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 This PowerPoint will give you some background on the Vietnam war.  Pay close attention to the 4-5 slides that deal specifically with the Gulf of Tonkin.

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Presentation on theme: " This PowerPoint will give you some background on the Vietnam war.  Pay close attention to the 4-5 slides that deal specifically with the Gulf of Tonkin."— Presentation transcript:

1  This PowerPoint will give you some background on the Vietnam war.  Pay close attention to the 4-5 slides that deal specifically with the Gulf of Tonkin incident.  Use those slides along with the actual document to complete your DAW.


3 I. Why did the U.S. send troops to Vietnam? A. Ho Chi Minh defeated the French in 1954 and Vietnam was split into North and South. B. North Vietnam was led by Communist Ho Chi Minh- South Vietnam was led by U.S. backed Diem.

4 C. Many South Vietnamese opposed U.S. backed Diem.

5 D. Vietcong were South Vietnamese guerrillas who were backed by the North and fought against the South’s government


7 E. President John F. Kennedy believed in the Domino Theory, the idea that if one Southeast Asian country fell to communism, the rest would also, like a row of dominos. F. In 1961, he sent military advisors to help Diem fight the Vietcong

8 G. 1963- Lyndon Johnson became President and sent more aid to South Vietnam H. 1964- Gulf of Tonkin Resolution- after a U.S. ship is attacked, Congress passed this which allowed President Johnson to take “all necessary measures” to prevent another attack I. Thus, the war escalated and by 1968 there were over 500,000 troops fighting in the Vietnam War.

9 The Incident  US responds to supposed attacks (1 st happened, 2 nd did not)  US used retaliatory airstrikes  LBJ announced that he was requesting support, “for all necessary action to protect our Armed Forces”….but, “America seeks no wider war”

10 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution  Joint Resolution  Passed Aug 7 1964  Result of G of T incident Aug 2-4  2 senators opposed (1 from Oregon)  Will eventually be repealed in 1971

11 Controversial Because….  Allows for increased presidential power  Constitution says Pres must go through Congress to declare war  Subverts this provision

12 War Powers Resolution 1973  Toward end of war (1973) a new resolution repeals Gulf of Tonkin resolution  Pres must now consult w/ congress within 48 hours of any attack  No more than 60 days of war-like activity without reconsulting congress  WPResolution passed over a presidential veto

13 J. American soldiers faced many hardships fighting a “guerilla war” in jungle terrain, going on search and destroy missions.

14 A Viet Cong prisoner awaits interrogation at a Special Forces detachment in Thuong Duc, Vietnam, 15 miles (25 km) west of Danang, January 1967

15 Troops of the 1st Air Cavalry Division check houses while patrolling an area 25 miles (40 km) north of Qui Nhon as part of Operation Thayer, October 1966. The mission was designed to clear out a mountain range where two battalions of North Vietnamese were believed to be preparing for an attack on an airstrip.

16 In Long Khanh province, Vietnam, R. Richter of the 4th Battalion, 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade, left, and Sgt. Daniel E. Spencer await the helicopter that will airlift their dead comrade, 1966

17 Swampy Terrain Soldiers carry a wounded comrade to safety, 1969

18 Search-and-clear operation- Who is who? A Marine from 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, moves a Viet Cong suspect to the rear during a search-and-clear operation by the battalion 15 miles (24 km) west of Danang air base, August 1965 Marines

19 Traversing the jungle During Operation Hastings, Marines of Company H, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment take to the water as they move to join other elements of their battalion in Dong Ha, Vietnam, July 1966

20 Burning camp A Viet Cong base camp burns as Pfc. Raymond Rumpa of St. Paul, Minnesota, walks away with his 45-pound 90mm rifle in My Tho, Vietnam, April 1968

21 Helped by buddies

22 Waiting for evacuation Two wounded American soldiers await airlift to base hospital to treat injuries suffered in battle battle


24 K. 1968- Richard Nixon is elected President- promises to end the war

25 L. 1973- Cease-fire is reached M. 1974- Last U.S. troops leave Vietnam N. 1975- South Vietnam falls to North Vietnamese communist forces

26 The Lessons of Vietnam After the end of Persian Gulf War in 1991, Colin Powell, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, outlined his vision for efficient and decisive military action. His plan is now referred to as the Powell Doctrine. An earlier version of the Powell Doctrine was articulated by President Ronald Reagan's Defense Secretary, Casper Weinberger, in 1984. Weinberger argued that the United States should only commit troops to combat after six tests had been met:  1. Is A Vital U.S. Interest At Stake? Before the United States goes to war, there must a clear risk to national security  2. Will We Commit Sufficient Resources To Win? Force, when used, should be overwhelming and disproportionate to the force used by the enemy.  3. Are Our Objectives Clearly Defined? In Powell’s words: "We owe it to the men and women who go in harm's way to make sure that this is always the case and that their lives are not squandered for unclear purposes." In addition, there must be a clear exit strategy from the conflict in which the military is engaged.  4. Will We Sustain the Commitment? Is the government prepared to sustain the effort if things go wrong.  5. Is There A Reasonable Expectation that the Public and Congress Will Support the Operation? There must be strong support for the campaign by the general public.  6. Have we exhausted our other options? Military action should be used only as a last resort.

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