Conflict in Asia - Vietnam War 3

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  • The Vietnam War (3)
    • USA Protests
      • At the beginning of the war, 80% US supported it but this fell to 30% in 1971
        • Mostly the younger generation did not support
      • Draft
        • Protest against drafting began in 1965 - young men burned draft cards to avoid conscription
          • 250,000 avoided the draft, 34,000 were wanted by police
            • Muhammed Ali most famous for draft-dodging
          • May thought that the draft was racist - 28% front line troops were black but they were only 13% of the population
      • Casualties
        • 58000 troops died in total
        • People questioned whether the human cost of the war was worthwhile
        • Highest death rate in 1968 (17000 died)
      • Media
        • At the beginning they helped spread the government message but had ability to show anything
        • Showed more graphic and violent footage - living room war
        • Uncovered incidents like My Lai massacre that government had hidden
      • Veterans
        • Many of the returned veterans thought it was a pointless war
          • Lots threw away their war medals
          • Veterans March in Washington 1971 and  300,000 joined
      • Social Contextt
        • Change in US society - youth and hippies questioned authority
          • Made up most of the protests
        • Civil rights movement - brought attention to racism (link to draft being racist)
        • War cost $169 billion so LBJ could not make his 'Great society'
      • However, in early 70s 40% of US still supported due to fear of communism
    • End of the war
      • LBJ began peace negotiations in 1968 - KIssinger was US representative, Le Duc Tho was N Vietnam representative
      • US relationships with USSR and China had improved - more willing to compromise
        • Improved relationship - called 'Detente'
        • Their relationships with each other were worsening so they were keen to side with USA
      • Although Nixon removed many troops from Vietnam, he increased bombing and invaded Laos and Cambodia to force them to compromise
      • Agreement reached in Jan. 1973
        • S Vietnam would be independant and US troops would withdraw from Vietnam by March 1973
      • Invasion in December 1974
        • N Vietnam invaded the South but Congress decided that US would not intervene
          • In 1975, Vietnam was united under communism and US had officially lost
    • Impact of the war
      • Casualties
        • US - 58k killed, 300k injured, mental health problems among troops
      • Huge Vietnam poverty, economy collapsed, 11 million made homeless
        • US - 4169 billion - no 'Great Society'
      • 2 million Vietnamese refugees
      • Damage to US reputation - cautious to join other wars

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