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Explain why the USA withdrew its forces from Vietnamin 1973? - The Vietnamese people had been controlled by foreigners for much of their history

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Explain why the USA withdrew its forces from Vietnam in 1973? The Vietnamese people had been controlled by foreigners for much of their history. Thy had been part of the Chinese empire for 1000 years till the French made Vietnam one of its colonies in the 1970s and 1980s as part French Indo-China. When France was defeated in Europe during the Second World War it was impossible for her to defend her colonies therefore the Japanese, who were expanding throughout the Pacific, made a request to France to move their troops into French Indo-China. The French of course had no power to refuse. Five months later the natives were rebelling against the Japanese invaders and a remarkable rebel leader, Ho Chi Minh, appeared who fought with other Nationalists and Communists to push them out of French Indo-China. On the 2nd September 1945 Ho Chi Minh declared the formation of the new independent Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The Americans had made it clear during the Second World War that they supported independence for all colonial people. But when the French returned to Vietnam to try and recapture their former colony the USA supported them instead. The Vietnamese felt betrayed. Ho Chi Minh had even told an American Secret Agent that he would be delighted to see "a million American soldiers but not the French." The French were anti-communist so were supported by the Americans, but this did not reflect popular feeling in Vietnam. ...read more.


Soldiers sometimes found the heat rain and insects to be worse than the enemy. Another advantage that the VC had was that they looked just like any ordinary Vietnamese man or woman. Even their uniform, black pyjamas and pointy hats, were just like what the ordinary Vietnamese wore. This made the job very difficult for the Americas. Many Vietnamese would just work on their farmland during the day and then become Charlie, as the American troops called the Vietcong, during the night. The Vietcong did not cooperate with American forces. They did not fight the war how the Americans wanted them to fight it. Instead of conventional battles where the Americans would have been much superior the VC used guerrilla tactics. They would hide in the jungles and ambush isolated enemy units and vehicles; plant mines and set up booby traps such as the Punji traps which did not kill may Americans but did wound them and had a frightening psychological effect on American soldiers; and use sabotage, terrorism and murder to achieve their aims. The VC and NVA had the widespread support of a lot of the people n South Vietnam especially in the countryside where they mixed with the peasants and could move around easily. One of the main reasons for this support was because the supposedly democratic government of South Vietnam lead by Ngo Dinh Diem which was supported by the United States was extremely corrupt. ...read more.


But the North Vietnamese also knew that public opinion in the USA was quickly becoming very anti-war. Many people did not believe that the war was worth the lives of Americans and that it others countries should be allowed to govern themselves however they wish to. Although there were a lot of socialists and radicals in the anti-war movement there were also a lot of "grass root" Americans who were becoming more and more anti-war, as well as the pacifists, who were against the war on moral and religious grounds. The resentment of the war increased dramatically because of the way that the media presented the war. They were given unrestricted access during the war and they filmed many of the great atrocities in the war such as the pictures of the My Lai Massacre. Another event which deeply shocked the American public happened during the Tet Offensive and was one of the main factors in the anti-war movement increasing. A fifteen man suicide squad of VC guerrillas fought there way into the American embassy in the heart of Saigon. They held out for six hours before being killed. This event was seen in fifty million homes across the United States and it gave people the impression that America was seriously losing the war if even the American embassy had been invaded by the enemy. From then on public support for the war all around the world plummeted. This was even though the Tet Offensive had militarily been a failure for the Communists and at this point the Americans could have gone on to win the war. By Usman Afzal 11H ...read more.

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