The Reasons Behind United States' Withdrawal Of Forces From Vietnam In 1973

1984 words - 8 pages

The Reasons Behind United States' Withdrawal of Forces From Vietnam in 1973
When Nixon was elected President, he promised that he would end the
war. In, 1973, President Nixon and Henry Kissinger negotiated a
cease-fire and all the American soldiers left Vietnam. I will be
discussing why Nixon ended the war and explaining the tactics used by
both sides and the protesting of the American people.

The Vietcong were the Communists from the North. They used guerrilla
tactics. This was very effective. The guerrillas attacked in small
groups and then disappeared. They controlled the countryside which
supplied them with food and shelter. They were given rules on how to
treat the people and persuaded people to join them. Anyone who was
suspected of spying on them was killed. The government controlled the
towns and cities and when their troops had been worn down by the war,
the guerrillas attacked and took over. The Vietcong did not wear
uniform so the Americans couldn't tell who the enemy were. Also, a
civilian could pretend to work for the Americans but work as a
guerrilla at night. Guerrilla tactics had been effective against the
Americans, the French and the Japanese who were all used to an open
battle. Because of the tactics, it was almost impossible for the AVRN
and the Americans to win the war. This gave the Americans less hope
and helped lead to withdrawal.

The Vietcong had over 150 miles of a network of tunnels. Some of them
housed sleeping quarters, hospitals, storage for weapons and even
lecture theatres. They were booby-trapped for the enemy and some of
the tunnels even passed under US bases. The Vietcong also had a number
of trails for transporting troops and supplies. The most famous route
that was built was the Ho Chi Minh trail. It went from North Vietnam
to South Vietnam and in parts it was 50 miles wide. 40,000 people
worked constantly to keep it open. The Americans could not block it
because it passed through neutral countries such as Laos and Cambodia.
The Americans had a large number of troops, the best weapons in the
World and a strong economy but the Vietcong had better tactics. In the
jungles, the Vietcong hid in the trees and were hard to see. The
Americans weren't used to the jungle terrain of Vietnam so that made
it even harder for them.

Anti-war protests began as soon as the war did. Some Americans went
far enough to burn themselves to death in demonstrations. The media
played a big part in increasing the protesting and pressuring the
government to end the war. Back at home Americans watched uncensored
footage on their colour TVs in horror. They saw pictures of terrified
children running away from soldiers, their skin peeling from napalm.
They saw the piles of dead bodies from the My Lai Massacre. They
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