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

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Introduction

Explain why the United States withdrew their forces from Vietnam in 1973 In order to answer the question; Explain why the United States withdrew their forces from Vietnam in 1973, I will need to cover the following points; how America became involved, the development of the war under Lyndon B Johnson, tactics of both sides, effect of war on people and the country, how America pulled out and how the war ended. Up until August 1945, the end of World War Two, Japan controlled Vietnam. Between 1945-54 Communist Guerrilla fighters led by the leader of Korea, Ho Chi Minh wanted and fought independence from France. France were defeated by them and left. In 1954 Vietnam was divided into two parts, the North which was Communist and the South who were led by President Diem. The country should have had an election but it was called off. Cambodia and Laos were independent and the Vietcong begin fighting the South. Between 1954-59 the Vietcong guerrilla's had moved into South Vietnam and by 1959 they controlled a third of the country. The USA was very much against Communism and were worried that Communism would take over the whole of the South East Asia region. ...read more.

Middle

This decision was approved by Congress by a massive majority and was known as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Johnson ordered a major campaign at the beginning of 1965. This campaign was called Operation Rolling Thunder and it was the bombing against North Vietnam. The plan was to destroy the North's economy and force the guerrillas to surrender. It was only supposed to last eight weeks but it ended up lasting for three years and involved the dropping of 1 million tons of bombs on North Vietnam. The first regular troops from America arrived in Vietnam in March 1965. At this time 80% of Americans were in favour of the war. Both sides had very different tactics as they had fought in completely different terrains. The NLF or Vietcong forces were not like ordinary soldiers. They used guerrilla methods. They organised themselves into groups between three and ten called cells. This was so that if they got captured then only a tiny part of the operation would be revealed. The Vietcong's first aim was to get the support of the peasants of South Vietnam. They did this by following strict code behaviour when they entered the village. These instructions were; not to damage crops or houses, not to insist on buying or borrowing what the villages did not want to lend, never break a promise, be respectful to the peasants and help with daily work. ...read more.

Conclusion

Nixon even visited China and Russia to ease the tension. But the Vietnamese were not happy and sensed that their powerful friends were losing interest. On 30th March 1972 the North began to attack again. The North swarmed all over the Demilitarised Zone and out from their bases in Cambodia. The attack began well for them but Nixon ordered massive air attacks, the Navy blockaded the country, mines were laid in Haiphong harbour. Finally the South organised a massive army counter attack, which was successful. The North lost 100,000 men. This ended the conflict. The reason why the United States withdrew their forces from Vietnam was because the Vietcong had widespread support among ordinary peasants who had genuine reasons for hating the government. The Americans could not deal with the guerrilla tactics that the Vietcong used and they could not even distinguish them from normal peasants, as they had no uniform. They could not stop supplies and reinforcements from moving down the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The Vietcong received important help from North Vietnam in the way of troops and China and Russia supplied the arms. The North had already successfully defeated Japan and France and the Americans were appalled at the brutality they saw. Those are some of the many reasons why America withdrew their forces. ...read more.

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