VietnamPart2 - Vietnam Part 2 I. Vietnam War from 1968 to...

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Vietnam Part 2 I. Vietnam War from 1968 to 1975 a. Tet ended American hopes for victory in Vietnam i. Militarily, the Offensive had exposed the US inability to stop infiltration or destroy the enemy ii. Politically, it showed that the NLF remained popular throughout Vietnam while large numbers of mainstream Americans seemed ready to throw in the towel iii. American leaders recognized failure and began a strategy of “Vietnamization”-shifting the burden for warfare to the ARVN, while continuing to support Saigon with huge amounts of material and money—BUT also withdrawing American soldiers to quiet the antiwar movement b. President Nixon i. Campaigned in 1968 with a “secret plan” to end to war—while his associates were secretly talking with the RVN president to make sure peace talks did not take place before the election—which would hurt his campaign ii. Strategy—Vietnamization to wind down the war 1. Advised staff to consider new options—even nuclear bombs 2. Increased further the size of the ARVN, and increased their fire power 3. “Operation Phoenix” to “neutralize”—arrest or kill— suspected VC supporterd in the south 4. Began to utilize American technology—airpower—against VC and all of Indochina 5. Vietnamization expanded the war iii. Nixon orders invasion of Laos in February 1971—Lam Son 719— Disaster! Showed that the southern state and the ARVN could only exist with MASSIVE US support iv. US involvement in Cambodia 1. Nixon frustrated with Prince Sihanouk—who was technically neutral, but did not prevent the VC from receiving supplies via his territory 2. Operation Menu—a series of “secret” bombings of Cambodia 3. Not satisfied, in March 1970, Nixon helped a palindromic Cambodian politician named Lon Nol overthrow Sihanouk a. Lon Nol “invited” the southern Vietnamese to enter Cambodia to expel the VC and PAVN forces v. Negotiations 1. February 1970, VP Kissinger opened secret negotiations in Paris with the DRVN rep. Le Duc Tho
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a. On the major issues, US and Vietnam remained far apart b. June—talks were suspended so Le Duc Tho could protest the Cambodian invasion 2. Negotiations reopened in May 1971 a. July, to gain the diplomatic inititave, Hanoi and the southern-based Provisional Revolutinary Government (PRG)—the successor to the NLF— announced their own peace proposal i. A coalition government in the south ii. Withdrawal of American troops iii. The return of POW’s from all sides b. To Hanoi, it was essential to hold reasonably free elections in the south to bring to power a government in the RVN willing to negotiate an end to the war c. Kissinger did not consider proposal, but told the media that the DRVN was demanding the “overthrow” of Thieu and that the US would not submit to such ultimatums—“free elections in the south were a source of turmoil and uncertainty” vi. Nixon increased his options in Vietnam in 1972 by relaxing with
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This note was uploaded on 03/18/2008 for the course HIST 1377 taught by Professor Buzzanco during the Fall '05 term at University of Houston.

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VietnamPart2 - Vietnam Part 2 I. Vietnam War from 1968 to...

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