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42 Cards in this Set

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national guard/reserves
congress decided not to call in the national guard or reserves so they didn't alert china or russia. a more cynical reason was because it was against LBJ's domestic policy. also needed to declare a state of emergency to use national guard. made up of wealthy, affluent. many joined as an excuse to not go overseas.
average age
very young. 19-20. some as young as 17 with parents permission before congress disallowed.
defense department's project 100,000
defense department wanted to enlist as many african american's as possible to lower the US poverty rate. many blacks saw the armed forces as a way to earn status. blacks reinlisted at a higher rate than whites, but they also died at 20%.
NLF Propaganda
the NLF issued propaganda inviting members of the US army, especially blacks, to surrendur and join their sides where they would be treated as equals. these leaflets were widely dropped.
Battle of La Drang Valley
took place in south vietnam. americans suffered 500 deaths, vietcong suffered 4x, but the will to fight made the vietcong losses essentially less. utilized search and destroy. westmoreland wanted his troops to seek and destroy 3 regiments near pleiku.
Search and Destroy Mission
essentially to find and engage enemy combatants. endorsed by westmoreland. used greatly in the battle of la drang valley.
Agent Orange
one of the chemicals dropped on vietnam. intended to destroy the foliage that was covering the ho chi minh trail. it was dropped over millions of acres. debated to be harmful to humans as well.
basically- the draft. even after a year, most of the public approved of the draft. enlistment was safer than the draft. draftees were more likely to go to vietnam. twice as likely to be killed.
working class war
because the upper classes joined the national guard, and the bonuses and class status gains that were gained by lower classes, the war was greatly fought by the lower classes.
martin luther king jr
came out against the war in 67. called for a unilateral cease fire. called to accept the NLF as legitimate government. assassinated one year to the day after speech entitled "beyond vietnam"
because of the NLF willingness to fight and die, and our persistence, we were stuck in a stalemate of battle. soldiers just kept dying and we kept sending in more to replace them.
general westmoreland
continued to employ and support the tactic of search and destroy. continued to say he needed more troops. generally naive to the will to fight of the vietnamese.
air war
tactics of dropping bombs and chemicals on vietnam in an unrelenting fashion proved to be largely unsucessful. even though millions of tons of bombs were dropped. more bombs were dropped on the south than north. especially rolling thunder.
another chemical dropped over vietnam. used to burn its victims. continually improved so victims could not just get in water to wash off.
began on Jan 31. very carefully planned by north and vietcong. within 48 hours, attacked 36 of 44 provincial capitals. widely caught on tv. showed a great resurgence of the enemy. at this point that walter cronkite was captured on tv questioning the fact that we were winning the war.
walter cronkite
most trusted newsman of the time. caught on live tv at one point saying "i thought we were winning this war" represented the nations sentiments greatly.
khe sanh
for 77 consecutive days, the american base was under assault from nva forces. us airforce was called in to support. debated about whether to abandon the base to enemy forces.
was a pivotal area in vietnam because it was between north and south vietnam. suffered considerable damage during tet offensive.
johnsons march 31 speech
addressed nation to talk about vietnam. said he was very motivated for peace talks. wanted to unilaterally reduce bombing of north if communists would come to the table. intended to bring peace, and could not devote any time to upcoming election.
hubert humphrey
president LBJs vice president. annoyed lbj because humphrey silently disagreed with lbj's vietnam policy. lbj secretly threatened to oppose him in upcoming race if he publicly did so. narrowly lost to nixon.
henry kissinger
president nixon's secretary of state and national security. kissinger continued with the opinion that they could win the war. authorized bombings of laos and cambodia. though they essentially retreated, it was one of the most savage retreats in history.
h.r. haldeman
nixon's chief of staff. played a large part in teh watergate scandal. supported kissinger and nixon in their beleifs that they could win the war.
nixon's other strategy. wanted to exploit the disconnect between soviet union and china to leverage soviets into pressuring hanoi into accepting. proved to be quite unsuccessful.
nixon's secret exit strategy. this was supposed to be the slow withdrawal of troops and independence of south vietnam forces. turned out to be a false political ploy more than anything.
returned to US and tried to return to everyday life, but couldn't get story he had heard from butch grover out of his mind. wasn't sure if it actually happened or not. decided it was, and felt guilty about it, so he wrote to basically everyone in major US politics. in doing so he exposed the greatest controvery in the war.
charlie company
basically a usual demographic of the army though it was understaffed. racially mixed. lieutenant was a failure and couldn't do anything right. company didn't see much action, then tet took many casualties. line was blurred from enemy to civilian. medina issued orders that everyone was suspect. went on a search and destroy mission but found only civilians. took anger out on civilians and killed 500. most atrocities were committed by calley. opened a massive trial. calley only one convicted. supposed to serve life with hard labor. served only 4 years.
quang ngai province
was and still is one of the most beautiful places on earth. but was also known as being very dangerous and a hotbed of resistance. harbor for vietcong. a part
laid out seven options for withdrawal. military escalation aimed at withdrawal, unilateral withdrawal, withdrawal aimed at negotiation (known as vietnamization). ended up pulling ground troops, seeking negotiations, but upping air raids.
phoenix program
secret cia effort of assassination of communist leaders in south vietnam. perhaps killed 20,000 people, but number was probably inflated. created an atmosphere of indiscriminate terror.
prince sihanouk
prince of cambodia. initially tried to preserve cambodia's neutrality. eventually decided to accept inevitability of communism in asia. attempted to gain china's aid, but also acted in a very politically repressive way which he lost a lot of friends for. china rejected link. while he was out of the country, lon nol, his prime minister took over temporary power. sihanouk supported khmer rouge and became teh symbolic head of state when pol pot and rouge took power.
khmer rouge/pol pot
the communist party that briefly ruled cambodia. led by pol pot. responsible for massive bloodbaths and genocides.
le duc tho
fought against the french since he was 16. engaged in secret peace talks with kissinger that led to the paris cease fire accord of 1973. tho and kissinger were awarded the nobel peace prize, though tho turned it down.
lon nol
assumed the position of head of state of cambodia under the khmer republic regime. nol's power was beneficial to US because he closed ports to vietnamese and war supplies. had a pro western anti communist stance.
kent state/jackson state
massive antiwar protests. 450 protests on college campuses nationwide. national guard opened fire at kent state. kent state received much more publicity than did jackson state where two students were killed by national guard during civil rights rally.
lam son 719
invasion of Laos by ARVN troops but directed by US. covered by us air troops. no more succesful than invasion of cambodia. most ARVN were chased back.
pentagon papers
theme was that US officials were hardly optimistic even in 65. this went against the public pronouncement. heightened US skepticism about war. led to nixon assigning a plumbers unit and watergate.
daniel ellsberg
leaked the pentagon papers. felt it was his duty. copied and leaked to NY Times. believed he would go to jail for papers but did it anyways.
easter offensive
march of 1972. invasion by north across 17th parallel. done to improve their bargaining position. wanted to demonstrate that vietnamization wouldn't work. nixon ordered a staunch retaliation bombing hanoi and hai phong harbor.
nguyen van thieu
leader in south at time of negotiatiosn. he was the most appealing leader since diem. pledged to by nixon that if north invaded south that the US would return.
paris peace accords
secret negotiations between Tho and Kissinger. both men liked the secrecy. talks often halt and are slowed by ridiculous negotiations about table shape.
christmas bombings
most devastating campaign of the war. kissinger knows congress will return in january and they will want him out. 1600 civilians are killed. people across the world are outraged. accidentally hit a childrens hospital. brought vietnamese back to negotiating table.
war powers act
president would have to notify congress of significant troop deployment within 48 hours. and they would have to approve within 60 days or the troops would ahve to come back.