They grouped together, and they were able to be hard, guerilla fighters for communism. The South didn’t want to become a communist country, and the U.S. didn’t want them to either. We continued to help and support the South, but we didn’t directly fight with our troops until later. While John F. Kennedy was president in 1963, the leader of South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem, was assassinated with his wife and his brother by his own military because he wasn’t the greatest leader. Duong Van Minh was a general that took over when Diem was killed.
After Kennedy’s assassination Lyndon Johnson inherited the White House and took the approach that dictatorships should not be appeased. Johnson was reluctant to become involved in Vietnam due to his political interpretation and policy direction are known as “Containment” and his belief that there was a threat of world domination by Communism which had become a very common Cold-War view among American politicians during this time period. But he continued on to help provide economic and military aid and even authorizes covert actions to prove to enemies that America will take a tough stance in Vietnam. As president, he felt he had to take all necessary measures to protect the U.S. from any attack a and to prevent any further
1. What problems did the United States face in the Vietnam War? As the United States struggled against communism in Vietnam, it would face many problems. In the late 1950’s President Eisenhower and later President Kennedy sent military supplies and advisers to South Vietnam. Despite the American aid the Vietcong grew stronger with support from North Vietnam.
In a time of drastic change in America, adding such a controversial war to the mix of social issues seemed to many like an inappropriate decision. The Vietnam War, which lasted twenty years, from 1955 and 1975, was the battle for liberation of South Vietnam from North Vietnam. The communist North Vietnam, led by Ho Chi Minh, was backed by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and communist China in an attempt to overtake the South Vietnamese who were led by the Catholic minority, Ngo Dinh Diem. Before 1960, his corrupt and brutal ways were beginning to wear on his people. By 1963, the United States has decided that Diem must go and authorizes and assassination (Osman, 2 October).
involvement in the Vietnam War. The Tet Offensive was one of the largest military campaigns of the Vietnam War. According to the magazine, “on January 30, 1968, by forces of the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese against the forces of the South Vietnamese” (Richard). Besides this, on the other side, according from another magazine, “for all practical purposes, entirely in the hands of Saigon, which does not want to resolve them and is unable to do so, since it is unable to soberly assess the situation and the alignment of forces in South Vietnam” (Torelli). It was a campaign of surprise attacks against military and civilian commands and control centers throughout South Vietnam.
As a leader, those who follow should always be of top priority because, especially during battle, their life is in your hands. Because of that rivalry, MG Smith was not able to perform to his best ability and that is extremely unfortunate. The rivalry was so bad, President Harry S. Truman said that the military should represent “a more unified, cohesive, fighting force”. When the president gets involved speaking on the leadership of such powerful forces, it should be considered the last red flag. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case when the Security Act of 1947 that expanded the role of the Marines, which infuriated the Army even more than before.
With Ngo Dihn Diem gone, communist forces pushed further south into Vietnam, pulling the United States forces deeper into the war. For President Lyndon B Johnson, pulling out of the war was not an option: we were too deeply involved, but this had gone on for long enough, we needed to put an end to this. "Operation Rolling Thunder" (1965-1968) would be the final push against communism in Vietnam: overall, the plan was a series of violent air/ground strikes that would block off communist access to southern Vietnam, instill fear and desperation, and cause such immense infrastructural damage that northern Vietnam could no longer function as a state. "The purpose of Rolling Thunder was to send a message to north Vietnam" (Bia) but whether the message was that of producing peace talks or forcing the cut-off of communists to southern Vietnam was largely debated: we could have allowed the space to produce peace talks, but the result could have been of North Vietnam reciprocating the attacks in force, we could not risk the time in allowing the possibility of communist production of aerial warfare, our only choice was to act fiercely
Johnson made it his war on Augusta 1964 when a North Vietnamese patrol fired on an American vessel which caused Johnson to proclaim that the United States was a victim of aggression. This caused Congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, which authorized President Johnson to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attacks in Vietnam giving him powers to make
For Nixon, Vietnam was a two-front war, the battle was in Asia and America. Nixon, “saw himself engaged in a contest with the anti-war movement for the public mind in the United States and the private mind in Hanoi”. Clearly understanding that he would need public support, Nixon astutely identified the “silent majority” of American and gained their support for his policy of Vietnamization to end the Vietnam War. First, Nixon attempted an aggressive assault on North Vietnam with increased bombing raids. Soon it was realized the escalation and warfare would not be successful.
Three decades of American policy in Vietnam had failed. According to Michael Lind, he concludes in his book, Vietnam: The Necessary War, “the United States may have won tactically in the Tet Offensive, but the excessive costs of winning badly by means of an ill-conceived attrition strategy in South Vietnam made a U.S. withdrawal as a result of domestic pressure inevitable.” The threat of Tet helped define and limit America’s international behavior. Clearly, control over the historical recollection of Vietnam had become a foreign policy strategy as well, for, as George Orwell had cautioned, those who define the past can control the present and thus the future. The legacy of Vietnam is much more complex than the revisionists would have
By late 1967, U.S. forces had dealt serious blows to the communists, but the fighting continued unabated. President Lyndon Johnson launched a public relations campaign emphasizing that progress was being made in order to bolster public support. In the midst of this campaign, the communists launched the massive Tet Offensive on the Tet (New Year) holiday in 1968. Although American and South Vietnamese forces prevailed, the shock and scope of the attacks stunned the American public and convinced a demoralized Johnson not to run for reelection. Richard Nixon was elected in 1968 largely because he promised to end the war and achieve "peace with honor."
The Vietnam War started off with the backing of the American people. Due to the fear of the spread of communism, the American people believed that defending South Vietnamese from the communist north was necessary. However, this way of thinking did not last throughout the war. As the war dragged on, the American people began to realize how more and more soldiers were being killed and yet there was no end to the war in sight. This negativity towards the war was only further fueled by how the television was covered in the war.
Kill or be killed is the position our soldiers are unfortunately put into. It appears that there are few rules in war time and the lines get blurred. President Truman made a hard decision to drop the bomb. His decision was not only to target non-combatants. Absolute rules even about adultery can be augured.
History is all about inspiring speeches, gruesome wars, and unexpected events that decide the course of the future. The Cold War is not an example of a war, but a highly important event, considering there was no actual fighting. The Cold War started because the Soviet 's wanted to spread communism, but America was getting in their way to stop it. Three major factors also contributed to the conflict of war, the most obvious one being the U.S. wanted to stop communism, another being both the Soviet Union and the United States were afraid of each other, and finally competition, because everyone needs some good competition. These factors are both reasons why the war started, and "weapons" that were used.