• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain why the USA withdrew its forces from Vietnam in 1973.

Extracts from this document...


Assignment 2: Explain why the USA withdrew its forces from Vietnam in 1973. When Nixon was elected President, he promised that he would end the war. In, 1973, President Nixon and Henry Kissinger negotiated a cease-fire and all the American soldiers left Vietnam. I will be discussing why Nixon ended the war and explaining the tactics used by both sides and the protesting of the American people. The Vietcong were the Communists from the North. They used guerrilla tactics. This was very effective. The guerrillas attacked in small groups and then disappeared. They controlled the countryside which supplied them with food and shelter. They were given rules on how to treat the people and persuaded people to join them. Anyone who was suspected of spying on them was killed. The government controlled the towns and cities and when their troops had been worn down by the war, the guerrillas attacked and took over. The Vietcong did not wear uniform so the Americans couldn't tell who the enemy were. Also, a civilian could pretend to work for the Americans but work as a guerrilla at night. Guerrilla tactics had been effective against the Americans, the French and the Japanese who were all used to an open battle. ...read more.


It was like guerrilla fighting because it gave the Vietcong very little warning to attack. The Americans flew in helicopters and landed close to the villages. They would attack and then search the village. If there were still signs of Vietcong, the village would be destroyed. Sometimes the Americans destroyed a village because they felt like it. They did it in revenge of losing their friends in the war. Also, there were times when they really couldn't tell the Vietcong from the peasants so they decided to attack anyone Vietnamese even when there was a likely chance that they were innocent. This put more pressure on the government to withdraw and America was losing support of South Vietnam. To get the Vietcong that were in the jungles the US used chemical warfare. This was better to use than bombing and bulldozing because that was too expensive and took to long. The most common that were used were Agent Orange and napalm. Agent Orange was an herbicide that destroyed trees and vegetation so the Vietcong couldn't hide in the trees. It also ruined rivers and soil. Napalm was fired at the people. It made their skin peel. Again, the US fired at innocent people on purpose as well as by accident. ...read more.


It was a costly war of over $165 billion. American citizens had to pay more tax to support the war. Another reason for the Americans to be anti-war was the conscription. Young men could be forced to fight. Another factor is the protest movement. Throughout the war protests increased and more and more Americans thought the war was a bad idea. The protests put big pressure on the government. Some people say the media was the most important reason for the government to end the war. Everyone had been shocked when they saw the images and heard the truth about the American soldiers. This also led to further protesting. You could say that the media coverage of the My Lai Massacre had played a big part in ending the war. I think that all of these factors helped to persuade the government to withdraw its troops. I think the main factors were the horrific media coverage and the protest movements. The government saw that the American people weren't happy with the war and the terrible things that happened in Vietnam and saw that war wasn't a good idea. The Americans also lost support of the Southern Vietnamese people which pressured the Government because they were on their side. America had gone into the war because they were worried about the domino theory coming true. After the war ended, it didn't. Vietnam's neighbouring countries stayed Capitalist. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Explain why the USA withdrew its forces from Vietnam by 1973?

    While the fighting continued the southern Vietnamese were feeling the same as the US back home. They lived in fear and relied on the NLF troops, this causes guerrilla warfare being another main reason to why the American troops withdrew from Vietnam.

  2. Why did the USA withdraw its forces from Vietnam in 1973

    They would be mentally and physically injured and the public could see realistically how awful the war was. The public opinion on the war was getting worse, and this put more pressure on the government to withdraw troops faster. Finally, the extreme cost of war put pressure on the government to withdraw its troops form Vietnam in 1973.

  1. Describe the military tactics and weapons used by both the USA and the Vietcong ...

    in the geography of Vietnam, you would have needed a durable weapon to withstand every single trip and fall. It was tipped to be a much more reliable weapon but it often jammed, costing the lives of hundreds of Americans caught in firefights.

  2. Why Did The USA Withdraw Their Soldiers From Vietnam?

    They were training grounds, logistics centers and headquarters. They also offered secure areas for times when the war might go badly. Hiding the base areas had always been a high priority for the Vietcong. However with American spotter planes everywhere, it was more important than ever to protect them.

  1. Armed forces.

    In the case of Kitchener's Sudan campaign in the late 1890's, the army travelled down the Nile slowly but surely, not just out of tactical considerations, but because they were building a railway line as they travelled. In fact, this railway line is still in use as Sudan's major railway

  2. Vietnam - Why did the USA withdraw it's troops in 1973?

    Vietcong just seemed to disappear, which caused bad psychological effects due to this type of war. U.S troops heard news of the unpopularity of the war back home, and made them feel there was no point in fighting if the people at home were not praising them, and that were dying for nothing.

  1. Was the My Lai Massacre a failure in the Rules of Engagement or a ...

    First two of the platoons moved into the area of My Lai. The Platoon leader Cpt. Medina and his 2nd Man in Power Lt. Calley, both watched as they stayed behind with their platoons. The first Platoon of Lt. Grzesik moved into the village and started the usual interrogation of people on their search for VCs (Vietcong).

  2. Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam in the 1950s and the 1960s? ...

    When Johnson came to power, he wished to end the Vietnam 'problem' as quickly as possible as it was draining their resources. This is why he created the Gulf of Tongking incident where, allegedly, the American warships and spy ships were damaged.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work