Vietnam Essay Research Paper VietnamIn the Vietnam

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Vietnam Essay, Research Paper VietnamIn the Vietnam war the United States and the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) opposed the revolutionary movement known as the Viet Cong. The Viet Cong was sponsored by the Communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV). This war was the second of two wars being fought in that area. The first Indochina war was a struggle between Vietnamese nationalists and the French colonial regime aided by the U.S.. In the second war we replaced France in the struggle versus the Communists. Vietnam lasted from the mid 1950s to 1975 when the U.S. finally withdrew from the war. Vietnam begun as a war to keep the French regime intact. The other side wanted to have Ho Chi Minh lead the republic after it was liberated from the Japanese in 1945. After WWII France

wanted to have their power restored and Bao Dai to be the Emperor. During this initial conflict the U.S. was providing 80% of the cost of France’s war effort. The war breaks out with the U.S. getting involved with combat troops in late 1964 after the Gulf of Tonkin incident. A Major turning point for this war is considered to be the Tet Offensive (January 31, 1968) this was a surprise attack by the Viet Cong in which they lost (Groliers).The United States began this war with a “bang”. Lyndon B. Johnson was the current President of the U.S.. He authorized the CIA to use special forces to conduct covert raids on northern Vietnamese soil. U.S. Naval forces ran electronic intelligence missions in the Gulf of Tonkin. Plus U.S. aid was increased with the addition of more

advisors, and more money. Bombing raids were planned and basically Lyndon B. Johnson was getting prepared for a war. On August 2, 1964 he got his chance. An American destroyer conducting electronic espionage in international waters was attacked by Vietnamese torpedo boats. The destroyer was unharmed, and joined by additional forces (Groliers). Two days later (August 4th) the ships reported that they were attacked by the torpedo boats. This was later found to be a lie, but with this excuse Johnson ordered retaliatory air strikes against North Vietnam. He urged Congress to provide support for full scale military operations. Then on February 1965 the Viet Cong attacked a U.S. Army barrack in Pleiku. This lead to operation Rolling Thunder, which was a restricted but large bombing

campaign on North Vietnam. Also 50,000 ground troops were brought over to guard the air bases being used by the U.S. bombers (Internet resource). The number of troops was steadily increased, and the mission changed from defense to search and destroy or just plain old offense. At the time, this information was not released to the U.S. public. Plus the whole purpose of the war was deliberately obscured from the public. The public didn’t fully support the war since the cause was vague. The U.S. continued to bomb military targets while trying to avoid civilian areas. We wanted to fight a war of attrition, and we were concerned about causing a confrontation with the USSR and China. Both countries supported communism and dealing with the communist faction in North Vietnam at first

was sensitive. The policy of attrition depended on inflicting losses through massive firepower with very little use of man power. We wanted to inflict major losses and cause the Viet Cong to retreat. The Viet Cong were able to get around this air assault. From unexploded ordnance they made mines and booby traps. The Viet Cong also relied on ambushes and sabotage of the many U.S. bases. The problem our ground troops faced was that in order to maintain a front we would need a very large force. Instead bases were made and placed strategically around the cities and areas of Vietnam. This left opening for Viet Cong to infiltrate behind the lines and attack where ever they wanted. In order to keep these ambushes down and to take away the enemies cover the U.S. began to defoliate the