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HOTA, Vietnam War, Notes

HOTA, Vietnam War, Notes

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com/ AP United States History/IB History of the Americas THE VIETNAM WAR (1955-1975) In 1954, General Giap leader of the Viet Minh forces (fighting for national independence from Giap, France), successfully defeated the French in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu With the removal of the Phu. th parallel, French, Vietnam was to be temporarily divided at the 17 parallel according to the terms of the Geneva Conference. Reunification was to occur following the 1956 elections, which were never held— the United States actually opposed holding the elections, most likely because they expected a Communist leader to win the election. Ultimately, two governments rose to power. In North Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh established a Communist dictatorship. In South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem built an anticommunist regime, supported by Catholics and urban Vietnamese who had fled from North Vietnam. The National Cong: Liberation Front emerged, otherwise known as the Viet Cong the guerilla organization was composed of former members of the Viet Minh and others who opposed the policies of the South Vietnamese government. Beginning in 1955, the United States, under President Eisenhower, began giving over $1 billion in economic and military aid to South Vietnam to strengthen the anticommunist state. The domino theory was used as justification—if South Vietnam fell under Communist control, then the rest of Southeast Asia would be overrun by Communism. With the election of Kennedy, U.S. military aid to South Vietnam was increased, along with the number of military advisers, who trained the South Vietnamese army. By 1963, there were more than 16,000 U.S. troops in South Vietnam; not for combat, but for support. Ngo Dinh Diem’s regime in South Vietnam was unpopular. In 1961, over 4,000 of Diem’s government officials were killed. During the summer of 1963, Buddhist monks set themselves on fire in the streets in protest of Diem’s autocratic policies. On November 1, 1963, military generals attacked the presidential palace, assassinating Diem [later discovered that the assassination was carried out with the knowledge of the Kennedy administration]. The South Vietnamese government was becoming increasingly unstable: during 1964, there were seven different governments. President Johnson sent Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara to Vietnam along with placing General William Westmoreland in charge of military ground operations. Allegedly, in August 1964, North Vietnamese gunboats fired on U.S. warships in the Gulf of Tonkin Tonkin. This led to the Tonkin Gulf Resolution which gave the president the power to take “all necessary Resolution, measures” to protect American interests in Vietnam. This was not an official declaration of war, as declared by Congress—however, during this period, there was support for the war and Congress did not withdraw the resolution. In February 1965, Ho Chi Minh began receiving more aid from the Soviet Union. As a result, the U.S. military recommended expanding operations in Vietnam. Following a Viet Cong attack on the U.S. base at Pleiku, Johnson authorized Operation Rolling Thunder a prolonged air attack using B-52 bombers Pleiku Thunder, in North Vietnam. One of the main targets of the air attack was the Ho Chi Minh Trail a major Viet Trail,

http://guidesbyjulie.blogspot.com/ AP United States History/IB History of the Americas THE VIETNAM WAR (1955-1975) Cong supply line running through Laos and Cambodia. In April, U.S. combat troops were introduced for the first time. By the end of 1965, over 184,000 troops were in South Vietnam. American involvement continued to escalate over the years. In January 1965, the Viet Cong launched the Tet Offensive a surprise attack on almost every provincial Offensive, capital and American base in South Vietnam. The U.S. military was successful in counterattacking and recovering the lost territory. However, the American military victory was overshadowed by the overall drop in morale—this event was a major contribution to the growing anti-war movement, as an increased number of Americans felt that U.S. involvement in Vietnam was coming at too high a cost. Following the Tet Offensive, Robert McNamara was replaced by Clark Clifford Clifford. On March 31, 1968, President Johnson announced that he would limit the bombing of North Vietnam and work to negotiate a peace—he also announced that he would not be running for reelection. In May 1968, peace talks began in Paris [later discovered that Nixon stalled the peace talks, telling the North Vietnamese government that once he was President, they would be able to receive better terms in a peace treaty]. Once Nixon was elected, he began the process of “Vietnamization ” in which U.S. troops would be Vietnamization,” gradually withdrawn from Vietnam and the South Vietnamese would be given the necessary resources to conduct the war themselves. Nixon’s withdrawal of forces initially reduced the number of anti-war protests. In April 1970, however, he expanded the war by using U.S. forces to invade Cambodia, hoping to destroy Vietnamese Communist bases in that country. The U.S. Senate, in response, voted to repeal the Gulf of Tonkin resolution. In 1970, the American public learned about a 1968 massacre of Vietnamese civilians by U.S. troops in the village of My Lai The anti-war sentiment was further Lai. increased by the leakage of the Pentagon Papers in the New York Times, which were government papers documenting various deceptions of policy-makers in the course of the war. Kissinger, Henry Kissinger National Security Advisor, was responsible for conducting peace talks with North Vietnam’s foreign minister, Le Duc Tho. When the North Vietnamese failed to compromise by the fall of 1972, Nixon authorized the massive bombing of North Vietnam to force a settlement: this event is known as the Christmas bombing After several weeks, the North Vietnamese agreed to an armistice. bombing. The Paris Accords of January 1973 also promised a cease-fire and free elections. Once the extent of secret U.S. military campaigns in Vietnam was revealed, Congress passed the 1973 War Powers Resolution to limit presidential power during wartime—the President must notify Congress upon launching any U.S. military action abroad. If Congress did not approve, the action must end within sixty to ninety days. On April 30, 1975, Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese and Vietnam was united under Communist rule.

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