Vietnam War

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  • Vietnam
    • In the beginning
      • After France lost indochina in the second world war they wanted it back.
        • Vietnam was split along the 17th parallel. North was ran by Ho Chi Minh (nationalist 1st then communist). The South was ran by Bao Dai the French puppet.
          • NVA ran by Giap.
            • Strength of the Vietminh... Guerrilla tactics and allusive determination meant they were better then the French.
              • Dienbienphu 1954 meant that the french were surrounded and thus there was the Geneva Conference.
            • Dienbienphu 1954 meant that the french were surrounded and thus there was the Geneva Conference.
      • Why did the French need the USA's help?
        • China were a growing powerful communist state.
        • The french couldn't win the hearts and minds of the people. Giap could.
        • Strength of the Vietminh... Guerrilla tactics and allusive determination meant they were better then the French.
          • Bao Dai's unpopularity vs Ho Chi Minhs popularity.
            • Minh was popular because he appealed to all the peasants with community and wealth distribution.
          • Giap was powerful and his leadership skills were second to none.
        • Why did the French need the USA's help?
          • China were a growing powerful communist state.
          • The french couldn't win the hearts and minds of the people. Giap could.
          • Bao Dai's unpopularity vs Ho Chi Minhs popularity.
            • Minh was popular because he appealed to all the peasants with community and wealth distribution.
          • Giap was powerful and his leadership skills were second to none.
          • Why did the USA get involved?
            • Containment and Communism
            • Help out the French Allies NATO
            • Trade (can't trade with a communist country)
            • Lost China
            • Balance World Powers
            • Already involved with Korea...scared for other allies like Australia
          • The Geneva conference of 1954
            • Why 1954?
              • Korea had stopped fighting...inspiration for the end of fighting
              • Death of Stalin...want to reduce Cold War Tension
              • China wanted USA out of Vietnam
              • USA were concerned the French were too keen to leave.
            • What Happened?
              • Minh did not want to go because he was winning but China and Russia pressurised him to go.
              • Bao Dai did not go and sent Diem his prime minister instead.
              • 8th of May 1954
              • Diem wanted French out so he could focus on eradicating communism.
            • Significance of the conference.
              • The Vietnamese want alleged elections.
              • Minh had to retreat (was confident he would win election.)
              • China and Russia were not completely supportive of Minh
              • France left, Diem beat Bao Dai in elections. Now leader of SV
                • Disobeyed terms of conference as he knew he would loose.
                • Diem now relies on the USA
                • Eisenhower increased aid to Diem.
              • SEATO was established.
              • America refused to sign terms
          • Kennedy
            • Advisors
              • Dean Ruske
                • Wanted troops in Vietnam...hada bad relationship with JFK.
              • Robert MacNamara
                • Wanted military intervention.
                  • Very statistical, good relationship with JFK. No empathy, very anti communist, underestimated the power and determinationof the Vietminh
            • Military Solutions.
              • JFK authorised the use of Napalm and Defoliants to make Guerrilla tactics fail.
                • Said they did not support the coup of Diem but would not stop it.
                  • Diem was assassinated in 1963
            • Killed in 1963
          • Diem
            • Refused to listen to USA and reform.
              • Favoured Catholic minority and discriminated against Buddhist majority.
                • His Gov. was filled with his family.
                • Diem appeared to be waging war on the Buddhists.
                  • LBJ went to Vietnam to persuade Diem to reform.
                    • USA encouraged strategic hamlets against the Vietcong.
                      • The Saigon Gov ignored the US advice and after a year the Vietcong had got into hamlets and stole lots of US weapons.
                • 73 yr old buddhist set fire to himself in riots.
          • Johnson
            • Kept Macnamara and Ruske
              • There is a lack of China experts due to McCarthyism
                • COULD NOT BE THE 1ST PRESIDENT TO LOOSE A WAR.
            • GULF OF TONKIN resolution.
              • LBJ claimed that NVA attacked two US ships.
                • He asked for congressional support again ships.
                • Believing that they were under attack they passed the resolution.
                  • This gave LBJ permission to wage war on NV.
                    • The senate was 2/3rds empty when it was passed in August.
                    • WHO WAS TO BLAME?
                      • Congres passed the resolution
                      • LBJ and McNamara didn't tell congress about the secret raids on NV.
                      • During election year LBJ was criticised for being to soft on communism = felt trapped to act.
                      • RESULTS
                        • Nation appeared behind the war on NV.
                          • The USA bombed NV for the first time. LBJ bombed them heavily and his approval ratings rose from 42% to 72%
            • Why could the communists succeed in Vietnam?
              • They won the hearts and minds of the people.
                • US  bombing killed many civilians, women and children.
              • Guerrilla Tactics.
                • HO CHI MINH TRAIL
              • Communist determination
                • Had a reason to fight for.... USA didn't really.
                  • A lot of Vietminh/ Cong got diseases, shit conditions etc.
              • ARVN were rubbish
                • Search and Avoid missions. Incapable without the US troops.
                  • ARVN were very corrupt... sold US goods to the black market.
              • Decay of  Saigon
                • War ruined Saigon. Drugs were sold openly, hotels were brothels and young girls were forced into prostitution due to migration.
              • US troops
                • Average age of troops = 19.
                • Psychologically damaged by Guerrilla tactics.
            • Why did Johnson have to retreat?
              • Financial and Economic Problems.
                • The war had increased the countries deficit from 1.6 billion to 25.3 billion
                  • He couldn't  afford it and couldn't increase taxation.
              • Johnson's loss of confidence.
                • LBJ had depression and insomnia. He was constantly asking for advice.
                  • 74% of opinion polls thought that LBJ was not doing a good job.
              • Loss of McNamara
                • Quit because his daughter joined those who were anti war.
                  • McNamara was key for LBJs and JFKs policies.
              • Public Opinion
                • Lots of students were against the war and lots were now protesting against it.
            • The Tet Offensive
              • Walter Cronkite changed his opinion to the war being a failure after the Tet Offensive.
                • LBJ understood the significance of this change of opinion. After this his approval ratings dropped dramatically
                  • The Tet Offensive was the taking over of all the major cities in vietnam. The VietCong managed to overthrow Saigon.
              • 1967- 10,000s protested against the war. The draft head quarters was closed by students and there were criticisms from AA and MLK.
          • Nixon
            • Was amazing at Foreign Policy.
            • Why did it take Nixon so long to end the war.
              • Peace with Honour. Paris peace talks had stalled. Hanoi didn't need to negotiate.
                • Nixon can not get through to Hanoi so applies diplomatic pressure on China and Russia. (Sino-Soviet Split)
                  • Soviets agreed to pressurise Hanoi as they were poor from Arms race and wanted detente.
                  • China needed an ally
                • Used MadMan Tactics
                  • Other tactics were Vietnamization and bombing.
                • He needed out before the presidential elections in 1972
            • How did Nixon finally end the War?
              • After March offensive he bombed V. heavily
                • Hanoi were drawn to peace because of USA concessions, madman ploy, bombing pressure from allies and failure to take big cities in offensive.
                  • 54% support bombing and 74% wanted SV safe from communism.
                  • Hanoi would let Thieu remain in power if USA let NVA in SV. They also wanted a coalition government but this was rejected.
                    • As a result of the Christmas bombings loads died from both sides. Kissinger cracked and leaked info. People started to question Nixons sanity,.
                    • 27th of Jan = ceasefire, POWs exchanged and USA withdraw troops.
                • Nixon was running out of time and congressional support
                  • Hanoi were drawn to peace because of USA concessions, madman ploy, bombing pressure from allies and failure to take big cities in offensive.
                    • 54% support bombing and 74% wanted SV safe from communism.
                    • Hanoi would let Thieu remain in power if USA let NVA in SV. They also wanted a coalition government but this was rejected.
                      • As a result of the Christmas bombings loads died from both sides. Kissinger cracked and leaked info. People started to question Nixons sanity,.
                      • 27th of Jan = ceasefire, POWs exchanged and USA withdraw troops.

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