Richard Nixon Vietnam Research Paper

1928 Words 8 Pages
Patrick R. Hollman
Billington
English 11
8 May 2015 Nixon and Vietnam

The presidency of Richard M. Nixon was fraught with turmoil; but despite the madness and chaos that were part of his presidential history, Nixon will go down as one of the most dedicated presidents of our country. At a time that America was in a state of disarray from being involved in three different wars since the beginning of the century, Nixon entered office with Vietnam fully engaged in warfare. His policy for the war was one that held promise; however Nixon’s ability to move forward with the policy became compromised by the politics. The Vietnam War had an impact on both the United States and the presidency of Richard M. Nixon.
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President Johnson, seeing the turn of the public opinion, chose not to run for re-election. This opened the door for Richard Nixon to run for and be elected, to the office of President. One of his main running points was the idea of removing American soldiers from Vietnam. This policy would become known as ‘Vietnamization.’
Richard Nixon took office in 1969, introducing the idea of Vietnamization. This strategy focused on ending the Vietnam War and returning the control of South Vietnam back to the people. Nixon officially announced his plan of Vietnamization on public television on November 3rd, 1969. This announcement was part of his ‘Nixon Doctrine,’ and “over the course of his first term in office, Nixon held true to this doctrine by withdrawing a substantial portion of Americas fighting forces from Vietnam”.
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Through secret negotiations between Kissinger and the North Vietnamese, the President warned that if major progress were not made by November 1, 1969, "we will be compelled—with great reluctance—to take measures of the greatest consequences." The NSC staff made plans for some of those options, including the resumed bombing of North Vietnam and the mining of Haiphong Harbor. Nixon then took a step designed both to interfere with Communist supplies and to signal a willingness to act irrationally to achieve his goals—he secretly ordered the bombing of Communist supply lines on the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Cambodia. Also in keeping with his intention to convey a sense of presidential irrationality—Nixon as "madman"—he launched a worldwide nuclear alert.
None of it worked. The North Vietnamese did not yield; Nixon did not carry out his threats; the war continued. Nixon did not know how to bring the conflict to a successful resolution. (millercenter.org)
The Vietnam War was unpopular with the American people; this was the first war to be filmed through the media and civilians were exposed to the reality of the brutality taking place. While other wars had been filmed in the past, Vietnam had the distinction of being a war where the people were shown the true horror that was involved. The media’s involvement created a nationwide outcry that did nothing to gain the support that the armed forces so desperately

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