The Draft and the Anti-War movement

draft anti war movement, McNamaras resignation, Johnsons withdrawal from election

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Anti war movement

  • 2.15 million men sent to Vietnam due to draft, 1.6 million into combat
  • Those who fought disproportianally poor, badly educated, and black
  • black americans formed 11% of the American population made up 12.6% soldiers in Vietnam
  • over 60% those who died Vietnam 17-21
  • conscripts lacked enthusiasm
  • draft took no account religious or philosophical objections, college students exempt from draft, and relevant civilinan activties that favoured exemption white middle and upper class
  • opposition and demonstrations began in 1964 and grew in strength
  • spring 1967- student rallies 200,000 in N.Y and 50,000 San Francisco demonstrated against war
  • Anti-War movement grew out range of forces, including national civil rights, anti-nuclear campaigns and pascifist movements
  • May 4th 1970- Kent state university, national guard troops called in to calm scene ended up firing on crowd and killing 4 students 
  • sparked protests at hundreds of college campuses across country  many turned violent and 2 more students killed in protest at Jackson state University in Mid-May
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The anti-war movement

  • 1967 US troops being killed over 1000 a month
  • American public opinion divided.Anti-War movement never gained widespread support. Government attacked movement  45% Americans favoured increased military presence Vietnam, 41% favoured withdrawal
  • CIA investigated and monitored anti-war movement
  • concluded that protestors not interested in pre-packed ideology or subject to excessive communist guidance
  • Johnson increased harassement and surveillance of anti-war opponent
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Johnsons advisors

  • conflicting advice
  • VP Hubert Humphrey said america throwing lives and resources away bycontinuation in the Vietnam war
  • Joint chiefs of staff called for 200,000 additional troops, caused George Ball and Bill Moyers to resign
  • Johson granted increase of 55,000 troops and widened rolling thunder
  • McGeorge Bundy adviced that the president change the commander in the field, General Westmoreland
  • Towards end 1967, 16 advisors known as 'wise men' suggested policy of vietnamisation- might silence outrage at home over American casulties 
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McNamara's resignation

  • McNamara, Secretary of Defence, blamed for limiting bombing
  • hearing before sentate, testified bombing Ho Chi Minh trail not succeed ending insurgency
  • Felt increasing bombing may provoke confronntation USSR. Increasingly stressed and tearful
  • resigned Nov 1967, seen major turning point Vietnam war, starting process de-escalation
  • Jan 1968 replaced Secretary of Defense by Clark Clifford
  • tried gain more troops from countries involved with US in Vietnam. Clifford formed opinion little risk dominoes falling if US withdraw troops Vietnam
  • At that point Hanoi embarked much more forceful policy with Tet Offensive
  • Turning point in war as 1967 ended
  • Statistics indicated that US operations  going well  and that escalation right policy
  • Johnson felt only miscalculation had been not sending ground troops in earlier
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