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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: History
  • Document length: 2159 words

Why did America withdraw from Vietnam in 1973?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why did America withdraw from Vietnam in 1973? There are many reasons why America decided to withdraw from Vietnam in 1973. This essay is to investigate and analyse the possible factors/events that led to the withdrawal, the long-term events shall be explored first then the short term. One of the many long-term factors leading to the withdrawal was the failure of the U.S troops trying to win the 'hearts and minds' of the Vietnamese. This was a policy created by President J.F. Kennedy who believed that if the Vietnamese were shown the advantages of American 'way of life' then they would easily win the 'hearts and minds' of them, however the Vietnamese didn't respond to this policy as they wanted an independent country, the French had just left Vietnam and the Vietnamese people didn't want another intruding outside country in Vietnams affairs. If this policy was to ever succeed then the Americans would have had a great advantage and would've been able to defeat the Vietcong, as it was the support of the peasants that encouraged and helped the guerrilla tactics, as well as this the ARVN would have had a bigger incentive to fight with the support of the South Vietnamese peasants. ...read more.

Middle

The Americans tactics consisted of very heavy bombing to the north of Vietnam, this was known as the operation 'rolling thunder' this was thought of by Diem and was first put into action in 1965, this caused a lot of support to be lost in Vietnam as it was the exact opposite of the 'hearts and minds' policy. There were only three main types if bomb used throughout the war, the first Napalm- a very dangerous substance, it sets the victim alight when it explodes leaving a sticky thick substance on them to make the burns worse also you couldn't get it off, by the time the victim got the substance off they would have very serious buns and would suffer from phosphorus poisoning in the blood, basically it burned everything it came into contact with leaving its victims with fifth degree burns on a 70% ratio. The second Agent Orange and Agent Blue were defoliants made from a mixture of herbicides created to destroy the crops and foliage as well as trying to uncover the Vietcong and cut off their food supply, it also poisoned the water, there was about 13 million gallons of the defoliant agents sprayed over North Vietnam, another thing that the defoliant agents did when exploded was to cause chromosomal damage. ...read more.

Conclusion

To top this off the public support was completely crushed when the attacks on Cambodia and Laos took place, as these attacks were an unnecessary massacre of bordering countries which were believed to be assisting in the help of the Vietcong. As a result of this Nixon started his 'Vietnamisation' process in which consisted in the start of the withdrawal of the U.S troops , and giving the ARVN weapons to defend themselves more but they couldn't fight as they had no incentive to. To conclude there were many reasons for the withdrawal in Vietnam, the most important reasons were the Tet offensive and the inefficiency of the American troops, the causes stated throughout this essay interlink but a change to other aspects could've changed the outcome of the war as each cause reflected and influenced another cause, all the causes add to the next to make the outcome of the war and in each short and long-term came the result e.g. Tet offensive changed the public opinion which changed the troops morale leading to the troops in-effectiveness leading to the withdrawal of the troops. All causes linked to another cause in the war, which is why the America withdrew its troops and forces in 1973. ...read more.

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