2Phase One – War of Independence Vietnam - Frenchcolony under the name ofFrench Indochina (along withCambodia andLaos)Vietnam fights for independence from France during WW IIVietnamese revolutionary leader was Ho Chi Minh, a Communistwanted to be the leader ofan independent, communist Vietnam; received support from both the USSR and “Red” China
3French are defeated in 1954 at at Dien bien phu! peace conference in Geneva, Switzerland (attended by France, Vietnam, the US, and the USSR)Vietnam divided at the 17th parallel. Communist north (Led by Ho) and democratic south (led by Ngo Dinh DiemElections to be held in 1956 to end partition.U.S. sees Vietnam as a “Domino”. Determined to stop it falling according to the U.S. policy of “Containment”
4Diem tortures and executes nearly 40,000 political prisoners Estimated that 80% of Vietnamese would have voted for the communists –elections were never allowed to happen!Many ordinary Vietnamese viewed Diem as an “elite” who had cooperated with the FrenchDiem tortures and executes nearly 40,000 political prisonersSouthern resistance increases as communist support grows – creation of National Liberation Front (NLF)
5These Southern “freedom fighters” were also known as Vietcong
61963 With U.S. approval, South Vietnamese Army kills Diem! …and of course, Kennedy is killed…
7PHASE 2 – AMERICAN MILITARY INVOLVEMENT phase originated with“Ike” and JFK but wasintensified under LyndonBaines Johnson (LBJ)1964 Gulf of Tonkin Incident - 2 American destroyers “supposedly” fired upon by the North VietnameseCongress passes Gulf of Tonkin Resolutions- Congress gave LBJtheir support in sendingAmerican personnel and materiel
91965 – Operation Rolling Thunder Sustained American bombing raids of North Vietnam864,000 tons of bombs dropped on North Vietnam (503,000 tons in the Pacific theater during the Second World War)4 Objectives:Boost the Morale of South VietnamPersuade North Vietnam to stop supporting rebels in the SouthDestroy North Vietnamese industry and air defensesCease the flow of men and material along the Ho Chi Minh TrailOperation runs for nearly four years! (none of the objectives are met…)
10US ground forces sent to Vietnam – over 200,000 by the year’s end Danang: The first American combat troops, the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, arrive in Vietnam to defend the US airfield at Danang
12La Drang ValleyHeavy Fighting at Ia Drang Valley: The first conventional battle of the Vietnam war takes place as American forces clash with North Vietnamese units in the Ia Drang Valley. - heavy casualties are reported on both sides.
13Escalation!in spite of ongoing escalation (an increase in troop levels and $ spent on fighting the war) throughout the 1960s, the US experienced a lack of success against the Vietnamese forces in S. Vietnam (the Vietcong) as the US Army was unprepared for their tactics (Guerilla Warfare! ) and their revolutionary mentality
14The US was never entirely successful in shuttingdown the Ho Chi Minh Trail, a supply line that ran between North and South Vietnamdifficult jungle terrain,often underground andthrough neighboring nations like Cambodia and Laos
16Ho Chi Minh TrailThe U.S. tries to destroy the trail but the Vietnamese just go around it!
171968 – an awful year…In January, the Vietnamese launch the Tet Offensive, a surprise offensive on a major Vietnamese holiday that saw attacks all over the country, including in Saigon itselfA Vietnamese defeat, but many in the U.S. now saw the war as unwinnableongoing US casualties and led to an increase in antiwar sentiment on the American Home Frontin large part because Vietnam was a TV War where American audiences saw the brutality of war firsthand
21Americans witnessed the usage of weapons like napalm and Agent Orange, which devastated the people and environment of Vietnam
22Between 350 and 500 raped, tortured and murdered My LaiWho is the enemy?How do you “find and eliminate the enemy” if you can’t tell which side anyone is on?Between 350 and 500 raped, tortured and murdered"Who is my enemy? Anybody that was running from us, hiding from us, or appeared to be the enemy. If a man was running, shoot him, sometimes even if a woman with a rifle was running, shoot her.“ – Captain Ernest Medina
2326 US soldiers initially charged with criminal offenses I was … getting orders frommy commander and Ifollowed them- foolishly I guess26 US soldiers initially charged with criminal offensesOnly Second Lieutenant William Calley, a platoon leader was convicted.Found guilty of killing 22 villagers, he was originally given a life sentence, but only served three and a half years under house arrest.
24Hippies!hippies inherited the values of the 1950s Beatniks, created their own communities, listened to psychedelic rock, embraced the sexual revolution, and some used drugs such as cannabis, LSD and magic mushrooms to explore altered states of consciousness.
25Protest increases at home! Hippies led the Counterculture movementProtests became widespread and began to polarize the nation
35increasingly the American people came to perceive the “Credibility Gap”, i.e. they no longer believed that LBJ was telling them the truth about events in the warin 1968, LBJ chose not to run for president, and Republican Richard M. Nixon was elected on a platform of “Peace with Honor”
36Nixon wanted the South Vietnamese to play a greater role in the war, a policy he labeled Vietnamizationin spite of that, he continues carpet bombing Hanoi and orders a secret invasion of CambodiaSeen as a further widening of the war! American’s feel deceived and protests erupt.
37Kent State - May 1970 Kent State University (Ohio) Students protest turns deadly when National Guard troops open fire on the students!4 Students DeadKent State - May 1970
38Pentagon Papers Classified documents stolen from the Pentagon Exposed Government knowledge that war would cost more lives than the public was being toldPublic told war was ending but escalation was happeningGovernment censures the information but Supreme Court says NO!PUBLIC DISTRUST OF GOVERNMENT!
40PHASE 3 – VIETNAMESE CIVIL WAR, 1973-75 the NVA easily defeated the South by 19751975 – the US abandoned its embassy in Saigon, which was renamedHo Chi Minh City in the newly unified and communist Vietnam
41War Powers Act 1973the 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."The War Powers Resolution requires the President to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30 day withdrawal period, without an authorization of the use of military force or a declaration of war. The resolution was passed by two-thirds of Congress, overriding a presidential veto.