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The Cold War in the 1970s


The Cold War in the 1970s – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Cold War in the 1970s

The Cold War in the 1970s
  • Nixon, while unpopular, used his intelligence and
    shrewdness to deal with US foreign policy
  • VIETNAMIZATION Nixons plan to withdraw US
    troops over an extended period, turn the fighting
    over to the South Vietnamese
  • Nixon Doctrine US would honor its existing
    defense commitments, but in the future, US would
    not commit ground troops to other countries wars.

Continued Dissension Over Vietnam
  • Nixon tried to appeal to silent majority who he
    believed supported the war
  • Anti-war protestors (doves) still demanded an
    immediate withdrawal of US troops

The Controversy of Vietnam
  • Longest war in American history
  • By 1970, 40,000 killed and 250,000 wounded
  • 3rd most costly foreign war in our history
  • Very unpopular!
  • Biased draft targeted poor and minorities
  • Fighting VC nearly impossible
  • Drug abuse, mutiny and sabotage in army
  • Fragging
  • 1968 My Lai massacre shamed American soldiers

Nixons Secret Bombing of Cambodia
  • 1970 Nixon wanted to end war faster by bombing
    North Vietnamese supply routes and bases in
    bordering Cambodia
  • Began bombing raids in secret, without consulting

The Kent State Massacre
  • Ohio Students at Kent State protested Nixons
    bombing raids of Cambodia
  • National Guard members fired on the crowd,
    killing four and wounding many more.
  • Nixon withdrew troops from Cambodia after 2
  • Deepened bitterness of many towards war and Nixon
  • Government tried to appease people
  • Decreased draft
  • Passed 26th Amendment lowering voting age to 18.

The Pentagon Papers
  • June 1971 Daniel Ellsberg, former Pentagon
    official, released Pentagon Papers to the NY
  • Papers printed top secret information documenting
    the mistakes of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson in
    regards to Vietnam
  • Showed Gulf of Tonkin incident may have been
    provoked by US
  • People furious

Nixon Begins Détente
  • Nixon did want to cool down tensions with China
    and USSR
  • Worked with national security advisor, Henry
  • February 1972 Nixon visited China, talked of
    normalizing relationship with China
  • May 1972 Nixon visited USSR, signed agreement
    for US to start selling food products to USSR

Détente ctnd.
  • US and USSR began anti-ballistic missile (ABM)
    treaties and arms-reduction negotiations SALT
    (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks)
  • Started to slow nuclear arms race
  • However, both countries continued to develop
    weapons potential
  • Over 16,000 nuclear warheads deployed by each
    side by end of 1980s
  • Nixon continued to try to quell Communism
  • CIA involved in assassination of democratically
    elected Salvador Allende in Chile, supported
    dictator Augosto Pinochet after

Election of 1972
  • Vietnam the key issue
  • North Vietnamese had launched new attacks on
    South, Nixon had stepped up bombings
  • Nixon ran against Democrat McGovern
  • McGovern promised to withdraw all American troops
    in 90 days, Nixon said he had already quieted war
    down and a peace would be signed in two days
  • Nixon won in a landslide
  • January 1973 North Vietnam agreed to a
  • Really meant American troops would withdraw, but
    North Vietnam got to keep 145,000 troops in South.

The War Powers Act
  • Revealed that Nixons bombing raids of Cambodia
    started well before 1970 and continued after
    cease-fire with North Vietnam in 1973
  • Nixon trying to stop Cambodia from becoming
    Communist, but did all of this without permission
  • Destabilized Cambodia led to rise of Pol Pot
    responsible for death of 2 million
  • Cambodia became Communist anyway in 1978
  • Congress responded with 1973 War Powers Act
  • Limited power of president to make war
  • President must report to Congress within 48 hours
    of sending troops, would have to get
    authorization of Congress
  • Part of New Isolationism Mood of caution and
    restraint after Vietnam

The Arab Oil Embargo and the Energy Crisis
  • Arab world upset at US support for Israel in
    conflict with Syria and Egypt in 1973
  • October 1973 OPEC began an embargo of oil to the
    US or any country supporting Israel
  • Began energy crisis in US
  • Showed our dependence on Middle Eastern Oil
  • Even after embargo, OPEC quadrupled prices
  • End of cheap, available energy
  • Beginning of US wanting to protect oil supplies
    in Middle East (Iraq)

Defeat in Vietnam
  • 1975 North Vietnam invaded South again
  • New President Ford wanted US to help South,
    Congress refused
  • Remaining Americans had to be evacuated from
  • In end, Vietnam fell to Communism
  • US had spent 118 billion, 56,000 dead and
    300,000 wounded
  • Many Vietnamese refugees fled to US
  • US power and pride wounded