It is has been about thirty-five years since the last American soldier set foot on Vietnamese soil, but the Vietnam War still remains to cast a dark shadow on American history. During the war, the United States fought to protect South Vietnam from the terrors of North Vietnam and the threat of turning to communism. Despite America’s valiant efforts, it lost about $150 billion on the war, as well as about 58 thousand American soldiers (Gilbert 377). Many people believed when President Lyndon B. Johnson stepped down from office in 1969, that the war was coming to an end, however it was far from over.
Shortly after Lyndon Johnson stepped down, Richard Milhous Nixon became the president in 1969. Nixon had a policy in mind that would hopefully encourage the South Vietnamese people to take more responsibility for the war (Encyclopedia Britannica). This policy was referred to as “vietnamization.” The goal was, if successful, to be able to steadily withdraw American troops from Vietnam. To make this possible, the United States would give the South Vietnamese military forces special training, which would enable the government of South Vietnam to take greater control over the war. They also hoped to help them to defeat the North Vietnamese by establishing elections, reforms, and special social services available to citizens of South Vietnam. (Spartacus Educational)
In April 1970, Nixon ordered the U.S. and South Vietnamese troops to invade military supply centers in North Vietnam and set up in Cambodia. They were able to capture large stocks of weapons and supplies and delayed a major enemy attack. Despite the success, people in the U.S. were heavily protesting the war, especially around college campuses and universities. Nixon knew that if he did not withdraw U.S. troops, things could get worse. In March of 1972, North Vietnam began a huge invasion in South Vietnam. Nixon used American airpower against the enemy and bombed North Vietnam numerous...
Cited: 1. Gilbert, Marc J. "Vietnamization." The World Book Encyclopedia. 2002. Print.
2. "Vietnamization." Spartacus Educational. Ed. Spartacus Educational. Web. 05 Dec. 2010. .
3. "Vietnamization." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 05 Dec. 2010 .
4. Hickman, Kennedy. "End of the Vietnam War." Military History. Web. 05 Dec. 2010. .
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