The U.S.A and the Vietcong had different military tactics; The USA used modern technology such as the napalm bomb. Were as the Vietcong used guerrilla warfare. The USA was confident of success "America could simply not believe that it could be beaten by a bunch of guerrillas in black pyjamas" They thought this because they had the latest equipment and plenty of money. They also had the support of people "Television seems to have encouraged a majority of viewers to support the war. 64% said television had made them fell like backing up the boys in Vietnam. 26% felt moved to oppose the war" Also the USA felt confident as Vietcong were from a poorer country and had to use traditional ways of fighting, but they had the backing of other communist countries.
Operation Rolling Thunder was the codename for the bombing of North Vietnam. The operation started in February 1965. The operation lasted for 3 and a half years. The aims of this operation were:
Bomb railways, roads and bases in North Vietnam
Destroy the Ho Chi Minh trail, to stop supplies to the Vietcong.
This failed because the Vietcong were still fighting strong.
Search and destroy missions were used to flush out the Vietcong. These operations failed because:
The US soldiers found it difficult to cope with the climate, leaches and the surrounding terrain of thick, dense jungle.
It was difficult to tell who were innocent villages.
The USA tried another approach, win the hearts and minds. This was to get the South Vietnamese peasants to fight for them. They had projects to help them do this, which were:
Medical care ~ to help cure the sick Vietnamese peasants
Assistance with farming ~ Help the peasants grow food more efficiently.
This failed because the Vietnamese peasants thought the Americans were telling them how to run their country.
As military tactics were unlikely to win the support of the local population the US government felt that the way to win was to...
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