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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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