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The Vietnam War: The War Officially Begins. I. An Imminent War Begins A. Viet Cong rebels already controlled vast areas of South Vietnam’s countryside.

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Presentation on theme: "The Vietnam War: The War Officially Begins. I. An Imminent War Begins A. Viet Cong rebels already controlled vast areas of South Vietnam’s countryside."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Vietnam War: The War Officially Begins

2 I. An Imminent War Begins A. Viet Cong rebels already controlled vast areas of South Vietnam’s countryside. B. Domino Theory: If one country fell to Communism then others would follow. C. “Attack on the Maddox”: on 8/14/64, the ship reported that it had been fired on due to its radar record. Blame was put on a North Vietnamese patrol boat. II. Gulf of Tonkin Resolution A. Definition: Document that gave President Lyndon Johnson, the authority to intervene in Vietnam. B. Was not a declaration of war, but it gave the president a lot of power since he could expand the war without the permission of Congress.

3 III.Operation Rolling Thunder - A. Invasion launched by the US to begin bombing North Vietnam. B. Was to force the Viet Minh to stop supplying Viet Cong rebels in the South. IV. Escalation Begins - A. President Johnson believed that the U.S. would defeat the Viet Cong due to our military supremacy. B. In the mid 1960’s most Americans agreed with Johnson because they believed that communist nations should be dealt with strongly.

4 Johnson was the 36 th President of the United States and took over when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Many people believe that Lyndon Johnson (a democrat) escalated the Vietnam War to make the point that a Democrat could be strong on Communism and on threats to the United States.

5 V. The Soldiers War A. The goal of the U.S. and the Viet Cong was to inflict as many casualties on the enemy as possible. B. American advantages: The American military was more advanced. C. American disadvantages: 1. The Viet Cong had the advantage of fighting on their own land. 2. The Viet Cong were motivated to win because they viewed it as a war for independence. 3. The U.S. had the disadvantage of fighting again the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese army.

6 4. It was difficult for the American soldiers to identify the Viet Cong guerrillas because women, children and the elderly acted as if they were guerrillas. 5. The policy of using draftees hurt the American military because many of them did not want to fight in the war due to the negative press coverage about the war. 6. Not used to jungle warfare. 7. Weapon’s testing. 8. Lack of morale. 9. No declaration of war.

7 The Ho Chi Minh Trail

8 V I. The Media’s War A. The Vietnam War was known as the first television war. B. At the beginning of the war, television coverage of it was favorable. C. The media portrayed peace demonstrators as negative. VI.As the war continued, coverage of the war began to show people what it really looked like. People were horrified because they had never seen an uncensored account of a war. VII.Reporters chose to check other sources instead of only relying on military reports because the reports were seen as overly optimistic.

9 VIII.The Tet Offensive A. In 1967, Defense Secretary Robert S. MacNamara decided to leave the administration because he believed that South Vietnam could not be saved. B. The US embassy as Saigon was attacked during the Tet Offensive. C. After the news of the Tet Offensive Americans were shocked at the level of military power that the Viet Cong showed.

10 D. The Tet Offensive left Johnson’s presidency in ruins because Tet’s news increased opposition to the war and Johnson’s handling of Vietnam became questioned. E. General Westmoreland believed that increased the number of troops in Vietnam could bring victory. F. Escalations prior to the Tet Offensive would have been unpopular with the public because casualties may have increased and China or the USSR may have been encouraged to get involved.

11 G. Instead of escalating the war Johnson decided to stop bombing North Vietnam in hopes of opening up talks with the Viet Minh. H. On March 31, Johnson announced that he would not seek re-election as president. IX.Peace with Honor: Nixon’s campaign slogan was directed to end involvement.

12 A. Vietnamization: a. In November of 1969 Nixon announced a new strategy in Vietnam that he called Vietnamization. b. The goal of Vietnamization was to make the South Vietnamese more responsible for their own defense. B. Invasion of Cambodia a. When students heard that American forces had invaded Cambodia harsh protests broke out across the country. b. Congress was furious about the invasion of Cambodia because Nixon did not consult them before the invasion.

13 X.The War Ends A. Paris Peace Accords (Treaty that ended the war) 1. The North Vietnamese agreed to officially recognize South Vietnam’s government. 2. North Vietnam released all prisoners of war in exchange for the American withdrawal. B. In 1975 South Vietnam totally collapsed, when North Vietnam invaded it.

14 C. Aftermath and Effects of the War: 1. Vietnam’s neighboring countries Cambodia and Laos also experienced communist revolutions. 2. Approximately 57,000 Americans were killed in the Vietnam War. 3. Agent Orange was a defoliant gas that caused American servicemen to have poor health and to grow cancerous tumors after the war. 4. The Vietnam War cost the U.S. $200 billion.


16 Violence at Home Erupts at Kent State

17 5. About 2 million Vietnamese people were killed in the war. 6.The war divided the American people including family and friends. 7.Leaders became more cautious when getting involved in foreign affairs. 8.The cost of fighting in Vietnam was so painful for Americans because nothing of value could be gained. 9.Caused many Americans to have a distrust for the government and the Presidency.

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