Operation Menu Case Study

1464 Words 6 Pages
While the campaigns in Cambodia were immensely successful for the United States’ effort in the Vietnam War, it resulted in huge controversy and detrimental losses for the indigenous people. Bombings that would later escalate into an invasion served to destroy enemy sanctuaries hiding in Cambodia. In the tedious and fruitless conflict, Nixon described the invasion as “the most successful military operation of the entire Vietnam War" (qtd. In History.com Staff).
Using the domino theory to justify the conflict in Vietnam, much like in Korea, The U.S. waged war in Southeast Asia during the 1950s up until the 1970s, fearing the spread of Communism. Cambodia meanwhile, under Prince Sihanouk, remained neutral since the Geneva Agreement of 1954. Communist
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This covert mission was given the name “Breakfast”, the first of six series of missions in Operation Menu. Due to the success of Operation Breakfast 5 more operations were planned. They would be known as: Lunch, Snack, Dinner, Supper, and Dessert. Due to the nature of their names all 6 of the procedures would be under title the “Operation Menu”. In total 3,800 B-52 sorties were flown and 108,823 tons of bombs were dropped. Overall the series of missions were successful. These operations in Cambodia were pushed to be kept secret by President Nixon and Henry Kissinger. Not even Prince Sihanouk, Cambodia 's leader, and Congress knew of the operations. The bombing of a neutral country would not be seen in good light, especially during this tedious and opposed war. Unwanted criticism from the media and more anti-war protests on college campuses were avoided by keeping the missions under wraps. However, on May 9th, 1969, an article published in the New York Times exposed the bombing in Cambodia. The author disclosed that his source was from the Nixon Administration. The President was furious. Morton Halperin, Kissinger’s aide, was believed to be the source of the leak. For 21 months Halperin 's phone was illegally tapped, the first in a long series of illegal surveillances that would later bring Nixon …show more content…
In the coming weeks the 2 anti-communist forces would cut through the Communist’s sanctuaries, finding them to be more complex than previously thought. On May 9th naval forces entered Cambodia to clear the Mekong River up to Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital. With air support they destroyed all enemy crafts that they encountered. The Americans were stuck south of the Neak Luong transit point due to a 30 kilometer limit that was imposed by the U.S. While the U.S. troops withdrew on June 30th, as promised, ARVN forces stayed in Cambodia and continued fighting for 18 months. By the end of the incursion 10,000 tons of weapons, supplies, food, and other materials had been captured or destroyed. Large Northern attacks over the next year became less prominent due to the success of the

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