Nixon and Vietnam

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  • Created by: emily997
  • Created on: 23-03-14 14:16
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  • Nixon and approach
    • Kissinger
      • President's national security adviser from 1969
      • 1973 = secretary of state
    • Decided that the extent of US involvement was a mistake and US interests needed to be rationally considered
    • Feb 1970 = 'our interests must shape our commitments'
    • Nixon wanted 'peace with honour'
    • Sino-Soviet split = breakdown of relations between China and USSR
    • Difficulties with extricating USA from Vietnam
      • Nixon = 2 advantages over Johnson, but still faced issue of making North Vietnamese make concessions
      • 1) Serious weakening of Vietcong due to Tet Offensive in 1968
      • 2) Possibility of improved relations with USSR and China and the pressure they might put on Hanoi; pressure was limited though.
    • Conduct of war 1969-1973
      • Troop levels peaked in April 1969 at 543,000
      • Vietcong took advantage of anti-war movement and tried to maximise 'body bag count'
      • In first 6 months of 1969, 8000 members of US forces killed
      • Low morale = fragging and drug problem
      • By 1971 69% of US troops claimed to have used marijuana
    • Change in US military tactics
      • small unit actions, increased control of countryside
      • Phoenix program, CIA, William Colby
    • Vietnamisation
      • staged withdrawal of US forces and strengthening of those in South Vietnam


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