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Taken by surprise, U.S. and South Vietnamese forces nonetheless managed to strike back quickly, and the communists were unable to hold any of the targets for more than a day or two. The anti-war movement, which was particularly strong on college campuses, divided Americans bitterly. Beginning of American Involvement in Vietnam. There were a number of long-term and short-term reasons to explain why the USA became involved in Vietnam in the late 1950s. The USA were unable to defeat the Vietcong and were met with growing opposition to … In December 1960, Diem’s many opponents within South Vietnam—both communist and non-communist—formed the National Liberation Front (NLF) to organize resistance to the regime. The United States responded with a secret bombing campaign that Nixon drastically ramped up in 1969. Who Was Involved in the Vietnam War on the Side of South Vietnam. The Vietnam war was a conflict between North Vietnam (backed by the communist countries) and South Vietnam (backed by the capitalist forces). Tens of thousands of soldiers received dishonorable discharges for desertion, and about 500,000 American men from 1965-73 became “draft dodgers,” with many fleeing to Canada to evade conscription. Financial aid, along with a desire to curry favor with the United States, drew in additional countries as well. Canadian corporations sold war material to the Americans. In fact, French President Charles de Gaulle warned his U.S. counterpart, John F. Kennedy Jr., that Vietnam would be a “bottomless military and political swamp.” Though prescient, the advice ultimately went unheeded. Why Were Vietnam War Vets Treated Poorly When They Returned Home. South Korea  was the main U.S. and South Vietnamese partner, contributing more than 300,000 troops to the war. Not wanting to be seen as going it alone, the Johnson administration pressured other countries to join in the Vietnam War, much as George W. Bush would later form a “coalition of the willing” to fight in the Iraq War. Congress soon passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which gave Johnson broad war-making powers, and U.S. planes began regular bombing raids, codenamed Operation Rolling Thunder, the following year. This is the currently selected item. The United States and many other countries intervened, propping up both sides—but especially South Vietnam—with troops, weapons and ...read more, From air power to infantry to chemicals, the weapons used in the Vietnam War were more devastating than those of any previous conflict. The United States, France, China, the Soviet Union, Cambodia, Laos and other countries would over time become ...read more, Vietnam War protests began small among peace activists and leftist intellectuals on college campuses but gained national prominence in 1965, after the United States began bombing North Vietnam in earnest. In the United States, the effects of the Vietnam War would linger long after the last troops returned home in 1973. A Cold War-era billboard in Moscow showing bombs raining down on Uncle Sam reading, 'Aggressors out of Vietnam!' There is no question that few conflicts have been as violent, long lasting and complex as the Vietnam War. Logevall, Fredrik. Besides the troops from South Vietnam, the main participant in the battles (on the ground and in the air) – was the army of the United States.The US losses were at least 58 000 people. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Yet their support for South Vietnam never wavered, no matter who occupied the White House. In March 1965, Johnson made the decision—with solid support from the American public—to send U.S. combat forces into battle in Vietnam. How eight countries got bogged down in the Vietnam War's Cold War proxy battle. France had been a long-time occupier of Vietnam before 1954. At first, the U.S. operated behind the scenes, but after 1964, sent combat troops and became more deeply mired in the war. The United States became involved in the Vietnam War after the defeat of the French forces in 1954. America began sending aid to the French fighting … Vietnam, The Necessary War: A Reinterpretation of America’s Most Disastrous Military Conflict. Why was Laos involved in the Vietnam War? At another protest 10 days later, two students at Jackson State University in Mississippi were killed by police. “The French had controlled Vietnam for a couple of generations,” explains Ed Moise, a professor of history at Clemson University and author of Tonkin Gulf and the Escalation of the Vietnam War. Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. Warfare had demolished the country’s infrastructure and economy, and reconstruction proceeded slowly. The war had pierced the myth of American invincibility and had bitterly divided the nation. By 1957, the Viet Cong and other opponents of Diem’s repressive regime began fighting back with attacks on government officials and other targets, and by 1959 they had begun engaging the South Vietnamese army in firefights. The war was fought between the North Vietnamese and the South Vietnamese throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. A coup by some of his own generals succeeded in toppling and killing Diem and his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, in November 1963, three weeks before Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. What effect did American military intervention have on nearby Cambodia between 1969 … War between North and South Vietnam continued, however, until April 30, 1975, when DRV forces captured Saigon, renaming it Ho Chi Minh City (Ho himself died in 1969). Vietnam, a nation in Southeast Asia on the eastern edge of the Indochinese peninsula, had been under French colonial rule since the 19th century. READ MORE: Why Were Vietnam War Vets Treated Poorly When They Returned? © 2020 A&E Television Networks, LLC. At first the United States only aided France with military aid and advisors, but after the French suffered a major defeat at Dien Bien Phu in the north-western hills, the French pulled out and the United States took over the burden of the war. After World War II, France reoccupied Vietnam as part of its attempt to reclaim its prewar empire. Other Countries Involved: 1. Between July 1966 and December 1973, more than 503,000 U.S. military personnel deserted, and a robust anti-war movement among American forces spawned violent protests, killings and mass incarcerations of personnel stationed in Vietnam as well as within the United States. Nixon then sent troops across the border in 1970, taking advantage of a coup that ousted Sihanouk in favor of a pro-American general. Four years after President John F. Kennedy sent the first American troops into Vietnam, Martin Luther King issued his first public statement on the war. The North Vietnamese also came to dominate a communist insurgency against the royalist government of Prince Souvanna Phouma, relegating the local Laotian Communists to what Moise describes as “junior partners.”. The American people did not feel like their government was being held accountable. According to a survey by the Veterans Administration, some 500,000 of the 3 million troops who served in Vietnam suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, and rates of divorce, suicide, alcoholism and drug addiction were markedly higher among veterans. The Vietnam War (also known as Second Indochina War or American War in Vietnam) lasted from 1 November 1955–30 April 1975, (19 years, 5 months, 4 weeks and 1 day). After a while, “no one thinks they’re going to win,” says James McAllister, a political science professor at Williams College, “but they’re damn sure a loss is not going to take place under their watch.”, READ MORE: How the Vietnam War Ratcheted Up Under 5 US Presidents. By 1975, when North Vietnamese troops took Saigon and reunified the nation under communist rule, an estimated 1 million to 3 million Vietnamese had perished, many of them civilians. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. Yet the Vietnamese didn’t do all the fighting. Kissinger and North Vietnamese representatives drafted a peace agreement by early fall, but leaders in Saigon rejected it, and in December Nixon authorized a number of bombing raids against targets in Hanoi and Haiphong. South Vietnam : was backed by anti-communist countries and members of the South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) which included the United States, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, New Zealand, Thailand, Khmer Republic (later overthrown by Khmer Rouge), Kingdom of Laos and Republic of China (Taiwan). The CIA-sponsored "Secret Army" of Major Gen. Vang Pao at Long Cheng, where the U. S. and Laotian governments permitted newsmen a rare glimpse of the base in 1972. New Zealand's involvement in the Vietnam War was highly controversial, sparking widespread protest at home from anti-Vietnam War movements modelled on their American counterparts. The Vietnam War started in the 1950s, according to most historians, though the conflict in Southeast Asia had its roots in the French colonial period of the 1800s. War crimes such as the Incident on Hill 192 (dramatized in the equally harrowing Casualties of War), the My Lai Massacre, the Shelling of Highway 1, the Phoenix Program, and many more all involved the torture, rape, and mass murder of unarmed Vietnamese civilians. These five presidents were Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Privately, some Canadians contributed to the war effort. The South Korean government, under the administration of Park Chung-hee, took an active role in the Vietnam War.From September 1964 to March 1973, South Korea sent some 350,000 troops to South Vietnam.The South Korean Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force all participated as an ally of the United States. Important stories could be transmitted directly by satellite from Tokyo. The Canadian government did not officially participate in the war. Nov. 5, 1968: Nixon is elected president, promising to end the war in Vietnam. The United States got involved in the Vietnam conflict to keep communism from spreading throughout Southeast Asia. Introduction Map of Vietnam. Johnson’s new tack, laid out in a March 1968 speech, met with a positive response from Hanoi, and peace talks between the U.S. and North Vietnam opened in Paris that May. The Kingdom of Thailand, under the administration of military dictator Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn, took an active role in the Vietnam War and second Indochina war. The main countries involved in the Vietnam War were North and South Vietnam. The increasingly unpopular war had created deep rifts in American society. The official position of the United States government on their involvement in the Vietnam War was that they were there at the request of South Vietnam to repel communist forces that were growing during the Cold War(Reaction to the War In the United States). The Vietnam War had considerable effects on Canada, but Canada and Canadians also affected the war.. Yet, as Moise points out, they both learned one important lesson: “It’s dangerous to get in a fight when the other side cares about winning more than you do.”. The conflict was intensified by the ongoing Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. The French and American experiences in Vietnam differed in many respects. The Vietnam War was the longest lasting war in the United States history before the Afghanistan War. Nonetheless, “if there had been no Chinese or Soviet support, the North Vietnamese could not have won,” he says, pointing out that the U.S. military budget was roughly 30 times greater than the entire gross national product of North Vietnam. Newly communist China had supported Ho Chi Minh during the war with the French, and continued to do so during the war with the U.S. by providing weapons, expertise and manpower. It started after World War II and ended in 1975. There were a couple reasons why Pro-Saigon supporters lost the Vietnam war. Vietnam War - Vietnam War - The United States enters the war: Between the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and the U.S. presidential election in November 1964, the situation in Vietnam had changed for the worse. Laos was originally neutral in the conflict, but the North Vietnamese moved troops through the country and supported a communist insurgency. The treaty also called for nationwide elections for reunification to be held in 1956. Who Was Involved in the Vietnam War on the Side of South Vietnam. By the end of his second term as president, his approval rates plunged to an all-time low as the end of the Vietnam War was nowhere in sight after the Viet Cong’s Tet Offensive. During one, on May 4, 1970, at Kent State University in Ohio, National Guardsmen shot and killed four students. The Philippines, Taiwan and Spain likewise aided the U.S. war effort, whereas on the communist side North Korea and Cuba purportedly sent token support. Following its 1945 defeat in World War II, Japan withdrew its forces from Vietnam, leaving the French-educated Emperor Bao Dai in control. For other Americans, opposing the government was considered unpatriotic and treasonous. On January 31, 1968, some 70,000 DRV forces under General Vo Nguyen Giap launched the Tet Offensive (named for the lunar new year), a coordinated series of fierce attacks on more than 100 cities and towns in South Vietnam. It began in 1954, after the country of Vietnam was split into two parts, North Vietnam and South Vietnam. Invasion of Panama: United States vs. Panama: 1990–1991: Persian Gulf War: United States and Coalition Forces vs. Iraq: 1995–1996: Intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina South Vietnam was backed by anti-communist countries and members of the South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) which included the United States, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, New Zealand, Thailand, Khmer Republic (later overthrown by Khmer Rouge), Kingdom of Laos and Republic of China (Taiwan). Elections were planned to reunite the country within two years, but Diem, with U.S. approval, never submitted to a vote that he feared losing. Following France’s defeat in the First Indochina War, an international agreement divided Vietnam in two. During World War II, Japanese forces invaded Vietnam. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2001. The Vietnam War and active U.S. involvement in the war began in 1954, though ongoing conflict in the region had stretched back several decades. What he needed to do was to remove the remaining American soldiers in Vietnam. Both sides wanted the same thing: a unified Vietnam. Consider changes to political, social and cultural attitudes. (The two countries were undergoing a bitter split at the time.). The Vietnam conflict is often referred to as the “first television war.” Film from Vietnam was flown to Tokyo for quick developing and editing and then flown on to the United States. Saigon is the city located in South Vietnam that resides next to Ho Chi Ming City. For some young people, the war symbolized a form of unchecked authority they had come to resent. In fact, they believed that the United States was involved in a war in which they shouldn’t be involved at all. But perhaps their biggest role was preemptive: They made it clear that if U.S. ground troops invaded North Vietnam, then they would respond in kind. A team sent by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to report on conditions in South Vietnam advised a build-up of American military, economic and technical aid in order to help Diem confront the Viet Cong threat. On November 15, 1969, the largest anti-war demonstration in American history took place in Washington, D.C., as over 250,000 Americans gathered peacefully, calling for withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam. This blog will be looking at some of the Americans with the power to order one of the most devastating wars in recent history. With his approval ratings dropping in an election year, Johnson called a halt to bombing in much of North Vietnam (though bombings continued in the south) and promised to dedicate the rest of his term to seeking peace rather than reelection. In 1971, the Pentagon Papers were leaked, revealing confidential information about the war. By 1966, large areas of South Vietnam had been designated as “free-fire zones,” from which all innocent civilians were supposed to have evacuated and only enemy remained. Other Countries Involved: 1. The Vietnam War was ostensibly a civil war between the communist North and pro-Western South. As the original communist state, the Soviet Union aided North Vietnam, with increasing support in the late 1960s. “They were determined to go on holding it, both as a matter of national pride and because if they let one colony go loose, then the others might get ideas.”. THE WAR IN VIETNAM was one of the 20 th Century’s most intractable conflicts. Vietnam War, (1954–75), a protracted conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam and its allies in South Vietnam, known as the Viet Cong, against the government of South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. Though relatively little official data exists about female Vietnam War veterans, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation estimates that approximately 11,000 military women were ...read more, The Vietnam War (1955-1975) was fought between communist North Vietnam, backed by the Soviet Union and China, and South Vietnam, supported by the United States. To fight off both Japanese occupiers and the French colonial administration, political leader Ho Chi Minh—inspired by Chinese and Soviet communism—formed the Viet Minh, or the League for the Independence of Vietnam. Vietnam War: United States and South Vietnam vs. North Vietnam: 1961: Bay of Pigs Invasion: United States vs. Cuba: 1983: Grenada: United States intervention: 1989: U.S. Why Were Vietnam War Vets Treated Poorly When They Returned? Learn why a country that had been barely known to most Americans came to define an era. By entering the Vietnam War without a goal to win, Johnson set the stage for future public and troop disappointment when the U.S. found themselves in a stalemate with the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong. In 1962, the United States, both Vietnams, and several other nations agreed to respect the neutrality of and not interfere in the affairs of Laos, which borders Vietnam to the west. North Vietnam wanted to reunite the country under Communism , its political and economic system. (National Archives Identifier 66956688) In contrast, the pro-war supporters regarded anti-war … The North Vietnamese continued to insist on complete and unconditional U.S. withdrawal—plus the ouster of U.S.-backed General Nguyen Van Thieu—as conditions of peace, however, and as a result the peace talks stalled. This example of a critical essay explores the history of that violent and divisive event. Heavy bombing by B-52 aircraft or shelling made these zones uninhabitable, as refugees poured into camps in designated safe areas near Saigon and other cities. The main participating countries. The bombing was not limited to Vietnam; from 1964-1973, the United States covertly dropped two million tons of bombs on neighboring, neutral Laos during the CIA-led “Secret War” in Laos. The election … Vietnam is a country in south-east Asia. The global context is also important because Cold War tensions between the U.S., the Soviet Union, and China also shaped events related to the Vietnam War. More than 3 million people (including over 58,000 Americans) were killed in the Vietnam War, and more than half of the dead were Vietnamese civilians. Before long, however, Americans grew dissatisfied with America’s continued presence in Southeast Asia. The Vietnam War had its origins in the broader Indochina wars of the 1940s and ’50s, when nationalist groups such as Ho Chi Minh ’s Viet Minh, inspired by Chinese and Soviet communism, fought the colonial rule first of Japan and then of France. The Soviets wanted to “make life difficult for the United States,” McAllister says, “but they didn’t want to do it in a way that got them in a conflict with the United States.”, Soviet involvement in the war increased in the late 1960s, just as China’s influence was lessening. Causes of Vietnam War 1883-1945 - Cochin-China, southern Vietnam, and Annam and Tonkin, central and northern Vietnam, along with Cambodia and … The later years of the war saw increased physical and psychological deterioration among American soldiers—both volunteers and draftees—including drug use, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mutinies and attacks by soldiers against officers and noncommissioned officers. Ford was ready to end US involvement in the Vietnam War once and for all. Additionally, supported by aid from China and the Soviet Union, North Vietnam strengthened its air defenses. Nixon sought to deflate the anti-war movement by appealing to a “silent majority” of Americans who he believed supported the war effort. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union, China and North Korea, while South Vietnam was supported by the United States, South Korea, Thailand, Australia, New … “Their function is as a tripwire,” Moise says, “a warning to the Americans: ‘Don’t go too far… or you’ll be fighting us.’”. Vietnam, a nation in Southeast Asia on the eastern edge of the Indochinese peninsula, had been under French colonial rule since the 19th century. Choosing War: The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam. The main countries involved in Vietnam included North Vietnam, South Vietnam, United States of America, Peoples Republic of China, South Korea and USSR. Known as the Christmas Bombings, the raids drew international condemnation. Below is a list of nations that played a role in the Vietnam War, and details on what motivated them to get involved. With training and equipment from American military and the CIA, Diem’s security forces cracked down on Viet Minh sympathizers in the south, whom he derisively called Viet Cong (or Vietnamese Communist), arresting some 100,000 people, many of whom were brutally tortured and executed. The Vietnam War was an international conflict. While some citizens believed that maximum force was necessary to quickly squash the opposition, others believed that the conflict in Vietnam was a civil … In March of 1975, he ordered for there to be an airlift in Da Nang for 237,000 anti communist Vietnamese refugees, most were brought to the US. The Vietnam War (also known as Second Indochina War or American War in Vietnam) lasted from 1 November 1955–30 April 1975, (19 years, 5 months, 4 weeks and 1 day). The number of troops from South Korea was much greater than those from Australia … The nation spent more than $120 billion on the conflict in Vietnam from 1965-73; this massive spending led to widespread inflation, exacerbated by a worldwide oil crisis in 1973 and skyrocketing fuel prices. Yet the Vietnamese didn’t do all the fighting. By 1962, the U.S. military presence in South Vietnam had reached some 9,000 troops, compared with fewer than 800 during the 1950s. The majority of the war was caused by the actions of the most powerful politicians, on both sides of the fighting. It wanted no part of the new conflict. The young Navy pilot John McCain, son of a ...read more, Vietnamization was a strategy that aimed to reduce American involvement in the Vietnam War by transferring all military responsibilities to South Vietnam. In response to these North Vietnamese transgressions, the Americans covertly rained down billions of pounds of bombs on Laos. What effects did the Vietnam War have on American government and society between 1965 and 1975? From 1965 to 1969, the U.S. was involved in a limited war in Vietnam. In 1976, Vietnam was unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, though sporadic violence continued over the next 15 years, including conflicts with neighboring China and Cambodia. The French loss at the battle ended almost a century of French colonial rule in Indochina. Despite being in bad economic shape at the time, newly Communist China aided Ho during the war with the French, and did so again during the war with the Americans, providing weapons, expertise, and manpower. FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. By the end of June 1972, however, after a failed offensive into South Vietnam, Hanoi was finally willing to compromise. Instead, a communist insurgency broke out, pitting the so-called Viet Cong, who were sponsored by North Vietnam, against Diem’s forces. The United States and many other countries intervened, propping up both sides—but especially South Vietnam—with troops, weapons and supplies and turning what started as a small guerrilla uprising into a major Cold War-era conflict. The United States, France, China, the Soviet Union, Cambodia, Laos and other countries would over time become involved in the lengthy war, which finally … March 29, 2018 ; President Lyndon Johnson conferring with officials about the Vietnam War… The Vietnam War was an international conflict. As the original communist state, the Soviet Union aided North Vietnam, with increasing support in the late 1960s. Unlike during the Korean War, the United States yielded to this threat. America and South Korea were the biggest supporters of Saigon. Miller, Edward. Answering press questions after addressing a Howard University audience on 2 March 1965, King asserted that the war in Vietnam was “accomplishing nothing” and called for a negotiated settlement (Schuette, “King Preaches on Non-Violence”). By 1972, the idea that Vietnam posed a threat to Cold War America was so discredited, it sometimes sounded as if America’s only remaining war aim was to … It was fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. Vietnam eventually fell completely to communism. By November 1967, the number of American troops in Vietnam was approaching 500,000, and U.S. casualties had reached 15,058 killed and 109,527 wounded. Under a broad free market policy put in place in 1986, the economy began to improve, boosted by oil export revenues and an influx of foreign capital. Most Vietnamese, however, opposed colonial rule, and a rebellion broke out led by communist and pro-independence leader Ho Chi Minh. Eisenhower began the United States' involvement with the Vietnam War by creating the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization to help squelch communist uprisings in the area. WHAT COUNTRIES WERE INVOLVED IN THE VIETNAM WAR? By Mark Atwood Lawrence. Overall, though, they pumped only about 3,000 troops into the conflict, far fewer than the Chinese. That insurgency drew heavy U.S. bombing. From 1965 to 1969, the U.S. was involved in a limited war in Vietnam. In addition to this Vietnamization policy, Nixon continued public peace talks in Paris, adding higher-level secret talks conducted by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger beginning in the spring of 1968. © 2020 A&E Television Networks, LLC. The U.S. entered the Vietnam War in an attempt to prevent the spread of communism, but foreign policy, economic interests, national fears, and geopolitical strategies also played major roles. First of all, the United States could not expand the war. By the end of 1967, Hanoi’s communist leadership was growing impatient as well, and sought to strike a decisive blow aimed at forcing the better-supplied United States to give up hopes of success. Psychologically, the effects ran even deeper. The student movement and the antiwar movement. Every war is caused by the decisions of the people involved; and the war in Vietnam was no different from the rest. The subsequent treaty signed in July 1954 at a Geneva conference split Vietnam along the latitude known as the 17th Parallel (17 degrees north latitude), with Ho in control in the North and Bao in the South. There are two main reasons why Australia got involved in the Vietnam War. Kennedy wished to overthrow Prime Minister Ngo Sinh Diem, the leader of Vietnam, but was assassinated before he could do so. Poster entitled "Support Vietnam People," circa 1969, showing China's support of the Communist cause in Vietnam. 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