The Path to War Vietnam 1954-1972 by fgYY1y


									   The Path to War
  Vietnam 1954-1972

Understanding America’s Longest War
            MR. Brown
                         Main Menu
The Domino Theory 1954-1965
                                 Perhaps the most remarkable
                                 fact about the Vietnam War is
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution 1965
                                 that it was not even about
                                 Vietnam. It was instead, a
The Tet Offensive 1968
                                 prolonged battle of the Cold
The War at Home 1968-1972        War, fought to block the
                                 expansion of communist
Vietnam by the Numbers           power in Asia. The war
                                 brought a turning point for
Verbatim                         Americans: It brought not
                                 only the first defeat for the
Web Resources                    U.S. military, but also a
                                 profound loss in faith in
References                       government and authority.
           The Domino Theory 1954-1965
The U.S. commitment to defending
democracy in South Vietnam was
sealed in 1954, when Secretary of State
John foster Dulles went to Geneva for a
nine-delegation conference on
Indochina. This conference set the
terms for ending the war between
France and the Viet Minh, the North
Vietnamese communist forces that had
declared independence from France in
1945. Vietnam was split into two
countries, with a demilitarized zone
dividing North from South. The U.S.
supported the new government of South
Vietnam, pumping more than $1 billion
in military and economic aid to South
Vietnam between 1955-1961.Dulles,
Eisenhower and Johnson all used the
“domino theory” as rationale for the U.S.
presence, and later military intervention.
Under this theory, if South Vietnam fell
to the communists, then other countries
in Southeast Asia, including Thailand,
Cambodia and the Philippines would
topple to communism.
   The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution 1965
By early 1964, the U.S. had
                                       The U.S. Presence in Vietnam
16,300 military advisors in          Date    U.S. Force Level   U.S. Killed
Vietnam: their task was to train      Dec-61            3,205             25
and support the South                 Dec-63          16,300             195
                                      Dec-67         184,300          2,264
Vietnamese army. On August 2,         Dec-67         485,600         19,560
1964, the U.S. destroyer Maddox,      Dec-69         475,200         47,768
patrolling international waters in    Dec-71         156,800         56,206
                                      Dec-73               50        57,015
the gulf of Tonkin, reportedly an     Dec-75                0        57,354
attack by North Vietnamese
forces. In response L.B.J asked
Congress to pass a resolution
allowing him “to take necessary
measures to repel an armed
attack against the forces of the
United States and to prevent
further aggression.” This
resolution, approved
overwhelmingly by both the House
and Senate, was seen as the start
of full-scale U.S. involvement in
the war.
              The Tet Offensive 1968
                 A Turning Point
                                           LBJ and Vietnam: Public Opinion
In January 1968, following        Q: Do you approve or disaprove of the way the
nearly three years of bombing     Johnson Administration is handling the situation in
by the U.S, the North                 Date         Approve      Disapprove     No Opinion
Vietnamese and Viet Cong               Sep-65       58%            22%           20%
                                       Feb-66       50%            33%           17%
launched a major surprise              Sep-66       43%            40%           17%
                                        Jul-67      33%            52%           15%
attack on more than 30 South           Feb-68       35%            50%           15%
Vietnamese cities during Tet,
the lunar New Year.
Watching at home,
Americans saw the televised
attack on the U.S. embassy
in Saigon, the massacre by
Viet Cong soldiers of civilians
in the city of Hue and other
atrocities. This attacked
helped turn the tide of
popular sentiment against the
war as Americans realized
           The War at Home 1968
Few issues in recent history
have polarized the American
people as deeply as the
Vietnam War. While student
protesters were the perceived
leaders of the anti-war
movement, opposition
eventually spread to almost all
segments of the population.
Opponents of the war charged
that in the crusade against
communism, the U.S. was
attempting to impose an             MR. Brown 1968
American solution on a foreign
people; that Vietnam was of         Student protestor or Warrior?
little strategic importance, and
that the conflict had turned into
“an endless war”; and that the
drat system was set up so that
poor men did the fighting while
the privileged got deferments.
By 1968, Democratic
              Vietnam by the Numbers
• 19 Average age of U.S. combat soldier in
  Vietnam, 1968
• 26,800,000 Total number of U.S. men
  eligible for the draft
• 15,410,00 Number deferred, exempted
  or disqualified
• 8,720,000 Enlisted voluntarily
• 2,215,000 Drafted during Vietnam era
• 171,000 Conscientious Objectors who
  refused to serve based on moral grounds
• 58,193 American military personal killed
• 1,100,000 North Vietnamese military
  personnel killed
• $24 billion American aid to South
  Vietnam between 1954-1975
• $165 billion Direct American expenditures
  for the Vietnam War
“Kill ten of our men and we will kill
one of yours. In the end, it is who will
    Ho Chi Minh 1946

“I could conceive of no greater
than for the U.S. to fight in an all
out war in Indochina”
    President Eisenhower 1954                        QuickTime™ a nd a
                                                    GIF decompressor
                                              are need ed to see this picture.
“We do commit the U.S to prevent
fall of South Vietnam to
     Secretary of Defense
     McNamara 1961

“We are not about to send American
boys 10,000 miles away to do what
Asian boys ought to be doing for
   President Lyndon B. Johnson

“Hell no, we won’t go!”
                       Web Resources
The Vietnam War

The Domino Theory Principle, Dwight D. Eisenhower Interview 1954

Media and the Vietnam War: Interview with Brian Williams

Documents Relating to American Foreign Policy: Vietnam

The Wars for Vietnam 1945-1975

Famous American Trials: The My Lai Courts Martial
Special Thanks to
Time Inc. and HBOFILMS
The Vietnam War-Tim Page, UPI,
  Bettman Archives and Corbis.

National History Standards
Era 9 Postwar United States (1945 to early 1970s)

Standard 2C Demonstrate understanding of the
    foreign and domestic consequences of U.S.
    involvement in Vietnam.

California State Content Standards
11.9 United States foreign policy since World War II

11.9.3 Trace the origins and geopolitical
    consequences(foreign and domestic )of the Cold
    War and containment policy with regards to the
    Vietnam War.

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