinion.(3)
Do you think entering the Korean war was a goodidea:(a)
Peaks at 81% just before China enters,(b)
Drops to 27% in August 1953, whenprisoners are exchanged(c)
Rises back to 67% by 1965 (close to the70% that thought WWII was a good idea).

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