05-02 - Notes 2 May 2006 Readings FINAL EXAM Cumulative Ids...

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Unformatted text preview: Notes 2 May 2006 Readings: FINAL EXAM: Cumulative Ids, but at least half of the Ids come from last 1/3 of course – choose 10 of 14, essay, will be available on Sunday from 2-4 pm or by email Nixon’s foreign policy, general structure set up by Kissinger The main foreign policy issue was inherited from Johnson: Vietnam. More American troops would die under Nixon than Johnson. A good part of the war was on his watch. His strategy for dealing with the war was called Vietnamization . This meant training and equipping the army of South Vietnam to take over the fighting as American combat troops were gradually pulled out. This was to be a slow withdrawl, with the Argon taking over. (Sound familiar? Iraquiization?) Americans were to come home in batches of 25,000 at a time (600,000 troops when Nixon took office) every 3 months or so. We gradually escalated, and now we were deescaalting gradually. “It was a lot like seeing the same movie being shown backwards.” There was one problem: the Argon were as incompetent as ever. The officers were corrupt and worthless, and the soldiers were deserting in record numbers. Time and again, whenever Argon troops were placed in a combat situation, they would throw down their weapons and run in the opposite direction as fast as they could. This is a bad sign. Nixon’s response was to give them more and better weapons and to step up the use of American air power. There was in fact much more bombing in the South under Nixon than there was under Johnson. American participation in the war finally ended in January 1973 as a result of secret negotiations between Kissinger and his North Vietnamese counterpart in Paris. But again there was a big problem: the final treaty that was adopted did not settle the basic question, namely who would rule South Vietnam? The treaty sidestepped the issue. In essence, it was an agreement by the United States to pull out our remaining forces (100,000 or so) in return for 2 things: 1) release of our POW including John McCain, and 2) a temporary cease fire. IT was said to be permanent, but everyone knew it wouldn’t last. Two years later, in early 1975, the North Vietnamese began another big offensive. Then they made a big military push to capture South Vietnam, which they did very quickly. Within one month, South Vietnam collapsed literally like a house of cards. Over a half million Argon soldiers dropped their weapons, stripped off their uniforms, and ran naked in the opposite direction as fast as they could. This is the classic example of an army collapsing. Despite years of American training and tens of billions of dollars of the latest American equipment, the Argon was completely worthless as a fighting force. They didn’t want to fight b/c they didn’t believe in their government. This easy win surprised even the North. It is accurate to say that Vietnamization was a failure....
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course HIST 320 taught by Professor Singal during the Spring '06 term at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

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05-02 - Notes 2 May 2006 Readings FINAL EXAM Cumulative Ids...

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