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

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Introduction

Vietnam Coursework By Jonny Elworthy 4B Explain why the United States withdrew its forces from Vietnam in 1973. The real reason why the Americans withdrew from Vietnam in 1973 was because they were loosing and were failing to make any progress whatsoever as by this time the troops morale was so low that there was no point in still fighting against a still small but determined North Vietnamese army. Basically Vietnam had once been a French colony before the Second World War and during it the Japanese occupied Vietnam. But there was a strong anti-Japanese movement (the Viet Minh) who were lead by a communist by the name of Ho Cho Minh. The Vietnamese people were inspired by this man to fight for an independent and free Vietnam. After the second world was had finished the Viet Minh controlled to north of the country and were planning to take over the rest of Vietnam. But the French were not so keen on the idea and they had other ideas. In 1945 the wanted to rule Vietnam again but the Vietnamese people were not going to just give control of their country over to the French after just winning it back from the Japanese. Of course both sides wanted control and in 1946 war broke out between the French and the Viet Minh. ...read more.

Middle

If the North did not co-operate then the Americans would start up the bombing again. Also the American air bases were being heavily bombed from the North fighters and so they had to be guarded by large numbers of troops so were they there to attack or defend? But one thing the Americans could not defeat was the determination of the Viet Cong. The Viet Cong were expert guerrilla fighters and the Americans had no real answer to this type of this warfare. It was the kind of war that they could not win. The Viet Cong copied the guerrilla tactics which had been perfected my Mas Tse-Tung's Red Army. In guerrilla war the guerrillas try to wear down the enemy. Mas Tse-Tung had summarised the tactics of guerrilla warfare like this: * The enemy attacks, we retreat. * The enemy tires, we attack. * The enemy camps, we raid. * The enemy retreats, we pursue. It was almost impossible to win a battle against a guerrilla army because you could never find out where it was. It attacked you and then disappeared back into the jungle. They would also hide in villages and towns as they had the support of the peasants there who would hide them. One Viet Cong leader said: "The people are the water. ...read more.

Conclusion

Nixon extended the bombing campaign to Laos and Cambodia to smash communist supply centres and troops. Nixon gradually began the process of Vietnamisation as he gradually withdrew US forces and increased support for South Vietnamese army. This way of trying to end the war caused outrage in America and in May 1970 peace protests at Kent State University fired on by National Guard's men causing the death of 4 students whilst 11 other sustained injuries. Nixon's policy came under huge public criticism as even celebrities made protests for peace. The withdrawal of American troops continued throughout 1971/72 as only air power kept the South from crumbling in Vietnam. Finally to force North Vietnam to agree to ceasefire terms Nixon ordered massive air attacks on Hanoi in December 1972. This succeeded and the North agreed terms on the 27th January 1973. America was now able to withdraw the remaining troops. Nixon's Vietnam policy was also linked to widen foreign policy aims and the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam was necessary to achieve an improvement in relations with China and Russia. In my opinion the Americans had no right to go into Vietnam as this problem was miles away and was a matter for Vietnam itself to sort out. They handled the war badly once in it and were letting soldiers needlessly die. The fact that communism spread all through Vietnam after the Americans left really hits home that this was a pointless was which didn't have to take place. ...read more.

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