5The Beginnings of US Involvement French IndochinaHo Chi MinhVietminhDien Bien Phu (1954)Domino TheoryGeneva Accords (1954)17th parallelPromised elections in 1956Ngo Dinh Diem
6U.S. Involvement in Vietnam Began sending money and weapons to South VietnamMilitary advisors sent to train South Vietnamese armyEisenhowerBelieved in the Domino TheoryIncreased the number of military advisors and army special forces, or Green BeretsAdvisors were not to take part in combat, but many didKennedyBelieved an expanded U.S. effort was the only way to prevent a Communist victory in VietnamAsked Congress to pass the Tonkin Gulf ResolutionJohnson6
7Resistance Intensifies NLF (National Liberation Front)Vietcong VC (South Vietnamese rebels)NVANorth Vietnamese Army (regular)JFK sends Advisors/ Green Berets“Hearts and Minds”Protests – Buddhist self-immolationsDiem overthrown– coup Nov 1963
8Gulf Of Tonkin Incident Events:Aug 2nd and 4th 1964- US destroyers “attacked” by N. Vietnamese patrol boatsLBJTonkin Gulf Resolution,all necessary power to prevent aggression.“Fog of War” Clip -
9Johnson Sends Ground Forces -”I’m not going to be the president who saw Southeast Asia go the way China went.”-1964 campaign promise-”We are not going to send boys 9 or 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves”-Remembers Truman’s“loss” of China Domino Theory revivedWhat Johnson told CongressWhat he didn’t tell Congress:He had already written the resolution before the “incident.”The U.S. naval vessels were aiding ARVN in commando raids in North Vietnam at the time.He learned that the attack probably hadn’t occurred.The U.S. navy was not on the “high seas” but in N. Vietnam’s 12 mile territorial limit.9
11Operation Rolling Thunder Why did U.S. superiority in the air war fail to win quickly in Vietnam?Operation Rolling ThunderA bombing campaign over North VietnamBombed military targets—army bases and airfields—as well as bridges, roads, railways, and power plantsMain target was the Ho Chi Minh TrailWeapons of the Air WarAgent Orange—defoliant, or chemical, that destroys vegetationNapalm—jellied form of gasoline used to create firebombs“Cluster bombs”—sprayed sharp metal fragments when explodedThe Air WarBombing did not succeedFlow of goods from North to South Vietnam actually increasedVietcong repaired bridges, had bunkers underground, and used weapons from the Soviet Union and China11
13We can see the “light at the end of the tunnel.” The Ground WarGeneral Westmoreland, late 1967:We can see the “light at the end of the tunnel.”
14The Ground War 1965-1968 -No territorial goals -Body counts on TV every night (first “living room” war) ““Breakfast where the news is read, television, children fed..” – The Doors-Viet Cong supplies over the Ho Chi Minh Trail
15U.S. Forces Mobilize The Draft Non-combat Positions 25 percent were excused for health reasons; 30 percent received deferments, or postponements of service.College students were deferred, so men from higher-income families were less likely to serve.A high percentage of combat soldiers were African Americans.A draft lottery began in 1969; the draft ended in 1973.3 percent of eligible men escaped the draft by either refusing to register or by leaving the United States.Non-combat PositionsMost Americans in Vietnam served in non-combat positions—administration, communications, engineering, medical care, and transportation.About 10,000 American military women served.Some 20,000 to 45,000 more women worked in civilian capacities, many as volunteers for the Red Cross or other humanitarian relief organizations.15
17VictimsPatrolsSearch and DestroyPontoon BoatsSupplies
18HueysWhere is the Enemy?Dangers on PatrolSoldier (Draft and Volunteer)
19Strengths and Weaknesses “We own the day, Charlie owns the night”
20Who Is the Enemy? -Vietcong: -Farmers by day; guerillas at night. -Very patient people willing to accept many casualties.-The US grossly underestimated their resolve and their resourcefulness.The guerilla wins if he does not lose, the conventional army loses if it does not win Mao Zedong
22“Dear America – Letters Home from Vietnam” Questions:How do the opinions of soldiers change over the course of the war?What do you think of the conditions of Vietnam?How do US soldiers’ morale change?What were the psychological effects of war?How do they respond to events at home?Remember:Average age of combat soldier = 19
23War ProtestsWhy did some people oppose the Vietnam War?
24Public Opinion Regarding the Vietnam War Media’s ImpactReporters and television crews went on patrol with the soldiers.Television brought scenes of firefights and burning villages into America’s living rooms.Criticized the government’s reports about the warHawks and DovesDoves—people opposed to the warHawks—people who supported the war’s goalsBoth criticized the war effort.Hawks wanted more troops and bombing.Doves opposed the war for many reasons.Antiwar MovementMovement attracted a broad range of participantsMuch antiwar activity took place on college campuses.Most vocal group—Students for a Democratic Society.Antiwar protesters made up a small percentage of the U.S. population.24
25Reasons that Doves Opposed the War Argued that Vietnam was not crucial to American national security (Ex. George Kennan)Argued that the United States was fighting against the wishes of a majority of Vietnamese (Ex. Dr. Benjamin Spock)Argued that the war was draining needed resources from Great Society programs (Ex. Martin Luther King Jr.)Argued that it was unfair for African Americans to fight for democracy in a foreign land when discrimination continued at home (Ex. Civil rights activists)Argued that Johnson’s policies were too extreme (Ex. J. William Fulbright)25
26Counterculture Values Rock and RollDrug useFree LoveCommunal livingEastern philosophyHippiesYouthPro-EnvironmentPro Civil RightsAnti-imperialismAnti-establishmentAnti-war
27Reflecting on Counterculture Values David Crosby: "We were right about a lot of things. We were right about the war. We were right about the environment. We were right about civil rights and women's issues. But we were wrong about the drugs."
28March on Washington (1965 and 1967) Jan.- MLK speaks out (1967) Anti- WarMarch on Washington (1965 and 1967) Jan.- MLK speaks out (1967)
29“New Left” Origins Berkeley, CA Free Speech Movement 1964 SDS (Students for a Democratic Society)Port Huron Statement, 1962Berkeley, CAFree Speech Movement1964“New Left”
30TacticsTeach-insMarches and ProtestsDraft Card Burning
33Soldiers become disconnected from war effort Some turn to drugs, alcohol, and awaiting the end of their tour
341968- The Turning Point Events: Tet Offensive MLK and RFK Assassinated LBJ Drops outWallace and AIPDem. Nat. ConventionColumbia Univ.Nixon ElectedThemesClash of ValuesViolence and ProtestVietnam quagmireLoss of leadersYouth DisillusionmentReturn of Conservatism
35TET Offensive Vietnamese New Year 1968 : Tet offensive shocks US militaryUS is demoralized (TV)V.C. and fight escalatesSouth Vietnamese Soldier shooting a VC prisoner
37Effects of the Tet Offensive Growing DoubtsWalter Cronkite broadcast a television report in which he gave his personal assessment of the situation in Vietnam.Major national magazines such as Time and Newsweek also expressed doubts about the war and began to call for its end.Public criticism of the government’s policies grew louder and more intense.Leaders within Johnson’s administration began to criticize Johnson’s policies.Robert S. McNamara began to seek ways to end the war.Democratic ChallengersRoughly 3 out of 4 Americans opposed his policies in Vietnam.Minnesota senator Eugene McCarthy challenged Johnson for the Democratic Party’s nomination.New York senator Robert Kennedy entered the race.Shaken by the divisions within his party, Johnson announced that he would not seek nor accept the office of the presidency.37
38The Credibilty Gap - Johnson’s popularity dropped in 1968 from 48% to 36%.
39Impact of the Vietnam War Johnson announces (March, 1968):…I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.
43Nixon Elected 1968‘Silent Majority’Plan to exit Nam?
44Nixon’s Vietnamization Plan Nixon Doctrine Protests from Vietnam Vets US troops begin to pull out of Vietnam…Nixon’s Vietnamization PlanNixon DoctrineProtests from Vietnam Vets44
45Expansion of the Conflict -1969 Bombings-1970 US Troops-Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge
46Expansion Leads to More War Protests In 1970 Nixon announced that he had ordered troops into Cambodia.Antiwar protests intensified—especially on college campuses.Antiwar protests erupted into violence.Nixon believed that antiwar protesters represented only a minority of Americans.Radical antiwar groups turned to violent measures to oppose the war.More and more Americans began to oppose the war when they learned about the My Lai massacre and the Pentagon Papers.46
47Increasing Protests My Lai Massacre Pentagon Papers Troops under Lieutenant William Calley killed at least 450 men, women, and children in the village of My Lai while on a search-and-destroy mission.No Vietcong were found in the village.The My Lai massacre was kept quiet at first, but former soldiers began talking about it.This atrocity intensified the divisions between war supporters and opponents.Calley was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison; he was paroled in 1974.Pentagon PapersA collection of secret government documents that traced the history of U.S. military involvement in Vietnam since the Truman yearsRevealed that government officials had been misleading the American people about the war for yearsDaniel Ellsberg leaked the papers to the press.Ellsberg originally supported the war, but then concluded that few South Vietnamese civilians supported the U.S.-backed government.47
48Anti-War Demonstrations -May 4, 1970-4 students shot dead.-11 students wounded-Jackson State University-May 10, 1970-2 dead; 12 woundedKent State University
49Increasing Protests Campus Violence Kent State University in Ohio 4 students were killed and 9 injuredJackson State College in Mississippi2 students were killed and 9 woundedAntiwar MovementPolls showed that fifty percent of Americans opposed the war.Coalition of clergy, trade unionists, and veterans established a nationwide day of protest called Moratorium Day.250,000 protesters made up the largest antiwar demonstration in U.S. history.Radical ProtestsSome antiwar groups turned to violent measures.The Weathermen set off more than 5,000 bombs and carried out the Days of Rage.Most antiwar protesters did not support extremist groups or terrorist measures.49
50Are We Becoming the Enemy? Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry-Mylai Massacre, 1968 (revealed in 1970_unarmed villagers-Lt. William Calley, Platoon Leader
51The Secret War Pentagon Papers 1971 Daniel EllsbergWar fromGov. has been lying about success in Vietnam
52U.S. Involvement in Vietnam Ends Senator from South Dakota who criticized warInsisted that the Vietnam War be brought to an immediate endGeorgeMcGovernLowered the voting age from 21 to 18McGovern hoped the ratification of this amendment would boost his election chances.26thAmendmentNixon stressed law and order at home and told voters he would end the war.Kissinger announced a breakthrough in the peace talks just weeks before the election.The announcement helped Nixon win by a landslide.1972Election52
53Détente and Diplomacy Détente-(hope they will help end the war) China 1972Russia 1972SALT IHenry Kissinger & Le Duc Tho"Peace Is At Hand“1972 ElectionChristmas bombings 1973 Paris Peace AccordsEnd of draft – 1973
54The Ceasefire, 1973 U.S. to remove all troops Conditions: “Peace With Honor”U.S. to remove all troopsNorth Vietnam could leave troops already in S.V.North Vietnam would resume warNo provision for POWs or MIAsLast American troops left South Vietnam on March 29, 19731975: North Vietnam defeats South VietnamSaigon renamed Ho Chi Minh CityMany U.S.-loyal South Vietnamese attempt to flee for fear of execution by the North.54
55i.e. – it reversed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution War Powers Act – this provides that the President can send U.S. armed forces into action abroad only by authorization of Congress or in case of "a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces."i.e. – it reversed the Gulf of Tonkin ResolutionNixon ResignsSaigon falls -1975US Embassy Evacuated
57The Legacy of the War Southeast Asia 635,000 South Vietnamese died; Vietcong and NVA war dead equaled 1 millionSevere environmental damage from bombs and defoliantsMore than 1.5 million South Vietnamese fled the country after the fall of Saigon.Veterans58,000 Americans were killed; 600 were held as POWs; 2,500 soldiers reported MIA; 300,000 woundedExperienced a negative reception upon returnTrouble readjusting to civilian life (post-traumatic stress disorder)Political ImpactUnited States failed to prevent Communists from taking over South Vietnam.Spent more than $150 billion on the warChanged how many Americans viewed governmentCongress passed the War Powers Act in 1973.57
58Vietnam and Korea -- Comparisons Cold War - ContainmentNo total victoryBoth undeclared wars – constitutional issueCivilian control over the militaryFronts – different type of fighting
59-President Clinton formally recognized Vietnam on July 11, 1995 -President Carter Pardoned all Vietnam War draft dodgers on January 21,1977-President Clinton formally recognized Vietnam on July 11, 1995
60Lessons for Future American Presidents Wars must be of short duration.Wars must yield few American casualties.Restrict media access to battlefields.Develop and maintain Congressional and public support.Set clear, winnable goals.Set deadline for troop withdrawals.“We’ve Kicked the Vietnam Syndrome”– G H.W. Bush, 199160
65Protest event1. In general, what was the background and experiences of your person? How did this influence you? Provide any significant biographical information here2.) In general, how did your person feel about the war in Vietnam?3.) Did you produce anything in regards to the war in Vietnam? (Books, Pamphlets, laws, military action, news coverage, protest activities, speeches) Explain. What was the work about?4.) How did/might you view people who held opposite opinions from yourself on our involvement in the war? Give reasons/ Explain.5.) Were you involved in any specific events related to the Vietnam War or counterculture movement? If so, explain
66Specific views on some of the following: 6)- the domino theory7)-Gulf of Tonkin incident8)-Operation Rolling Thunder9)-The credibility gap10)-impact of war on the Great Society and Civil Rights movement11)-student activism, the impact of the protest movement on the war12)- hippie and drug culture, counterculture values, music13)- the Tet Offensive14)- the role of the media15)-the My Lai Massacre16)-the draft17)-Troop morale, combat experience Impact on returning soldiers18)-The democratic convention of 196819)-Vietnamization20)-Widening the war (Cambodia, Laos)21)-Kent State22)-Withdrawal and legacy23) Are there any people that you might side with? Explain who and why.