Vietnam Wars Notes LAST CLASS What was Nixon and Kissinger trying to achieve -creative thinking about recording american national/foreign policy -Build constructive relationships -the world had changed when came into office -raise of competitors, surpassing USA -Soviets/Chinese caught up -Came into office wanting to end war/too many US resources going out 1969 Nixon recognized the war must be ended - “A bone in the nation’s throat” 4/10 Lecture 25 Nixon, Kissinger, and Vietnam: Plans and Disappointments I. OVERALL APPROACH A. credibility: ‘peace with honor’ B. Same old goal? C. pessimism II. NIXON’S INNOVATIONS A. Troop Withdrawal B. Vietnamization C. Isolation of North Vietnam D. Intimidation III. DISAPPOINTMENTS OF LATE 1969 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Know: Detente, Operation Menu, Operation Phoenix, Chieu Hoi I. OVERALL APPROACH A. Credibility “Peace with honor” 1. Search for an independent non-communist Vietnam 2. US presence helped contain expansionist China and give “free” asian nations time to develop a stable institution 3. Recognized could not end war (Kissinger quote) 4. So much invested in Viet: credibility, resources, lives 5. Credibility most important of why still there 6. What would Allies,Cubans, Adversaries, Chinese, Russians think if US walked away? a) make a war difficult and long enough that US would go home b) weak, irresolute nation that did not live up to promises 7. Could not pull out of Vietnam as would by an unworthy action and seem an abandonment as the SV who depended on them
a) “would destroy ourselves if we did not pull out in a way that wasn't honorable 8. What is an honorable withdraw? a) avoid appearance of defeat b) fair negotiation to preserve VN independence B. Same Old Goal? 1. Securing an independent South Vietnam 2. Negotiate with North 3. Persuade north to exchange American Withdrawal for a political settlement that would leave Thieu firmly in control 4. C. Pessimism 1. Public opinion/support for war within US (morale?) 2. Effectiveness of Vietnamization 3. Withdrawal of American troops 4. Same spot as LBJ 5. Stubborn and futile to uphold US credibility and accomplish what LBJ failed to do at a time when they had less military power at their disposal and the patience of the american public has worn thin II. NIXON’S INNOVATIONS A. Troop Withdrawals 1. Nixon recognized support for the war dropped 2. Announced first withdrawals in May 1969 (4 months into office) B. Vietnamization 1. De-americanizing the war 2. North would realize it would be better to negotiate with the US now than with SV later 3. More american resources into Viet aid and troops 4. Central component of american approach 5. ARVN takeover fight C. Isolation in North Vietnam 1. Believed Chinese and Soviets would see benefits in improving relations with US and de-escalation of Cold War tensions a) Detente 2. Asking Soviets and Chinese for favors, diminish supplies and support to N. Vietnam and help push the North to the bargaining table 3. Political pressure on Hanoi to end war 4. Nixon takes many trips to see world leaders/make peace D. Intimidation
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