U.S. Policies in the Vietnam War
Ho with OSS 6/45
- OSS helped Ho Chi Minh and his Vietnam Independence League (Vietminh, f. 5/41) fight the Japanese and Vichy French
- Vietminh and Gen. Giap trained in China, supported by Koumintang, led units into North Vietnam in 1943 to fight Japanese 21st Division
- OSS gave assistance, rescued pilots, provided intelligence
- Vietminh encouraged by Atlantic Charter's promise of self-determination
- Japan on 3/9/45 imprisoned all French, took complete control of Vietnam, on 3/11/45 declared Vietnam independent under emperor Bao Dai (who had been emperor under French since 1935)
- Ho Chi Minh declared the independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam 9/2/45
- Potsdam agreement allowed British to occupy the south and Chiang to occupy the north
- In the south, Brit Gen. Douglas Gracey rearmed French troops who reclaimed Saigon from the Vietminh
- In the north, Chinese troops looted the country, then withdrew and allowed Ho Chi Minh to rule from Hanoi
- Asia after WWII map - SE Asia map
- US supported French in 1st Indochinese War 1946-54
- The "10,000 Day War" will last 27 years, from 1946 to the 1973 treaty
- US aid to the French reached $1 billion by 1954, 80% of the cost of the war
- Eisenhower policy of disengagement opposed military intervention
- no Op. Vulture to relieve siege of Dienbienphu in 1954, captured by Vietminh May 8, 1954
- Ike and Dulles not satisfied with the 1954 Geneva Conference that divided the country at the 17th parallel with elections planned for 1956
- Ike included South Vietnam in SEATO Sept. 8, 1954
- Ike pledged US support in letter to Ngo Dinh Diem Oct. 1, 1954, and his Catholic Saigon government imposed on 6 million Buddhists
- Ho Chi Minh began the 2nd Indochinese War 1956-75 against Diem and the Americans
- Ike supported Diem's opposition to elections, reunification, infiltration of communists from North Vietnam to assist southern National Liberation Front (NLF f. 1960)
Buddhist monk '63 - map '64
- Kennedy in 1961 sought partnership with Diem, increased US advisors to 16,000, developed methods of a flexible response using counterinsurgency and defoliation and strategic hamlets
- Johnson in 1964 began an escalation of direct US involvement in the war, introducing Plan 34A covert operations near North Vietnam's coast, air strikes by US fighter planes and bombers, increasing US ground forces to 500,000
- Nixon in 1969 began to withdraw US ground forces and followed the new policies of detente and Vietnamization
- Peace Treaty signed Jan. 27, 1973 in Paris by Kissinger and Le Duc Tho
- POWs return but South Vietnam refused the treaty, bombing continued
- War Powers Act passed Nov. 7, 1973
- 3rd Indochina War began Jan. 1975, with North Vietnam invasion of South Vietnam
- Saigon fell Apr. 29, and the last Americans were evacuated Apr. 30, 1975
- Communist victory resulted in the creation of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1976 and alliance with Russia in 1978.
- In 1978, over 500,000 boat people began fleeing Vietnam, and were granted refuge in the U. S. by Jimmy Carter.
- In 1979, Vietnam invaded Cambodia and defeated the Khmer Rouge, ended the terror reign of Pol Pot, and occupied the country until 1989.
- China invaded Vietnam in Feb. 1979 but was halted by the Vietnamese army; by 1991 China established normal relations with Vietnam.
- In 1994, The U.S. ended its embargo of Vietnam and in 1995 established formal diplomatic relations.
- In 2000, Bill Clinton visited Vietnam and pledged help to remove land mines that had killed 40,000 people.
- In 2001, the U. S. and Vietnam signed a trade agreement.
- In 2007, Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization.
revised 5/1/07 by Steven Schoenherr | Songs & Films | TV and Vietnam | Cold War Policies