"Peace With Honour" The Vietnam War Under President Nixon

5404 words - 22 pages

1. The Vietnam war - a short overwiew:The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, military struggle fought in Vietnam from 1959 to 1975, involving the North Vietnamese and the National Liberation Front (NLF) in conflict with United States forces and the South Vietnamese army. From 1946 until 1954, the Vietnamese had struggled for their independence from France during the First Indochina War. At the end of this war, the country was temporarily divided into North and South Vietnam. North Vietnam came under the control of Vietnamese Communists who had opposed France and who aimed for a unified Vietnam under Communist rule. The South was controlled by non-Communist Vietnamese.The ...view middle of the document...

He defeated his two opponents, Hubert H. Humphrey and George C. Wallace, but won only a plurality of the popular vote. (Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2005)He needed to show the American people he had a viable plan to end the war. Yet, as of that point in the race Nixon had no such plan. In a speech to a Republican audience at the American Legion Hall in Nashua, New Hampshire, on 5 March, Nixon pledged to "end the war and to win the peace in the Pacific."(Kimball, J. p 40) Nixon implied during his speech that evening that he had a "secret" plan to end the war and succeeded in attracting the attention of the press.( Ibid.,p 41) He denied however, that there was a magic formula to achieve peace and he tried to avoid the political trap of providing a concrete plan.( Ibid.,p 41) For the growing anti-war faction (known as doves) and moderates in the country, Nixon spoke less of escalating military measures and protecting vital interests and more of taking non-military steps towards peace. For the pro-war advocates (known as hawks) and conservatives, he continued to talk about keeping firm pressure on Vietnam and winning the peace.On Jan. 23, 1973, President Richard Nixon announced "peace with honor" had been achieved following a costly war launched for the express purpose of preventing a communist takeover of South Vietnam by the North. Nixon said the agreement between the United States and North Vietnam would ensure a "stable peace," guaranteeing the right of the people "to determine their own future, without outside interference." Less than two years later, Vietnam was unified and communist.North Vietnam was happy to sign any agreement that would get the United States out of Vietnam, knowing it would never abide by its provisions and no mechanism existed for holding the communists accountable. (Thomas, C.)2.1. Peace with honour -achieved with the help of the "Nixon doctrine"Nixon was elected President and began his policy of slow disengagement from the war. The goal was to gradually build up the South Vietnamese Army so that it could fight the war on its own. This policy became the cornerstone of the so-called "Nixon Doctrine". As applied to Vietnam, the doctrine was called "Vietnamization". The stated goal of Vietnamization was to enable the South Vietnamese army to increasingly hold its own against the NLF and the North Vietnamese Army. The unstated goal of Vietnamization was that the primary burden of combat would be returned to ARVN troops and thereby lessen domestic opposition to the war in the U.S. (http://en.wikipedia.org)The Nixon Doctrine was put forth in a press conference in Guam on July 25, 1969 by Richard Nixon. He stated that the United States henceforth expected its Asian allies to take care of their own military defense. This was the start of the "Vietnamization" of the Vietnam War. The Doctrine argued for the pursuit of peace through a partnership with American...

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