The negotiations became deadlocked when Hanoi demanded new changes. The U.S. incursion into Cambodia sparked nationwide U.S. protests as Nixon had promised to deescalate the American involvement. The Vietnam War has been featured extensively in television, film, video games, music and literature in the participant countries. Format BW Photograph, 8.5" x 11" Source United Press International Series American Experience [40]:35, During the Battle of Dien Bien Phu (1954), U.S. carriers sailed to the Gulf of Tonkin and the U.S. conducted reconnaissance flights. At the Geneva Conference, the French negotiated a ceasefire agreement with the Viet Minh, and independence was granted to Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.[90][91]. [265][264] Other women were embedded with troops on the front-lines, serving as doctors and medical personnel. pp. [176], At one point in 1968, Westmoreland considered the use of nuclear weapons in Vietnam in a contingency plan codenamed Fracture Jaw, which was abandoned when it became known to the White House. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) was president of the United States between January 1953 to January 1961, a period of growing interest and involvement in Vietnam. [34]:450453[44] Extrapolating from a 1969 US intelligence report, Guenter Lewy estimated 65,000 North Vietnamese civilians died in the war. [97]:468. [338] Although a variety of birth defects have been observed, the most common deformity appears to be spina bifida. With the air exit closed, large numbers of civilians found that they had no way out. [128] The Kennedy administration sought to refocus U.S. efforts on pacification- which in this case was defined as countering the growing threat of insurgency-[129][130] and "winning over the hearts and minds" of the population. Learn why a country that had been barely known to most Americans came to define an era. In response, China invaded Vietnam in 1979. [85]:19 John F. Kennedy, then a U.S. senator, said in a speech to the American Friends of Vietnam: "Burma, Thailand, India, Japan, the Philippines and obviously Laos and Cambodia are among those whose security would be threatened if the Red Tide of Communism overflowed into Vietnam."[106]. The CIA contacted generals planning to remove Dim and told them that the United States would not oppose such a move nor punish the generals by cutting off aid. [358]:376377, On 25 May 2012, President Barack Obama issued a proclamation of the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. Thuc's anniversary celebrations occurred shortly before Vesak had been bankrolled by the government, and Vatican flags were displayed prominently. Meanwhile, the political situation in South Vietnam began to stabilise with the coming to power of prime minister Air Marshal Nguyn Cao K and figurehead chief of state, General Nguyn Vn Thiu, in mid-1965 at the head of a military junta. The South Vietnamese regime was incapable of winning the peasantry because of its class base among landlords. Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon oversaw the conflict, which ratcheted up in intensity as the years passed by. The war had begun to shift into the final, conventional warfare phase of Hanoi's three-stage protracted warfare model. Kennedy's expansion stemmed in part from Cold War -era fears about the " domino theory ": if communism took hold in Vietnam, it would topple democracies throughout the whole of Southeast Asia, it was thought. ng Thy Trm became renowned after her diary was published following her death. Ambassador Graham Martin's belief that Saigon could be held and that a political settlement could be reached. [208] Lon Nol began rounding up Vietnamese civilians in Cambodia into internment camps and massacring them, provoking harsh reactions from both the North Vietnamese and South Vietnamese governments. [258]:7 First Lieutenant Sharon Lane was the only female military nurse to be killed by enemy gunfire during the war, on 8 June 1969. Some advocates within the peace movement advocated a unilateral withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam. [337] Meta-analyses of the most current studies on the association between Agent Orange and birth defects have found a statistically significant correlation such that having a parent who was exposed to Agent Orange at any point in their life will increase one's likelihood of either possessing or acting as a genetic carrier of birth defects. [286], The AC-130 "Spectre" Gunship and the UH-1 "Huey" gunship were used frequently by the U.S. during the war. [282], After the Tet Offensive, many PAVN units incorporated light tanks such as the Type 62, Type 59 tank., BTR-60, Type 60 artillery, amphibious tanks (such as the PT-76) and integrated into new war doctrines as a mobile combined-arms force. A successful effort in Vietnamin Kennedy's words, "the cornerstone of the free world in Southeast Asia"would provide to both allies and adversaries evidence of U.S. determination to meet the challenge of communist expansion in the Third World. In South Vietnam, many women voluntarily served in the ARVN's Women's Armed Force Corps (WAFC) and various other Women's corps in the military. [325] Vietnam veterans suffered from PTSD in unprecedented numbers, as many as 15.2% of Vietnam veterans, because the U.S. military had routinely provided heavy psychoactive drugs, including amphetamines, to American servicemen, which left them unable to process adequately their traumas at the time. Living in a male-dominated environment created tensions between the sexes. By 1973, approximately 7,500 women had served in Vietnam in the Southeast Asian theater. Military information officers sought to manage media coverage by emphasizing stories that portrayed progress in the war. The Air Force ran many missions of this kind to secure additional funding during budget negotiations, so the tonnage expended does not directly correlate with the resulting damage. [144] The bombing campaign, which ultimately lasted three years, was intended to force North Vietnam to cease its support for the Viet Cong by threatening to destroy North Vietnamese air defenses and industrial infrastructure. France and the United States also discussed the use of three tactical nuclear weapons, although reports of how seriously this was considered and by whom are vague and contradictory. [311] Between 1975 and 1998, an estimated 1.2million refugees from Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries resettled in the United States, while Canada, Australia, and France resettled over 500,000. [40]:106107 In December 1960, North Vietnam formally created the Viet Cong with the intent of uniting all anti-GVN insurgents, including non-communists. China said that its military and economic aid to North Vietnam and the Viet Cong totaled $20billion (approx. [232] Over a dozen Soviet soldiers died in this conflict. It was implemented in early 1962 and involved some forced relocation and segregation of rural South Vietnamese into new communities where the peasantry would be isolated from the Viet Cong. [188]:272274 An unconventional victory was sidelined in favor of a strategy built on conventional victory through conquest. In the countryside even the best ARVN units seemed incapable . In the lead-up to the ceasefire on 28 January, both sides attempted to maximize the land and population under their control in a campaign known as the War of the flags. A group of American doctors inspecting the prison in the same year found many inmates suffering symptoms resulting from forced immobility and torture. [34]:270279, Notable Viet Cong atrocities include the massacre of over 3,000 unarmed civilians at Hu[255] during the Tet Offensive and the killing of 252 civilians during the k Sn massacre. Instead, civil government and military operations had virtually ceased. Which US president started the Vietnam War? More than 1.8m acres of farm land became available for purchase by landless people. This ended a series of coups that had happened more than once a year. Marine Corps general Victor H. Krulak heavily criticised Westmoreland's attrition strategy, calling it "wasteful of American lives with small likelihood of a successful outcome. [127], Following the coup, chaos ensued. American Huey helicopters insert South Vietnamese ARVN troops, 1970. [71]:14 Chinese weapons, expertise, and laborers transformed the Viet Minh from a guerrilla force into a regular army. Ten percent of the population of Ho Chi Minh City was suffering from serious venereal diseases when the war ended, and there were 4 million illiterates throughout the South. [252] South Korean forces are also accused of perpetrating other massacres, namely: Bnh Ha massacre, Binh Tai Massacre and H My massacre. 5, pp. VC/PAVN Attacks U.S. The city was defended by about 30,000 ARVN troops. [340], Vietnamese victims affected by Agent Orange attempted a class action lawsuit against Dow Chemical and other U.S. chemical manufacturers, but the District Court dismissed their case. "[140] An undated NSA publication declassified in 2005 revealed that there was no attack on 4 August. Ho Chi Minh, then known as Nguyen ai Quac, wrote to US Secretary of State Robert Lansing in 1919, asking for support in securing Vietnamese liberation from French colonial rule Ho Chi Minh had wished to continue the war in the south, but was restrained by his Chinese allies who convinced him that he could win control by electoral means. "Triumph Regained: The Vietnam War, 1965-1968." Women were enlisted in both the PAVN and the Viet Cong, many joining due to the promises of female equality and a greater social role within society. Unlike the American women who went to Vietnam, both South and North Vietnamese women were enlisted and served in combat zones. The change in regime was "quite peaceful, a sort of Asiatic 'velvet revolution'"although 30,000 former officials were sent to reeducation camps, often enduring harsh conditions for several years. [97]:341 There was also persistent instability in the military, however, as several coupsnot all successfuloccurred in a short period of time. In 1964, South Vietnam began conducting a series of attacks and missions along the North Vietnamese coasts, backed by the United States. Moyar, Mark. [103]:119 The United States countered with what became known as the "American Plan", with the support of South Vietnam and the United Kingdom. March 8, 1965 Forces was characterised by lowered morale, lack of motivation, and poor leadership. John F. Kennedy, while senator, opposed involvement in Vietnam. Unlike other wars, there was no declaration of the Vietnam War. [358]:373 According to Kuzmarov, Richard Nixon is primarily responsible for creating the drug myth. While Hanoi's support for the Viet Cong played a role, South Vietnamese governmental incompetence was at the core of the crisis. Before he left for the South, Dng was addressed by L Dun: "Never have we had military and political conditions so perfect or a strategic advantage as great as we have now. In November 1965, the U.S. engaged in its first major battle with the PAVN, the Battle of Ia Drang. Beginning in the summer of 1955, Dim launched the "Denounce the Communists" campaign, during which suspected communists and other anti-government elements were arrested, imprisoned, tortured, or executed. By 30 March 100,000 leaderless ARVN troops surrendered as the PAVN marched victoriously through Da Nang. [241] Such practice, which involved the assumption that any individual appearing in the designated zones was an enemy combatant that could be freely targeted by weapons, is regarded by journalist Lewis M. Simons as "a severe violation of the laws of war". [306] After several failed attempts to negotiate by both sides, Vietnam invaded Democratic Kampuchea in 1978 and ousted the Khmer Rouge, who were being supported by China, in the CambodianVietnamese War. The deputy military commander of the Viet Cong, was a female general, Nguyn Th nh. The Viet Cong was now tasked with destroying the ARVN and capturing and holding areas; however, the Viet Cong was not yet strong enough to assault major towns and cities. The program killed 26,369 to 41,000 people, with an unknown number being innocent civilians. [199] A total of 900 fragging and suspected fragging incidents were investigated, most occurring between 1969 and 1971. The People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN), also known as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), engaged in more conventional warfare with U.S. and South Vietnamese forces (ARVN). During the war, the South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem began a program to settle ethnic Vietnamese Kinh on Montagnard lands in the Central Highlands region. The PAVN/VC responded with a new strategy hammered out in a series of meetings in Hanoi in March 1973, according to the memoirs of Trn Vn Tr. The National Liberation Front had made great progress and was close to declaring provisional revolutionary governments in large areas.[126]. [161] The PAVN/Viet Cong had furthermore developed strategies capable of countering U.S. military doctrines and tactics (see NLF and PAVN battle tactics). [193]:362366, On 10 March 1975, General Dung launched Campaign 275, a limited offensive into the Central Highlands, supported by tanks and heavy artillery. 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[37] However, the figures do not include deaths of South Vietnamese and allied soldiers. The opponents were locked in a cycle of escalation. [40]:96[93] This followed an American psychological warfare campaign, designed by Edward Lansdale for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which exaggerated anti-Catholic sentiment among the Viet Minh and which falsely claimed the US was about to drop atomic bombs on Hanoi. The strike was designed to solve local logistical problems, gauge the reaction of South Vietnamese forces, and determine whether the U.S. would return. Group 559 was tasked with expanding the Ho Chi Minh trail, in light of the near constant bombardment by US warplanes. [358]:373, Kuzmarov in The Myth of the Addicted Army: Vietnam and the Modern War on Drugs challenges the popular and Hollywood narrative that US soldiers were heavy drug users,[359] in particular the notion that the My Lai massacre was caused by drug use. [40]:718720, On 30 April 1975, PAVN troops entered the city of Saigon and quickly overcame all resistance, capturing key buildings and installations. Once in power, the Khmer Rouge carried out the Cambodian genocide, while conflict between them and the unified Vietnam would eventually escalate into the CambodianVietnamese War, which toppled the Khmer Rouge government in 1979. The military revolutionary council, meeting in lieu of a strong South Vietnamese leader, was made up of 12 members. He instituted the death penalty against any activity deemed communist in August 1956. [24], In a referendum on the future of the State of Vietnam on 23 October 1955, Dim rigged the poll supervised by his brother Ng nh Nhu and was credited with 98.2 percent of the vote, including 133% in Saigon. This council was headed by General Dng Vn Minh, whom Stanley Karnow, a journalist on the ground, later recalled as "a model of lethargy". The south, meanwhile, constituted the State of Vietnam, with Bo i as Emperor and Ng nh Dim (appointed in July 1954) as his prime minister. [105], From April to June 1955, Dim eliminated any political opposition in the south by launching military operations against two religious groups: the Cao i and Ha Ho of Ba Ct. In the final weeks of his life, Kennedy wrestled with the need to decide the future of the United States' commitment in Vietnam. War crimes were committed by both sides during the conflict and included rape, massacres of civilians, bombings of civilian targets, terrorism, the widespread use of torture, and the murder of prisoners of war. The indigenous forces numbered in the tens of thousands and they conducted direct action missions, led by paramilitary officers, against the Communist Pathet Lao forces and their North Vietnamese supporters. His presidency was short but it spanned a critical period, both in Vietnam and the formulation of US policy. These included the Ho Chi Minh trail supply route, which ran through Laos and Cambodia. On 15 October 1969, the Vietnam Moratorium attracted millions of Americans. The United States Department of State wanted to encourage a coup, while the Defense Department favored Dim. The ethnic minority peoples of South Vietnam, like the Montagnards (Degar) in the Central Highlands, the Hindu and Muslim Cham, and the Buddhist Khmer Krom, were actively recruited in the war. U.S. troop withdrawals continued, but American airpower responded, beginning Operation Linebacker, and the offensive was halted. Who was the US president during the Vietnam War until 1963? [334] They were used to defoliate large parts of the countryside to prevent the Viet Cong from being able to hide weaponry and encampments under the foliage, and to deprive them of food. [224] Public opinion steadily turned against the war following 1967 and by 1970 only a third of Americans believed that the U.S. had not made a mistake by sending troops to fight in Vietnam.[225][226]. Though each president expressed doubts in private about. [320] It was stated that war-spending could have paid off every mortgage in the US at that time, with money leftover. The American Army's decline was readily apparent in this final stage. Negotiations stagnated for five months, until Johnson gave orders to halt the bombing of North Vietnam. He argued that with two months of good weather remaining until the onset of the monsoon, it would be irresponsible to not take advantage of the situation. With the US losing around 300 soldiers a week in Vietnam, and the enemy showing no signs of weakening, Nixon concluded that the war could not be won. [40]:479 During one battle, Peter Arnett reported an infantry commander saying of the Battle of Bn Tre (laid to rubble by U.S. attacks) that "it became necessary to destroy the village in order to save it. After two clashes that left 55 ARVN soldiers dead, President Thieu announced on 4 January 1974, that the war had restarted and that the Paris Peace Accords were no longer in effect. [356] Another Vietnamese film produced was The Abandoned Field: Free Fire Zone (Cnh ng hoang) in 1979 which weaves the narrative of living on the ground in a US "free-fire zone" as well as perspectives from US helicopters. [16], Support for the VC was driven by resentment of Diem's reversal of Viet Minh land reforms in the countryside. While the bulk of ARVN forces attempted to flee, isolated units fought desperately. [320], As of 2013, the U.S. government is paying Vietnam veterans and their families or survivors more than $22billion a year in war-related claims.[321][322]. At World War II's end, Viet Minh forces seized the northern. [332] And behind the scenes Secretary of Defense McNamara wrote in a memo to President Johnson his doubts about the war: "The picture of the world's greatest superpower killing or seriously injuring 1,000 noncombatants a week, while trying to pound a tiny backward nation into submission on an issue whose merits are hotly disputed, is not a pretty one. 32(1). [290], On 2 July 1976, North and South Vietnam were merged to form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Stanley Karnow noted that "the main PX [Post Exchange], located in the Saigon suburb of Cholon, was only slightly smaller than the New York Bloomingdale's"[97]:453, Washington encouraged its SEATO allies to contribute troops. This provoked a backlash from the Montagnards, some joining the Viet Cong as a result. The 1970 deposing of the Cambodian monarch, Norodom Sihanouk, resulted in a PAVN invasion of the country (at the request of the Khmer Rouge), and then a U.S.-ARVN counter-invasion, escalating the Cambodian Civil War. Two tanks from the 203rd Tank Brigade of the 2nd Corps crashed through the gates of the Independence Palace and the Viet Cong flag was raised above it at 11:30am local time. The above figures on missing and wounded were calculated using Hanoi's declared casualty ratios for the period of 1945 to 1979, during which time the Communists incurred 1.1 million killed, 300,000 missing, and 600,000 wounded. Opposition to the Vietnam War tended to unite groups opposed to U.S. anti-communism and imperialism,[227] and for those involved with the New Left, such as the Catholic Worker Movement. The election was won by Republican party candidate Richard Nixon who claimed to have a secret plan to end the war. Other Vietnam War films include Hamburger Hill (1987), Casualties of War (1989), Born on the Fourth of July (1989), The Siege of Firebase Gloria (1989), Forrest Gump (1994), We Were Soldiers (2002) and Rescue Dawn (2007).[24]. The Vietnam War (also known by other names) was a conflict in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955[A 2] to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. The United States also reduced support troops, and in March 1971 the 5th Special Forces Group, the first American unit deployed to South Vietnam, withdrew to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. [317], Between 1953 and 1975, the United States was estimated to have spent $168billion on the war (equivalent to $1.47 trillion in 2021). [75]:124 A second attack was reported two days later on USSTurner Joy and Maddox in the same area. President Lyndon B. Johnson Under the authority of President Lyndon B. Johnson, the United States first deployed troops to Vietnam in 1965 in response to the Gulf of Tonkin Incident of August 2 and 4, 1964. [85]:353 Westmoreland outlined a three-point plan to win the war: The plan was approved by Johnson and marked a profound departure from the previous administration's insistence that the government of South Vietnam was responsible for defeating the guerrillas. To address this problem, the ANC released advertisements portraying women in the ANC as "proper, professional and well protected." [158] The operation was the first large scale helicopter air assault by the U.S., and first to employ Boeing B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers in a tactical support role. [168][167]:495 In the following Battle of Hu American forces employed massive firepower that left 80 percent of the city in ruins. Diem brought the landlords back to the villages. It was the closest the Cold War came to escalating into a full-scale nuclear war, and the U.S. raised the readiness level of Strategic Air Command (SAC) forces to DEFCON 2. Although they were nominally a civilian government, Ky was supposed to maintain real power through a behind-the-scenes military body. [46], U.S. forces established numerous free-fire zones as a tactic to prevent Viet Cong fighters from sheltering in South Vietnamese villages. This phase would end when the enemy had been worn down, thrown on the defensive, and driven back from major populated areas. [258]:57 One civilian doctor, Eleanor Ardel Vietti, who was captured by Viet Cong on 30 May 1962, in Bun Ma Thut, remains the only American woman unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. "Stabbed in the Back! [234][40]:364371 From July 1965 to the end of 1974, fighting in Vietnam was observed by some 6,500 officers and generals, as well as more than 4,500 soldiers and sergeants of the Soviet Armed Forces, amounting to roughly 11,000 military personnel. [288] While many in the U.S. military believed that the Viet Cong and PAVN would not be able to exploit insecure communications, interrogation of captured communication intelligence units showed they could understand the jargon and codes used in real time and were often able to warn their side of impending U.S.
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