Vietnamization And Its Effects
Vietnamization And Its Effects

Vietnamization And Its Effects

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Vietnamization and its Effects

Vietnamization and it’s Lasting Effects on South Vietnam and it’s Fall

Outline

I.Background

A.Introduction

B.Vietnam — two separate countries

1.French Control

2.Viet Minh Revolt

3.Creation of North and South Vietnam

C.America’s objectives in South Vietnam

D.Vietnam’s armies

II.Vietnamization

A.Beginnings of Vietnamization

B.Research of possible withdrawal

C.Decision to withdraw

1.began in early 1969

III.American Withdrawal and South Vietnamese Buildup

A.Short history

B.Advisor and troop reductions

C.Combat assiezce team reductions

D.South Vietnamese buildup

E.South Vietnamese military additions in 1972

IV.The Fall of Vietnam

A.Easter Offensive

B.Ceasefire

1.Goes in to effect on January 28, 1973

C.Break of the cease fire and North Vietnamese offensive of

December, 1973

D.Final offensive in 1975

E.Resignation of President Thieu

F.General Minh assumes the Presidency

G.Minh fails in negotiations

H.Minh gives in to all North Vietnamese demands

V.Conclusions

Background

Vietnam was a country that was far removed from the American

people until their history and ours became forever interlinked in what

has come to be known as the Vietnam conflict.It is a classic story

of good guys versus bad, communism versus freedom, and a conezt

struggle for stability.Americas attempt to aid the cause of freedom

was a valid one, but one that ended up with South Vietnam being

dependent upon us for its very life as a nation.”Vietnamization” was

the name for the plan to allow South Vietnam to ezd on its own, and

ended in leaving a country totally on its own, unable to ezd and

fight.

Vietnam was a French territory until the Viet Minh insurgency of

the late 1940’s and through 1954.Although regarding this uprising as

part

...

of a larger Communist conspiracy, Americans were not

unsympathetic to Vietnamese aspirations for national independence.

The ensueing defeat of the French brought an end to the first stage of

what was to be a thirty year struggle. The Indochina ceasefire

agreement (Geneva Accords) of July 21, 1954 led to the creation of

seperate statesin Laos and Cambodia, and the artificial division of

Vietnam into two republics.In the North theCommunist Viet Minh

established the democratic of Vietnam, and in the south a random

collection of non – Communist factions, led by Ngo Dinh Diem, formed

the Republic of Vietnam.The general elections provided for by the

agreement never took place, and the two states quickly drew apart.

The United States immediatly threw its support behind the southern

regime and extended military aid through a Military Assiezce

Advisory Group (MAAG) under the command of Lt. General John W.

O’Daniel.

American objectives in South Vietnam were reletively simple and

remained so — the establishment and preservation of a non – Communist

government in South Vietnam.Initally, the most pressing problem

was the weakness of the Saigon government and the danger of cival war

between South Vietnam’s armed religious and political factions.Diem,

however, acting as a kind of benevolent dictator, managed to put a

working government together, and O’Daniel’s advisory group, about

three or four hundred people, went to work creating a national army.

Slowly, under the direction of O’Daniel and his successor in October

1955, Lt. General Samuel T. Williams, the new army took shape.The

primary mission of this 150,000 man force was to repel a North

Vietnamese invasion across the Demilitarised zone that seperated North

and South Vietnam.Diem and his American advisors thus organised and

trained the new army for a Korean – style conflict, rather than

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for the unconventional guerrilla warfare that had characterised the

earlier French – Viet Minh struggle. President Minh also maintained a

subeztial paramilitary force almost as large as the regular army.

This force’s primary task was to maintain internal security, but also

acted as a counter weight to the army, whose officers often had

political ambitions that were sometimes incompatible with those of

Diem.From the beginning, such tensions weakened the Saigon

government and severly hampered its ability to deal with South

Vietnam’s social and ecenomic problems.

At the beginning of 1968 the military strength of the Saigon

government was, on paper, impressive.The regular armed forces

consisted of about 250,000 men, organisedinto a conventional army,

navy, air force, and marine corps, well equipped with tanks,

artillary, ships and aircraft,Behind the regulars was a similar –

size militia – like organization, the Territorial forces.Although

consisting mainly of small rifle units, the territorials had begun to

recieve modern radios, vehicles, and small arms during the early

1960’s, and their capabilities had increased considerably.The

organization of the armed forces mirrored most Western nations; a

civialian Ministry of Defence directed a military general staff which

headed a heirarchy of operational commands and various support and

training facilities.The Territorial Forces, a formal part of the

armed forcse since 1964, was apportioned amon the forty – four

province cheifs, the principle administrators of Vietnam.In

comparison, the Viet Cong army looked pertty weak.With some

80,000 lightly equipped regulars, back by about 80,000 – 100,000 part

– time geuirillas and supported by a few thousand North Vietnamese

troops and a fragile supply line hundreds of miles long, it was hardly

an imposing force.Nevertheless, this force had inflicted a series of

defeats on the South Vietnamese troops, all but throwing then out of

the copuntryside and back into the cities and towns. Vietnamization

In the spring of 1969 Presiden Richard M. Nixon initiated his

new policy of “Vietnamization.”Vietnamization had two distinct

elements: first, the unilateral withdraawl of American troops from

South Vietnam; and, second, the assumptionof greater military

responsibilities by the South Vietnamese armed forces to make up for

that loss.Mlilitary planners had based previous withdrawl plans on

reductions in enemy forces.Vietnaminization rested on the twin

assumptions thqat the combatants would not reach any kind of political

settlement, or underezding, and that the fightinh in the South would

continue without any voluntary reduction in enemy force levels.

Although in theory the subsequant withdrawl of American troops

depended on improvements in Souh Vietnamese military capabilities and

the level of combat activity, in practice the timing and size of the

withdrawals were highly political decisions made in the United States.

Senior advisors in Vietnam were asked for their opinions on South

Vietnam’s ability to handle a Viet Cong threat, or a combined Viet

Cong – North Vietnamese threat, and their answers were for the most

part the same.They agreed that South Vietnam would be able to

“contain” a Viet Cong threat except in the III Corps Tactical zone,

wherecontinued American air and artillerary support would be needed.

Against a combined threat, however, all doubted that the South

Vietnamese could do little more than hold their own, and judged their

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