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Hot War during the Cold War

by: Brianna Pollard

Hot War during the Cold War HIST 2710-01

Marketplace > Southern Utah University > History > HIST 2710-01 > Hot War during the Cold War
Brianna Pollard
GPA 3.2

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About this Document

These notes cover the Vietnam war at least as far as what was covered in class on Monday, April 11 and Wednesday, April 13. This should be a pretty comprehensive review of the war as a whole and th...
United States History 1877-Present
Dr. Mark Miller
Class Notes
Vietnam American History
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Brianna Pollard on Wednesday April 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 2710-01 at Southern Utah University taught by Dr. Mark Miller in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see United States History 1877-Present in History at Southern Utah University.

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Date Created: 04/13/16
Hot War in the Cold War: Vietnam (1945-73) I. First Indochina War: France vs. Communists under Ho Chi Minh (1945-54) II. US Involvement: Geneva Accords; Divison North & South at 17 Parallel; Pres. Ngo Diem/issues with nation building III. Inherited War: Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon 1961-74 IV. Limited War: Containment; Domino Theory; Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (1964); Bombing and guerilla tactics (Viet Cong); Defense Sec. Robert McNamara Policies: Strategic Hamlets; Agent Orange; Tour of Duty; attrition (body counts) V. Public Oppostion: War Protestors, SDS, Black leaders, students, Columbia U. occupation 1968; Tet Offensive (1968) VI. Politics: LBJ and the Election of 1968; Richard Nixon; “Secret Plan” & “Peace with Honor”; Kissinger;US loss 1973 Vietnam War in Context: America’s longest war, a proxy war, only war we lost, impacted presidential politics, draft dodger? Vietnam: America’s Longest War -First Indochina War -France v. Ho Chi Min’s Viet Minh  France had as a colony and co-ran it with the local elites. They wanted it for the rubber. Most People were peasants. The Japanese came and took over and brutalized their people. Ho Chi Min has correspondence with FDR and FDR encourages this revolution against the Japanese. He looked to the Declaration of Indepence and America for inspiration. We like the drive for indepence but we hate communism soooTruman gave the French the go ahead to take back their colony. Ho Chi Min is pissed as hell and goes to war with the French. Guerillla War & Fr. Defeat Diem bin Phu 1954  Vietnamese people had been occupied for more than 1000 years and Ho Chi Min appealed to their desire to be free.  Guerilla War: they were really successful at attacking and then blending into the surroundings. France was only really strong in the cities.  Diem Bin Phu: they put all their eggs on the base. All the vietnames surrounded the base and the Vietnamese were able to surround and shoot down aircrafts. French leader commits suicide. 2 month long siege. France lost. Vietnam War: Geneva Accords; Partition on 17 parallel  In south, pro America government. North controlled by the communist. 1956 elections were not allowed to happen because of the fear that Ho Chi Min (a communist) would win. So, basically, democracy is only good when it is doing what they want. Containment Policy  Quarantine Communism; allow it to exist where it is but don’t allow it to spread.  Domino Theory: Once one country falls to communism it can knock over other countries. Pretty racist theory to believe that people weren’t capable of acting on their own accord . Inherited War: Vietnam-Era Presidents  Camelot Myths re: Kennedy and What ifs? - Had Kennedy not been assassinated, he would have prevented us from getting too bogged down in Vietnam. Probably would have still got involved  Eisenhower  LBJ- on tape expressing doubts about our ability to beat the Vietnamese in 1964. Vets incredibly angry about why they were sent there.  Presidents don’t want to be the first to lose a war.  When Eisenhower left office, he had 600 advisors on the ground.  When Kennedy dies, there’s 1600 Escalation & Gulf of Tonkin Resolution  Slowly but surely; the US commitment grows.  Undeclared war era starts here.  GoT Resoltion: Destroyers are fired upon so LBJ goes before Congress to get this present. Maddox most likely actually fired on, the second not. Congress gives LBJ a blank check to wage war which sets a dangerous precendent. US Bombing, LBJ, McNamara: Aerial Bombing  McNamara: great war strategist, brilliant statistician.  Two prong war strategy - Bombing of North: bomb them back to the stone age, more bombs were dropped in north Vietnam in any given year than all WWII bombs dropped put together - LBJ thinks Ho Chi Min has a price, but they don’t really have anything to lose. We obliterate their cities and factories. They build tunnels and get resupplied by the Chinese - US support on ground in the South American “ Nation Building”  Pres. Diem, ARVN vs. Vietcong & North vs. Ho Chi Minh & Viet Min -Vietcong: guerilla war makers in the south - Pres. Diem: first president, western culture, rich leader, catholic, French educated, very elite, only a really good communist hater and a really good embezzler and a nepotism person PR issues: known for suppressing political opposition with imprisonment and torture, so a dictator; Madame Ngo “Dragon Lady” wore excess makeup, was really mean and insensitive - ARVN: Army of the Republic of Vietnam, the average soldier was glad to take the paycheck and just avoid getting shot and won’t really fight. Problems in the South: Buddhist Emollition Kennedy authorized a coup and Diem died. Kennedy was horrified that he caused the death of this man, even though he was terrible. Limited War, Limited Objectives  We could have easily crushed them completely however we didn’t want to exterminate them.  We’re trying not to go into North Vietnam, and LBJ does not want it to be a priority.  The majority of Americans were supportive of the war throughout the sixties.  General Westmoreland “Light at the end of the tunnel” in 1966 verse the Peace Movement Working Class War & Divisions  Socio-economic factors in serving - 25% poor, 55% working class, 20% lower middle class  Avoiding Service - Education deferment, Conscientious objector, fake physicals, married with children 1968, Key Year: Anti-War Movement  SDS, Black Power, MLK: who’s dying in the war?  Occupation, Columbia U:  N. Vietnam Plan: Protestors/Democracy Strategies to Combat Guerillas (Viet Cong)  Who’s the enemy? Stategic Hamlets: concentration camps minus the gas chambers, keeping an eye on the villagers so they won’t be victimized by the VC or help them, didn’t understand the culture, they worshipped their ancestors to an extent and we bulldozed their villages and forced them out of their homes  Ho Chi Mihn using people as proganda and was banking on democracy to work  A lot of the actual fighting was done by the VC; no uniforms, supplied from north Vietnam, used child soldiers, Abuses Abroad: Agent Orange  Used to burn the leaves off trees so that the Americans could see in the jungle, but it also burned skin off of innocent people and was really damaging that way.  About one half of the jungles were destroyed 1968 Stats  Attrition rates: North Vietnam body count was ten times that of the US body count th  The 17 parallel border was still really strong.  ARVN was doing well. War of Attrition, Draft and Tour of Duty  Tour of Duty: one year fighting - Used to be a fight until the war over - Destroys comradery; after being out 6 months, soldiers were just worried about getting home alive.  There was generally pretty low morale. These men had been raised on the heroic stories of WWII and John Wayne movies. They were really disappointed with the kind of war that Vietnam was.  Modern travel put soldiers on the ground in less than a day which didn’t really give them time to bond with their unit.  The Vietnam war becomes notorious for its drug use, probably due to the fact that the Saigon government and the CIA were dealing. TV war/the turning point: Tet offensive Feb. 1968  Tet is the week of the Vietnamese New Year; the Viet Cong attacked in the midst of the celebrations.  Much of the attacks were televised and people back home were viewing them, absolutely shocked. They had been told that we were winning the war, and these attacks did not look like winning.  This was really a symbolic victory for Ho Chi Minh because the US people really started not to like the war at this point even though most of the Viet Cong were quickly contained after this incident. Unpopular at Home  War protests skyrocket in the early 70s LBJ 1968  “I will not seek/accept the party nomination”  He retires from public life which had been his work all his life. He had made great strides in civil rights during his time in office, but he was beaten down by the war that he didn’t even want to be in.  Dies just before the war ends, never seeing the end of it. Nixon’s election (1968) + the “Secret Plan”  Secretary of State Richard Kissinger “Peace with Honor” (basically maintain the status quo;keep the south and beef up its army)  US pulls out in 1973.  Costs? Lots of lives, unhappiness and discontentment, and the equivalent of billions of dollars.


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