Vietnam Essay Research Paper Believing that communist — страница 2

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further into the conflict when President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered retaliatory air attacks and the congress authorized U.S. military operations with the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. Reaction to Terrorist Activities Terrorist attacks upon American bases in South Vietnam became frequent. These were made to discourage the United States into complete withdrawal from Vietnam. However, the number of air raids by American aircraft against North Vietnam increased. The attacks on Pleiku triggered the massive bombing campaign on North Vietnam called “Operation Rolling Thunder”. Bombings were aimed mainly at highways and bridges. In Laos, bombers also struck the Ho Chi Minh Trail, an important Vietcong supply line. United States warships attacked the North Vietnamese coastal supply depots.

On March 8, 1965 the first U.S. combat troops landed at Da Nang. First Attempts for Peace In April 1965 President Johnson proposed that “unconditional discussions” be held for a settlement of the conflict. His peace move was ignored by North Vietnam. The North Vietnamese insisted that United States forces first be withdrawn from South Vietnam. They also argued that the United Nations must not intervene and that the internal affairs of South Vietnam would have to be settled by the National Liberation Front. Johnson maintained that these matters could not be discussed prior to a peace conference. In June he urged the United Nations to seek a solution. War During 1965 the United States became even more committed to help South Vietnam. That year it was official known that the

U.S. was at war with the North Vietnam and the Vietcong. The size of the United States force in South Vietnam exceeded 50,000 troops, doubling in about six months. Between July and November a fighting force of an additional 100,000 men was transferred from military bases in the United States to Vietnam. Battles and Offensives Rather than a classic military strategy of gaining territory, the army tried to clear areas with search and destroy missions. The U.S. hoped to make the communists want to give up by causing creating heavy casualties and lack of supplies. This strategy did not take into the account that Hanoi was prepared to suffer enormous losses. The first major American victory took place in August at Chu Lai, where more than 5,000 United States troops defeated an

estimated 2,000 Viet Cong. In November American forces won a decisive victory over a large North Vietnamese force in the Ia Drang Valley. It was the first time that a major Vietcong or North Vietnamese force had abandoned hit-and-run guerrilla tactics for open combat. Ia Drang was the bloodiest battle of the war to that date. In January 1966 about 20,000 American, South Vietnamese, and South Korean troops encircled North Vietnamese south of Da Nang. A successful sweep through the Binh Dinh took place in the spring. In May the air strikes against the North were stopped for five days, following President Johnson’s invitation in April to “unconditional discussions” of peace. The raids were again suspended in late December 1965 and throughout January 1966 for a “peace

offensive” formed by President Johnson and other world leaders. The North Vietnamese failed to respond to these discussions. In June 1966 United States bombers made their first attack on North Vietnam’s two largest cities Hanoi, the capital, and Haiphong, the chief port. Subsequent American bombing raids were made on these as well as other industrial centers air bases in North Vietnam. United States forces increased from 190,000 in January 1966 to more than 500,000 by early 1968 used “search-and-destroy” tactics to keep National Liberation Front (NLF) forces from the South. In 1967 and 1968, American troops raided NLF troop concentrations in the DMZ (demilitarized zone). In January 1968 the NLF launched a large-scale offensive throughout the South during Tet, the

Vietnamese Lunar New Year holiday. The targets included about 30 major cities. American troop withdrawals, which had begun in the summer of 1969, left about 200,000 Americans in South Vietnam at the end of 1971. In April 1972 the United States bombed targets in the cities of Hanoi and Haiphong. In May, in response to a drive by the North Vietnamese forces into the South, President Richard M. Nixon ordered the mining of harbors off North Vietnam. Both the bombing and the mining provoked long antiwar protests within the United States. The End of the Conflict On Jan. 31, 1973, a cease-fire was signed in Paris by the United States, South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and the NLF (called the Paris Accords). Negotiations were made regarding the withdrawal of foreign troops and the release of