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Explain why the United States withdrew its forces from Vietnam in 1973

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Explain why the United States withdrew its forces from Vietnam in 1973 Jeffrey Li, BM, Newcastle RGS, centre no. 39253 The aim of the Americans during the Vietnam War was to liberate the civilians from the so-called 'evils of Communism'. However, due to a variety of reasons, this turned out to be unachievable and the Americans were left with no choice but to withdraw. One of the reasons for the withdrawal of the American forces was due to the fact that they were completely unable to deal with the guerrilla tactics that the Vietcong deployed against them. These tactics involved forcing the Americans into a long and drawn-out war. The Vietnamese had the 'home advantage' and had all the numbers on their side, thus they could easily afford the loss of a few lives. They were also able to retreat into hideouts whenever losses became unbearable and they were able to decide where and when they would engage. This meant they always had the element of surprise on their side and this damaged the morale of the American soldiers. The US soldiers had no idea when the enemy would spring upon them and there was no telling when they would have their head taken off by a 'bouncing betty' (or any other type of booby trap for that matter). ...read more.


No matter how effective the strategy is in theory, if the team executing it is not functioning correctly as a team; the strategy will not work and will most likely end in failure. The failure of the American strategies and the success of the Vietcong's guerrilla tactics had also left its mark on the American soldiers. The Americans were psychologically shattered and dismantled by their enemies; this was particularly devastating since the majority of the American soldiers were just young men of ages around 18 who were not yet mature. The harsh conditions of the jungle along with the stress and pressure the soldiers were put under was more than many could take. This stress that the US soldiers were put under caused them to often act irrationally and lose focus on what their task was. For example, whenever a platoon was ambushed by an NLF cell; they would often take out their frustrations on the nearest Vietnamese civilian town (which would have many consequences that will be mentioned later). The effects of each event were leading to the effects of another and the situation would get worse and worse for the US. ...read more.


Yet - at the time, the African-American people were not even allowed to vote. Pacifists, churches and rivals of the president also put pressure on him to end this war. Following the events of 'The Tet Offensive' of 1968, it was highly evident that the Vietnamese had unlimited supplies of infantry and there was simply no way for the Americans to win the war. This was election year and the public decided that they would vote for someone who would end the war and end the suffering, President Nixon had narrowly won. He deployed a few last ditch attempts to pound the Vietcong into submission but eventually found that it was better to simply reach an agreement and withdraw. By 1973, all American troops had left Vietnam. In the end, it was the public opinion that caused the Americans to withdraw from Vietnam. They were the ones who had control of who was on the presidency seat and the president was the only one who could decide whether the American army would withdraw from Vietnam. Regardless of how badly the American army was doing in Vietnam, without permission of the president; no withdrawal would have occurred and the public were the ones who strongly influenced the president's decisions. Word Count: 1545 words Jeffrey Li/BM, Newcastle RGS, 39253 ...read more.

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