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Unformatted text preview: IR 100 The Problem of Vietnam The US and Wars of Intervention Oct. 2931, 2007 Prof. Mary Elise Sarotte Information about Pop Quiz As stated in the syllabus, there are no make-up As pop quizzes pop Only one pop quiz grade will count If you miss both pop quizzes, you will receive an If F for that component of the grade for Only acceptable excuses for quiz: if non-medical, Only written notice advising your TA in advance of absence; if medical, documentation of illness delivered as soon as you are well enough. If you miss both with excused absences, your section with participation grade will count for 20% instead. Upcoming talks… Tomorrow at 12pm, SOS B40: Benjamin Tomorrow Barber, “Comparing Iraq and Libya” as case studies in democratization case Tomorrow at 5pm, Davidson Board Room: Tomorrow Gillian Sorenson, “The US and the UN” Gillian …continued… November 1: Ambassador Paulo Cesar November Meira de Vasconcellos, Director of the Cultural Department for the Foreign Ministry of Brazil, will be speaking on November 1 at 1:30pm in the Doheny Library Intellectual Commons room. His topic: “Cultural Diplomacy in Brazil.” topic: Still more! November 1: Arab Film Festival Screening of November “Since You Left” (autobiographical documentary of Palestinian actor and director Mohammad Bakri) on November 1 at 7:00pm in the Annenberg Auditorium. An hour-long discussion will follow the screening, with panelists from the School of International Relations and the Annenberg School. Annenberg Upcoming due dates Paper topic due this week in section Paper outline and bibliography due: in lecture, Paper Monday Nov. 19 - note change of location in Monday updated syllabus (on Blackboard) updated Paper due: in lecture, Monday Dec. 3 Final Exam: Fri., Dec. 14, THH301, 2-5pm (you Final must have submitted a hard-copy DSP letter to Prof. Sarotte for her signature to receive disability adjustments) adjustments) Outline
Introduction: Review of Vietnam’s Introduction: Relevance to Iraq Relevance The Interaction between Foreign and The Domestic Politics under Johnson Domestic Nixon: Main question, what did the Nixon: president who inherited the war choose to do? Is it relevant to today? Reading
Background on Vietnam in Merrill (see Background especially Ho Chi Minh’s declaration of independence, Fred Logevall’s essay “Choosing War”) “Choosing Blackboard reading: Bob Brigham, “Is Iraq Blackboard Vietnam?” Also, Brigham essay in Merrill Vietnam?” Information on Nixon in Levine Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) 36th President 36th of the United States, 1963-9 States, Succeeded JFK Succeeded in 1963, won 1964 election for 1965-9 term for Differences between Vietnam and Iraq Wars In size and scope, Vietnam dwarfs Iraq Vietnam began as an insurgency and escalated to a Vietnam conventional war; Iraq is reverse conventional Strategies used by US in two wars are different Ground forces are different (draft vs. no draft) Insurgencies have little in common Geopolitical context is very different Similarities between Vietnam and Iraq No political corollary to overwhelming US No military victory military US popular support declines as the war goes on War threatens to spread to other countries War contradicts initial expectations Both threat-reactive rather than interest-defined Both based on under-estimate of force Both commitment commitment Both strongly shaped by personal preferences of Both president president Why did LBJ Americanize the war? Because he thought that… he had to react to a perceived threat it would help his party in elections the US military commitment would be short the and limited and allies would expect US to act it would improve both his personal and his it party’s credibility party’s Ho Chi Minh Martin Luther King, Jr.
won Nobel Peace Prize, 1964; assassinated 1968 Kent State University
Four student protestors killed, May 1970 President Richard Nixon (meeting Elvis Presley) Nixon with Henry Kissinger Keys to Nixon and Kissinger’s Foreign Policy
Three Principles 1. concreteness (i.e. trying to deal in 1. specifics) specifics) 2. restraint, and, 2. 3. most importantly, linkage (i.e. tying 3. together a variety of issues) together Their Strategy: Try to get local allies to take the burden Called "Vietnamization" Called US would try to strengthen the forces of the South US Vietnamese Vietnamese From a height of over half a million men in 1968, From Nixon reduced the number of troops to 139,000 by the end of 1971, and 25,000 by the end of his first term as president term Invaded Cambodia Failed to secure stability Vietnam under Nixon Nixon intensified bombing raids in South Nixon Vietnam, North Vietnam, and Laos and Cambodia as well. He dropped more bombs between 1969 and 1973 He than Johnson had done from 1965-9. than He mined Haiphong Harbor and carpet-bombed He Hanoi. An additional 20,553 American soldiers died An during the Nixon presidency. Congress passed War Powers Act, 1973 What were Nixon’s reasons?
Felt had to stay because deeply involved Felt already; credibility at risk already; Problem: situation kept getting worse and Problem: decreasing US credibility decreasing Costs of war… The entire area remained devastated and unstable The after the war, with Communist regimes taking power in Cambodia in Laos. The Cambodian leader, Pol Pot, emerged as a truly The horrific despot. In one of the most brutal genocides of the 20th century, his movement, the Khmer Rouge, murdered or starved nearly 1.5 million of Cambodia's 7.5 million people. …continued America had spent a decade at war (1965-1975), America longer than US involvement in either world war. The US Air Force dropped three times the tonnage The of bombs on Vietnam than it did on Germany in the whole of the Second World War. The costs of the war were staggering; $150 billion The at the time, with another $200 billion needed to pay for veterans' benefits. The resulting budget deficits produced rampant inflation in the 1970s. IR 100 The Problem of Vietnam: The US and Wars of Intervention Oct. 2931, 2007 Prof. Mary Elise Sarotte ...
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