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Vietnam War Conclusion

In 1966 president Johnson believed that the US was strong and prosperous enough to stop the aggression. But the war was contaminating his administration and slowly suffocating the other plans of the president. In 1966 president Johnson believed that the US was strong and prosperous enough to stop the aggression. But the war was contaminating his administration and slowly suffocating the other plans of the president.

Johnson sent McNamara to Vietnam in 1966 to appraise West Moorland's request for more troops. He was worried about the political unpopularity of this. McNamara's response when he saw how the north was winning was, "It will be a long war". He said that even if we sent 6 hundred thousand men, it wouldn't guarantee success. He Advised Negotiations. Johnson also knew that American public opinion was not supporting him. Years later, Johnson would tell of his fear of being called "coward! Trader! Weakling!" if he turned back.

The war so far was not costly. In 1967, it took only 3% of America's gross national product compared to 48% for world war 2. Inflation caused him to reluctantly propose a 10% tax, which was another unpopular move and led to the end of the war for America.

The pressure on McNamara was so heavy that he came close to a nervous breakdown. He left government service to go into banking and felt ultimately and personally responsible for the futility of the war.

In march of 1968, President Johnson announced his decision to retire. Nixon took over the presidency in 1969 and brought with him Henry Kissenger. The two had met at a party 2 years earlier. Kissenger excepted the position of National security advisor and pointed to the end of the war. Kissenger believed that the war had to be ended honorably, but didn't want to put too much pressure on the soviets. Nixon began bombing in February and March. A new key was total secrecy in order to keep his new found popularity. The bombing failed to deter the north Vietnamese. In August of 1969 Kissenger had his first secret meeting in Paris with a Communist representative. Nixon wanted to settle this tragic war. Ho Chi Minh's answer was a cold rebuff.

In April of 1969, Nixon announced 150 thousand US troops to be withdrawn with in a year. Kissenger was under pressure from both anti war fever and keeping his place in Nixon's inner circle. In 1970, 4 of his aids resigned over the Kent state incident.

In February of 1970, the first secret meeting between Henry Kissenger and Le Duc Tho took place in Paris. These meetings tested Kissenger's insurance for 3 years. The first 3 sessions held no results but they didn't quit.

In October of 1970, Nixon and Kissenger announced a "Stand still cease fire". 165 thousand GIs were home and 90 thousand more would come in the spring.

Nixon and Kissenger went to Beijing in February of 1972 for "A week that changed the world." The Chinese at the meeting wanted rapid end to the war, but no end was in sight.

Another secret meeting of Kissenger and Le in France in October of 1972 was the Climax. The break through, a mutual cease fire, prisoner exchanges, and American troop withdrawals elated Kissenger. In October Officials approved the proposed accord. In the same month, Thieu denounced the Treaty. In December, Nixon sent an ultimatum to Vietnam. America dropped 40 thousand tuns of Bombs on civilians. That act still arouses controversy.

In January of 1973, Kissenger and Le Duc Tho Met again "we have finally achieved piece with honor." Said Nixon. The formal Piece agreement was signed in Paris in January of 1973. American troops withdrew from Vietnam, but the war between the North and South continued.

The Communists built up supplies and people as close to Saigon as they could get, and started pushing in toward it. On January 6, 1975, they gained control of Phuoclong Province. On March 10, they took Banmethout. The ARVN managed to slow the North Vietnamese's advance at Xuanloc, but on April 21, they broke through. Americans evacuated nearly 50,000 people from the roof of their embassy between then and April 30, the fall of Saigon.

 
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