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Why were US forces withdrawn from Vietnam in 1973?

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Why were US forces withdrawn from Vietnam in 1973? America's withdrawal to the war was similar to their gradual involvement in the 50s and 60s. Around the world, there was a climate of d�tente as the Cold War between the US and Russia was beginning to thaw. Governments, both communist and democratic, began to realise that political aggression would not lead to peace and prosperity for all parties. Pressure came from both international governments and domestically for the US to quickly end the war, and leave Vietnam. The US had to accept that communism was not a threat to their society and could not be 'contained'. A more amicable foreign policy was introduced and concessions were made with China and Russia. President Nixon's visit to China in 1973 marked a progressive step towards easing tension between the two hostile countries. ...read more.


Both in the US and around the world, Nixon's strategies seemed hypocritical, as despite claiming to want to end the war, the (US backed) South Vietnamese government refused to compromise with the North's terms and Nixon was stepping up the war in South East Asia. Most of the US public had turned against their government's war in Vietnam. Draft cards were burnt and anti-war rallies and riots were held constantly throughout the country. People were left disillusioned with the failure of their country military plans such as Operation Rolling Thunder and their soldiers to combat effectively. As more money was spent on Vietnam, the less was done so domestically. There was a high human and financial cost and funds could not be used to pay for social problems like poverty, human rights and unemployment. In 1971 more information was divulged about the government's plans in Vietnam. ...read more.


On the other hand, US GI's did not care about the war. They knew people back home lost support of the war and for them in taking part. There were racial tensions, disheartened soldiers and difficulty between the soldiers to co-operate. As soon as a soldier gained skills of combat and survival, it was the end of the tour and as the time drew near, a soldier would become reluctant to fight for fear of getting killed. This one-year tour system made the US soldiers inefficient and ineffective. There were especially strained relations between conscripted soldiers and their professional officers, who wanted promotion and a high body count of enemies. The soldiers wanted to stay alive, and revolt would occur and they would kill the officer. This was called 'fragging' and almost 3% of officers who died were 'fragged'. Drug dependencies were also common, as GI's had easy access to them in Vietnam. Amphetamines were used in combat to stay 'high' and alert. In fact, there were more soldiers treated for addictions than for wounds from combat. ...read more.

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