Vietnamization - 1 1T1 HH340 Prof Greenwald The Success and...

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1T1 HH340 Prof Greenwald The Success and Failure of Vietnamization Vietnamization had one primary purpose: to allow the United States to withdraw its combat troops from South Vietnam and transfer the responsibility for conducting the war to the South Vietnamese. “The last phase of the war was of remarkably short duration. Dependent on the United States from its birth, the Saigon government had great difficulty functioning on its own.”(1) The Nixon Administration felt that with continued U.S. aid, the South Vietnamese could be equipped and trained to defend themselves. In addition to teaching the South Vietnamese how to conduct the war in the field, Vietnamization also included U.S. assistance in developing and expanding South Vietnam's military schools and institutions of advanced military learning. Astonishingly, the curriculums for junior officers at the Military Academies in South Vietnam were expanded to four years. Despite this gross mismanagement of South Vietnam's most capable young military leaders, the U.S. leadership was unaware of the serious consequences of their efforts to design and train the South Vietnamese armed forces in its own image. The excessively long military career training forced the South Vietnamese armed forces to fight without its most capable leaders just at the time when it needed them most on the battlefield. Throughout the entire Vietnamization period, the United States felt the program was working well. In fact, U.S. military and political leaders alike used the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces (RVNAF) defeat of the North Vietnamese army 1
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1T1 HH340 Prof Greenwald during the 1972 Easter offensive as positive proof that the Vietnamization program was a tremendous success. In the early stages of the North Vietnamese Easter offensive launched at the end of March 1972(1), President Nixon viewed the invasion as a sign of weakness on the part of the North Vietnamese; he clearly believed that Vietnamization was working. Despite his outward optimism, President Nixon still expressed personal doubts about South Vietnamese durability and their willingness to fight. With the massive support of U.S.
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Vietnamization - 1 1T1 HH340 Prof Greenwald The Success and...

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