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Vietnam Cold War Conflict Vietnam War A major Cold War Conflict.

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Presentation on theme: "Vietnam Cold War Conflict Vietnam War A major Cold War Conflict."— Presentation transcript:

1 Vietnam Cold War Conflict Vietnam War A major Cold War Conflict

2 The beginning… Vietnam a French colony until Japanese invasion, 1941. Ho Chi Minh: communist nationalist wanted independence for Vietnam. – Vietminh League 1945-46, Ho writes the U.S. asking for help against France’s reoccupation…ignored. * Indochina is immensely wealthy in rice, rubber, coal, and iron ore.


4 Tensions rise French deserted efforts by 1955, Civil War followed. N. Vietnam led by Ho. Ngo Dinh Diem: Leader of S. Vietnam. A weak, puppet leader for the US/France. He represented Western influence. U.S. policy = containment, fear of domino theory American advisors sent in to help control situation Geneva Conference – 17 th parallel


6 Diem – angered peasants, no land redistribution, persecuted Buddhist

7 Who is the VC? Vietcong = anti-Diem Vietnamese from South Vietnam By 1963, 15,000 military in S. Vietnam Diem is assassinated by S. Vietnamese government officials (U.S. wanted him removed)

8 Gulf of Tonkin USS Maddox attacked by N. Vietnamese torpedoes. False account to gain American support. August 2 nd and 4 th 1964. Tonkin Gulf Resolution – grants president broad military powers in Vietnam

9 Viet Cong guerrillas attack air base in South Vietnam 1965. Operation Rolling Thunder: Regular bombing attacks against North Vietnam

10 Ideas to Get How was Vietnam fought different than most previous wars? – Strategy – Experience for troops – participation – Technology


12 Hawks: Pro-war, they believed that if the US leaves, America’s word would mean nothing to the rest of the world. -1968: 500,000 - At this point, the World was suspicious of the US’s intentions.

13 1967: Johnson orders CIA to looked out for any suspicious anti-war activists. 1968 Tet Offensive: Massive attack on the South Vietnamese and the US. - US asks for 200,000 men. -At this point the war is very unpopular. Johnson declares a freeze troops and gradually shift more responsibility to the South Vietnamese. -Johnson does not run for a second term.



16 Nixon Committed to carrying on until “honorable peace” and an “American Victory” had been won. Cultural upheaval “Trust no one over thirty” -skepticism about authority - Free Speech Movement: 1964 (all over US, UC Berkeley was a hotspot)

17 My Lai: (1970) Soldiers massacred innocent women and children. Soldiers were ordered to burn villages and kill the villagers. No one knew who was on their side. 1970, Nixon orders and attacks on Cambodia.


19 Kent State University (Ohio) -National Guard kills 4 in a protest against the war. Pentagon Papers: 1971, the New York Times published the secret documents that exposed government’s deceptions during the war. War Power Act – President cannot commit troops to combat for more that 30 days without a declaration of war from Congress

20 Failure to Contain Late 1960’s - War extreme unpopular at home 1969, Pres. Nixon begins Vietnamization – gradual withdrawal of troops, while increasing S. Vietnamese combat role. 1973 Last U.S. troops leave 1975 Saigon falls to N. Vietnam – Death Toll 1.5 million Vietnamese 58,000 U.S.


22 Aftermath N. Vietnam controls south tightly – Reeducation camps – Nationalization – Renaming of Saigon of Ho Chi Minh City – 1.5 million refugee flee from communist oppression


24 After Vietnam Widespread, popular protests from policies under Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson Détente, policy of lessening tensions, replaces brinkmanship with Richard Nixon in 1972 – Visits Moscow and Beijing – SALT I Treaty is signed (Strategic Arms Limitations Talks)

25 Afghanistan 1979, Soviets invaded, U.S. backs the rebel mujahideen, or “holy warriors” Détente collapses

26 1981, Ronald Reagan moves away from détente – Strategic Defense Initiative – program to protect against enemy missiles – 1985, Mikhail Gorbchav, began new policies & ends Cold War

27 The Cold War Ends, 1989

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