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An overview of the vietnam war as a war of attrition by the united states

Visit Website Seeking to regain control of the region, France backed Emperor Bao and set up the state of Vietnam in July 1949, with the city of Saigon as its capital. Both sides wanted the same thing: But while Ho and his supporters wanted a nation modeled after other communist countries, Bao and many others wanted a Vietnam with close economic and cultural ties to the West.

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. When Did the Vietnam War Start? The Vietnam War and active U. The French loss at the battle ended almost a century of French colonial rule in Indochina. The subsequent treaty signed in July 1954 at a Geneva conference split Vietnam along the latitude known as the 17th Parallel 17 degrees north latitudewith Ho in control in the North and Bao in the South.

The treaty also called for nationwide elections for reunification to be held in 1956. Eisenhower had pledged his firm support to Diem and South Vietnam. Though the NLF claimed to be autonomous and that most of its members were not communists, many in Washington assumed it was a puppet of Hanoi.

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. By 1962, the U. Gulf of Tonkin 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.

Congress soon passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolutionwhich gave Johnson broad war-making powers, and U. In March 1965, Johnson made the decision—with solid support from the American public—to send U. By June, an overview of the vietnam war as a war of attrition by the united states combat troops were stationed in Vietnam, and military leaders were calling for 175,000 more by the end of 1965 to shore up the struggling South Vietnamese army.

Despite the concerns of some of his advisers about this escalation, and about the entire war effort amid a growing anti-war movement, Johnson authorized the immediate dispatch of 100,000 troops at the end of July 1965 and another 100,000 in 1966. Westmoreland pursued a policy of attrition, aiming to kill as many enemy troops as possible rather than trying to secure territory.

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. Even as the enemy body count at times exaggerated by U. Additionally, supported by aid from China and the Soviet Union, North Vietnam strengthened its air defenses.

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 PTSDmutinies and attacks by soldiers against officers and noncommissioned officers.

  1. Should the United States have fought the war at all?
  2. Flying out of bases in Thailand, U.
  3. Thus, Westmoreland chose a strategy of attrition in the South. When Did the Vietnam War Start?

Between July 1966 and December 1973, more than 503,000 U. Bombarded by horrific images of the war on their televisions, Americans on the home front turned against the war as well: In October 1967, some 35,000 demonstrators staged a massive Vietnam War protest outside the Pentagon.

Opponents of the war argued that civilians, not enemy combatants, were the primary victims and that the United States was supporting a corrupt dictatorship in Saigon. On January 31, 1968, some 70,000 DRV forces under General Vo Nguyen Giap launched the Tet Offensive named for the lunar new yeara coordinated series of fierce attacks on more than 100 cities and towns in South Vietnam.

Taken by surprise, U.

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Reports of the Tet Offensive stunned the U. 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.

Despite the later inclusion of the South Vietnamese and the NLF, the dialogue soon reached an impasse, and after a bitter 1968 election season marred by violence, Republican Richard M. Nixon won the presidency. In an attempt to limit the volume of American casualties, he announced a program called Vietnamization: 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.

The North Vietnamese continued to insist on complete and unconditional U. My Lai Massacre The next few years would bring even more carnage, including the horrifying revelation that U. After the My Lai Masscreanti-war protests continued to build as the conflict wore on. In 1968 and 1969, there were hundreds of protest marches and gatherings throughout the country.

On November 15, 1969, the largest anti-war demonstration in American history took place in Washington, D. The anti-war movement, which was particularly strong on college campuses, divided Americans bitterly. For some young people, the war symbolized a form of unchecked authority they had come to resent. For other Americans, opposing the government was considered unpatriotic and treasonous.

As the first U. Nixon ended draft calls in 1972, and instituted an all-volunteer army the following year. Kent State Shooting In 1970, a joint U. The invasion of these countries, in violation of international law, sparked a new wave of protests on college campuses across America. At another protest 10 days later, two students at Jackson State University in Mississippi were killed by police.

By the end of June 1972, however, after a failed offensive into South Vietnam, Hanoi was finally willing to compromise. 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.

Known as the Christmas Bombings, the raids drew international condemnation.

When Did the Vietnam War End? In January 1973, the United States and North Vietnam concluded a final peace agreement, ending open hostilities between the two nations.

Vietnam War

After years of warfare, an estimated 2 million Vietnamese were killed, while 3 million were wounded and another 12 million became refugees. 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. 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.

Trade and diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the U. In the United States, the effects of the Vietnam War would linger long after the last troops returned home in 1973.

  • Bombarded by horrific images of the war on their televisions, Americans on the home front turned against the war as well;
  • Westmoreland pursued a policy of attrition, aiming to kill as many enemy troops as possible rather than trying to secure territory;
  • On November 15, 1969, the largest anti-war demonstration in American history took place in Washington, D;
  • Flying out of bases in Thailand, U;
  • Westmoreland pursued a policy of attrition, aiming to kill as many enemy troops as possible rather than trying to secure territory;
  • Westmoreland pursued a policy of attrition, aiming to kill as many enemy troops as possible rather than trying to secure territory.

Psychologically, the effects ran even deeper. The war had pierced the myth of American invincibility and had bitterly divided the nation.

Many returning veterans faced negative reactions from both opponents of the war who viewed them as having killed innocent civilians and its supporters who saw them as having lost the waralong with physical damage including the effects of exposure to the toxic herbicide Agent Orangemillions of gallons of which had been dumped by U. On it were inscribed the names of 57,939 American men and women killed or missing in the war; later additions brought that total to 58,200.

  1. The United States failure in Vietnam raised important questions.
  2. Simple survival of their twelve-month tour of duty became the only motivation for many soldiers.
  3. Corruption, factionalism, and continued Buddhist protests plagued the Thieu-Ky government.

The Fall of Saigon 10.