Vietnamization Facts

Vietnamization Facts
After the Tet Offensive, American opposition to the Vietnam War dramatically increased and with growing social turmoil in the United States, most Americans began seeing Vietnam as a lost cause. Richard Nixon won the 1968 presidential election on a combination of promises to restore order internally and to end the Vietnam War, which he and many people who voted for him viewed as intertwined. Beginning in 1969, the United States began drastically scaling back ground operations in Vietnam with the hope that the South Vietnam Army, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), would be able to win the war. The term "Vietnamization" was first coined by Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird in a press conference. Although President Nixon scaled back American ground forces, he ordered more heavy aerial bombings of specific targets, namely the Ho Chi Minh trail, part of which was in Cambodia. The program of Vietnamization did indeed improve the quality of the ARVN, but it was too little too late and they were unable to stop the onslaught of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and the Viet Cong (VC).
Interesting Vietnamization Facts:
Vietnamization involved two parts: raising the number and quality of the ARVN and military aid to civilians. The first part was hampered by time constraints, while with the second part rural Vietnamese often looked at the VC more sympathetically than the South Vietnamese government.
Henry Kissinger, President Nixon's National Security Advisor and later Secretary of State, played a major role in crafting the Vietnamization policy.
Kissinger was told by the RAND Corporation that there was no way to win in Vietnam.
Although Nixon was somewhat of a militant anti-communist early in his political career, he was much less so during his presidency. He opened relations with communist China and helped bring a d├ętente with the Soviet Union, both of whom were North Vietnam's allies.
The U.S. bombings of Cambodia were carried out with B-52 bombers.
The bombings of Cambodia were top secret so it took several weeks before news of them was reported in America.
On April 30, 1970, U.S. and ARVN forces invading Cambodia on the ground to take out supply depots and lines. The campaign had mixed results: it pushed the Cambodian Communists away from North Vietnam, but news of it was immediately known in the U.S., leading to more protests.
Direct negotiations between North Vietnam and the United States government began in early 1970.
Despite the repeated attacks on Cambodia by the American and South Vietnamese forces, the Ho Chi Minh Trail continued to be used by the communist forces until the end of the war.
By December 31, 1973, only fifty American military personnel remained in South Vietnam.
When the United States military left Vietnam, the ARVN was more than one million men, but it was overwhelmingly an infantry force, lacking in combined arms.

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