Vietnamization

Richard Nixon

Definition and Summary of the Vietnamization
Summary and Definition: The term 'Vietnamization' was used to describe the policy adopted by the Nixon administration to withdraw the United States combat troops in the Vietnam War by turning the fighting over to the Vietnamese. President Richard Nixon announced the strategy of 'Vietnamization' to the American people in a broadcast speech on November 3, 1969. The policy of 'Vietnamization' involved the gradual withdrawal of US troops by training, equipping and expanding South Vietnamese forces so that they could take over more military responsibilities against the communists in North Vietnam and the Viet Cong. The 'Vietnamization' strategy failed in relation to making the South Vietnamese able to successfully defend itself but it enabled the U.S. to disengage combat forces without appearing to abandon South Vietnam in the war against the Communists.

Vietnamization
Richard Nixon
was the 37th American President who served in office from January 20, 1969 to August 9, 1974. One of the important events during his presidency was the adoption of the policy of Vietnamization.

   
  

Vietnamization Facts for kids
The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on Vietnamization

Vietnamization Facts for kids

Vietnamization Facts - 1: The communist North Vietnamese and their guerilla forces called the Viet Cong fought throughout the Vietnam War to oust the anti-communist and pro-American government from South Vietnam.

Vietnamization Facts - 2: The first US combat troops were sent to Vietnam in March 1965. The United States  fought a hi-tech war in Vietnam, using B52 bombers, helicopters and the latest computer technology and equipment. They also waged chemical warfare in Vietnam employing napalm and defoliants, a spray for foliage destruction (defoliation), to combat the guerrilla tactics of the communists.

Vietnamization Facts - 3: The communists used guerilla warfare tactics fighting in the impenetrable jungles of Vietnam. The dense canopies of trees made it almost impossible for the pilots of high-flying, high-speed bombers, and the low-flying helicopters, to see and destroy targets in the jungle terrain and their intricate system of interconnecting tunnels. 

Vietnamization Facts - 4: Despite the use of the latest American technology and military support, little progress had been made in defeating the simpler guerilla warfare tactics of the enemy or preventing the advancement of communist North Vietnamese troops and the Viet Cong into South Vietnam.

Vietnamization Facts - 5: When President Richard Nixon assumed the presidency in January 1969, U.S. combat troops had been fighting in Vietnam for nearly 4 years. 31,000 U.S. servicemen had lost their lives and by April 1969 US troop deployment had reached its highest point numbering 543,000.

Vietnamization Facts - 6: The anti-war movement and protests were rapidly increasing in the United States sickened by the deaths of troops and the terrible injuries that had been inflicted on returning Vietnam Veterans.

Vietnamization Facts - 7: The constant, unrelenting media coverage of the Vietnam War, via the newspapers and television, brought the events of the war directly into the homes of American citizens. Scenes such as the suicides of Buddhist monks who burned themselves to death during the 'Buddhist Crisis' of June 1963 shocked the nation.

Vietnamization Facts - 8: Opposition to the draft was intense and the Youth Movement escalated in the mid-1960's as young people adopted the Hippie counterculture and popularized the anti-establishment phrase "Turn on, tune in, drop out".

Vietnamization Facts - 9: The North Vietnamese gained a psychological and political victory for the communists with the Tet Offensive (January 30, 1968 - September 23, 1968). The invasion of the U.S. embassy in Saigon was a terrible shock to the nation, severely damaging national confidence in the Vietnam war policies of President Lyndon Johnson. The success of the communist Tet Offensive dramatically contradicted the optimistic claims by the U.S. government that the Vietnam War was all but over.

Vietnamization Facts - 10: Under the barrage of fierce protests and criticism of the Lyndon administration, fueled by the mainstream media coverage of the Tet Offensive and protests on the college campuses, the Nixon strategy of 'Vietnamization' evolved

Vietnamization Facts - 11: In 1968 Richard Nixon was on the campaign trail and, aware of the intense opposition to the Vietnam War, ran on a platform for the presidency that included the claim of a 'secret plan' to end the Vietnam War. Richard Nixon won the election and assumed the presidency in January 1969.

Vietnamization Facts - 12: President Nixon announced the strategy of 'Vietnamization' to the American people in a broadcast speech on November 3, 1969.  His 'secret plan' to end the Vietnam War was the complete withdrawal of all U.S. combat ground forces, and their replacement by South Vietnamese forces on an orderly scheduled timetable.

Vietnamization Facts - 13: The plan was to equip, train and expand the South Vietnamese forces so that they could take over more military responsibilities against the communists in North Vietnam and the Viet Cong. This enabled the United States to disengage combat forces without appearing to abandon South Vietnam in the war against the Communists.

Vietnamization Facts - 14: Nixon authorized the spending of millions of dollars on equipment for the South Vietnamese providing them with the best planes, tanks rapid-fire machine guns and rifles. 600 helicopters and 1,200 were also provided.

Vietnamization Facts - 15: President Nixon announced the strategy of 'Vietnamization' to the American people in a broadcast speech on November 3, 1969.  His 'secret plan' to end the Vietnam War was the complete withdrawal of all U.S. combat ground forces, and their replacement by South Vietnamese forces on an orderly scheduled timetable.

Continued...

Vietnamization Facts for kids

Facts about the Vietnamization for kids
The following fact sheet continues with facts about Vietnamization.

Vietnamization Facts for kids

Vietnamization Facts - 16: The U.S. provided substantial training in the use of the weapons including the use of substances such as Napalm and Agent Orange. South Vietnamese officers were brought over to attend the best U.S. military academies and their troops were taught to use and repair their guns and to use the tactics of 'Search and Destroy' missions

Vietnamization Facts - 17: In June 1969, the first 25,000 U.S. troops were withdrawn from Vietnam and a further 60,000 troops followed by the end of the year.

Vietnamization Facts - 18: News of the My Lai Massacre broke in America in November 1969 to the horror of the nation.

Vietnamization Facts - 19: Nixon authorized the secret bombing of the Ho Chi Minh Trail along the borders of Cambodia and Laos in an attempt to destroy supply routes reaching the communists.

Vietnamization Facts - 20: The undeclared military action in Cambodia and Laos was taken without the support of Congress or the American people. He didn't need to because the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, passed on August 7, 1964, had provided the president a free hand to escalate the war in Southeast Asia.

Vietnamization Facts - 21: The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution had authorized the U.S. president to take all necessary measures against the communists in Vietnam and also authorized the president, without a formal declaration of war by Congress, for the use of "conventional'' military force in Southeast Asia providing the legal foundation for such actions

Vietnamization Facts - 22: On April 30, 1970, President Nixon, fearing a humiliating defeat in Vietnam, escalated the war in Indochina even further by ordering the U.S. invasion of Cambodia and the need to draft 150,000 more U.S. soldiers for an expansion of the Vietnam War effort.

Vietnamization Facts - 23: News of the invasion of Cambodia, and the expansion of the war effort, led to protests by enraged anti-war demonstrators across America. On May 4, 1970, four student demonstrators were shot dead and nine were wounded during the Kent State University Shooting by Ohio National Guardsmen

Vietnamization Facts - 24: By 1971 the South Vietnamese army were trained and equipped and on February 8, 1971 began an attack on North Vietnamese troops in Laos. It was a complete and utter disaster.

Vietnamization Facts - 25: The communists trapped the South Vietnamese in Laos and they immediately called for air cover. But the bombs intended for the North Vietnamese hit their own troops. The South Vietnamese troops panicked and called for helicopters to lift them out. Military discipline completely broke down in the rush to escape in the helicopters and many troops dropped to their deaths during the mayhem

Vietnamization Facts - 26: The attack by the South Vietnamese in Laos was a clear indication that the strategy of 'Vietnamization' was not working.

Vietnamization Facts - 27: In March 1971 the top secret Pentagon Papers were leaked, covering the period from 1945 to 1967, revealing that the US government had been dishonest and had used "incredible deception" about the U.S. political and military involvement in Vietnam. The Pentagon Papers also revealed that decisions made about the Vietnam War had been made without the consent of Congress.

Vietnamization Facts - 28: The Pentagon Papers confirmed many suspicions about the "credibility gap" between what the government said and what it actually did heralding a new era of skepticism about the Vietnam War and the U.S. government in general.

Vietnamization Facts - 29: By the end of 1971 opinion polls showed that 66% of all Americans wanted the Vietnam War to end as quickly as possible.

Vietnamization Facts - 30: On January 25, 1972, President Richard Nixon announced that Henry Kissinger, the National Security Advisor, had been secretly negotiating with the communist North Vietnamese aimed at achieving "peace with honor" in the Vietnam War.

Vietnamization Facts - 31: The Paris Peace Accords were signed on January 27, 1973 that included a ceasefire agreement heralding the End of the Vietnam War. The last US combat troops left Vietnam in August 1973.

Vietnamization Facts - 32: A total of 2.59 million Americans had served in the Vietnam War. 58,307 U.S. troops were killed and 304,000 were wounded, of which 75,000 returned home severely disabled.

Vietnamization Facts - 33: On November 7, 1973, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution to place limits on the President's authority to unilaterally wage war, requiring the President to consult with Congress before making any decisions that engaged the United States military in hostilities.

Vietnamization Facts - 34: The strategy of 'Vietnamization' failed and the 'gung-ho' and autocratic actions of Richard Nixon were later mirrored in lies and deceptions of the  Watergate Scandal which led to the downfall of the president.

Vietnamization Facts for kids

Vietnamization - President Richard Nixon Video
The article on Vietnamization provides detailed facts and a summary of one of the important events during his presidential term in office. The following Richard Nixon video will give you additional important facts and dates from
January 20, 1969 to August 9, 1974.

Vietnamization

● Interesting Facts about Vietnamization for kids and schools
● Summary of the Vietnamization in US history
● Facts about the Vietnamization
● Richard Nixon Presidency from January 20, 1969 to August 9, 1974
● Fast, fun, Vietnamization facts
● Foreign & Domestic policies of President Nixon - Vietnamization
● Richard Nixon Presidency and Vietnamization for schools, homework, kids and children

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