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The Vietnam War

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The Vietnam War America s Longest War – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Vietnam War


1
The Vietnam War
  • Americas Longest War

2
Beginnings
  • Following WWII, President Truman began to help
    the French
  • They wanted to regain their colony
  • Called it French Indochina

3
Opposition
  • Communists
  • Led by Ho Chi Minh
  • Resistance groups called Viet Minh

4
Final Battle
  • 1954
  • Dien Bien Phu
  • Country divided at 17 N
  • Communists controlled the north
  • Democracy in the south

5
Vietnam
6
Leaders
  • Communist North
  • Ho Chi Minh
  • Democratic South
  • Ngo Dinh Diem

7
Elections
  • The agreement said free elections were to take
    place within two years to reunite the country
  • Never happened
  • South Vietnam and the US refused to allow it

8
War again
  • Civil war begins again when no elections are held
  • Opposition now called the Vietcong
  • North Vietnamese Army (NVA) also supported by
    Soviets

9
Continued US involvement
  • President Eisenhower 1953-1960
  • Rejected sending troops and use of nuclear
    weapons
  • President Kennedy 1961-1963
  • More advisors
  • 3200 in 1962
  • 16,300 in 1963

10
Kennedy, continued
  • Trained S. Vietnamese troops
  • Increased equipment supplies
  • Covert military operations

11
President Johnson 1963-1968
  • Said he did not want Vietnam to be his failure
  • Didnt want to lose it to communism like Truman
    had lost China Korea

12
Turning Point
  • Gulf of Tonkin incident
  • August, 1964
  • US ships attacked off Vietnamese coast
  • President Johnson warned of grave consequences
    for further aggression
  • Two days later, alleged second attack
  • Possible radar malfunction

13
The Resolution
  • President Johnson announced retaliatory measures
  • Asked Congress for authority
  • He was given permission to use any means
    necessary

14
  • The escalation began
  • War never officially declared
  • Helped Johnson win the 1964 Presidential election

15
Early Tactics
  • Continued training of S. Vietnamese to do the
    fighting
  • Continued covert missions
  • Limited bombing attacks
  • All had little effect

16
First Troops
  • Arrived in March, 1965
  • Draft instated
  • Quickly followed by seven more battalions
  • 1st enlisted women arrived in 1967

17
Conflicting Advice
  • Undersecretary of State George Ball warned that
    no amount of US troops could defeat the Viet Cong
  • Majority of presidential advisors supported major
    attack on N. Vietnam

18
Tactics Change
  • Using deaths at Pleiku as excuse, President
    Johnson orders immediate reprisal

19
Operation Rolling Thunder
  • Campaign of gradually intensifying attacks
  • Bombing runs on Hanoi and other northern targets
  • Hoped to make the deployment of ground forces
    unnecessary

20
Troop Increases
  • Johnson said only two battalions were being
    assigned to protect air bases
  • Six weeks later 50,000 US troops were in Vietnam

21
  • November 1965165,000 US troops
  • Mid-1966431,000 US troops

22
Strategy
  • War of attrition
  • Continued bombing would eventually exhaust North
    Vietnams resources
  • Military commanderGen. William Westmoreland

23
In the South
  • Plan was to inflict both moral and military
    defeat on the Vietcong

24
Terrain
  • Tall grass
  • Jungle
  • Swamps
  • Mountains
  • Etc.

25
  • US supported a series of repressive leaders in S.
    Vietnam
  • Only requirement was that they be anti-communist
  • Lacked support from the Vietnamese people

26
Results
  • Destroyed society and culture
  • Devastated agriculture, economy, and the
    environment
  • Gave political power to the communists

27
Chemical Warfare
  • Deforestationtrying to destroy the jungle so
    that the Vietcong would have no place to hide

28
Chemicals used
  • Agent Orangecode name for a herbicide effective
    against broad leafed foliage common in Vietnam
  • Napalmincendiary jellied gasolinesticks to
    everything it touches

29
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30
Growing Dissent
  • Opposed Johnsons military policies
  • Felt he was deceiving the American people
  • Protested the draft
  • Etc.

31
1968
  • Johnson announced he would not run for
    re-election
  • Robert Kennedy was the leading Democratic
    contender until his assassination in Los Angeles

32
Reporting
  • Vietnam became the living room war
  • Growing critical commentary on the war
  • Showed the nightmarish effects on the national
    news

33
Congressional Criticism
  • Most vocal critic was J. William Fulbright who
    had personally helped pass the Gulf of Tonkin
    resolution, but had decided that Vietnam was
    unwinnable

34
Costs
  • 21 billion per year
  • Over 47,000 US battle deaths
  • Over 153,000 US wounded
  • Etc.

35
  • Vietnam was the longest and most costly of any US
    war to date
  • It was the only war weve lost to date
  • Many Americans question whether it was worth it

36
THE END
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