2After the Gulf of Tonkin Incident After the Gulf of Tonkin incident and Resolution in August 1964, President Johnson (in March 1965) ordered:American aircraft to begin a sustained bombing campaigned against targets in North VietnamThe first American combat troops into Vietnam.
3Public OpinionIn the spring of 1965, A Gallup poll showed that 66% of Americans approved of the policy in Vietnam.
4How the Vietcong fought When the American combat troops arrived in Vietnam, they discovered the guerilla tactics and fighting methods used by the Vietcong which included ambushes and booby traps.
5Vietcong TacticsThe Vietcong blended into the civilian population and vanished after they struck their targets.American troops tried to find the enemy and bomb their positions, destroy their supply lines, and force them into the open.
6“Search and Destroy”To counter the Vietcong’s ability to hide in thick jungles, American used “search and destroy” missions.These mission included planes that dropped napalm, a jellied gasoline that explodes on contact.They also used Agent Orange, a chemical that strips leaves from trees.
7Continuous bombingAmerican military leaders believed that continuous bombing and the killing of many Vietcong would make them surrender.However, the guerrillas did not surrender.
8Supply ChainNorth Vietnam received supplies from the Soviet Union and China (both communist nations), and then sent supplies to South Vietnam through a network known as the Ho Chi Minh trail.
9Ho Chi Minh TrailThe main North Vietnamese supply route (known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail) consisted of a network of jungle paths in Cambodia and Laos, bypassing the border between North and South Vietnam.
10No…don’t invade North Vietnam President Johnson did not order an invasion of North Vietnam because he feared this would bring China into the war.Instead of conquering enemy territory, American troops tried to defeat the enemy by slowly wearing them down.As casualties on both sides mounted through 1967, the Vietcong still showed no sign of surrendering.
11T.V. WarVietnam was the first “television war”, with footage of combat appearing nightly on the evening news (along with the casualty count from fighting that day)
12Credibility Gap Opposition to the Vietnam War grew in the late 1960s. Many Americans believed a credibility gap had developed.Images of wounded and dead American soldiers in the media made Americans doubt the government’s truthfulness about the war.
13Containment of Vietnam George Keenan, the American diplomat who helped to create the policy of containment believed that Vietnam was not strategically important.
14Teach-ins Many college students began protesting the war. A group of faculty members and students at the University of Michigan joined together in a teach-in to discuss opposition to the war.
15Opposed to the warPeople opposed the war for different reasons. Some believed it was a civil war that did not involve the United States.Others believed South Vietnam was a corrupt dictatorship, and supporting it was immoral.Some were against the draft system.
16Postponing military service At the beginning of the war, college students were able to postpone military service until after they graduated.
17Minorities in VietnamMinorities, particularly African Americans made up a disproportionately large number of soldiers in Vietnam.Other young people from low-income families were more likely to serve in the military because they could not afford college
18MLK’s ViewIn April 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. broke his silence and publically condemned the conflict in Vietnam.
19Two SidesDespite the antiwar protests, a majority of people in early 1968 supported the war.Those who wanted to withdraw from Vietnam were called doves.Those who wanted to stay and fight were called hawks.
20Draft Lottery SystemIn 1969 the government issued a lottery system for the draft.However, while men could be drafted to fight in Vietnam at age 18, they could not vote until they were 21.
2126th AmendmentProtests against the war and the draft led to ratification of the 26th amendment which gave citizens 18 years older the right to vote (the amendment was ratified in 1971).