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HIST 381 University of Maryland Vietnam War Aftermath Discussion

HIST 381 University of Maryland Vietnam War Aftermath Discussion

Question Description

I’m working on a history discussion question and need an explanation to help me study.

On March 31, 1968, in the aftermath of Tet and Khe Sanh as we have discussed, President Johnson announced that he would not seek his party’s nomination for another term. He also declared a halt to the bombing of North Vietnam (exception was a strip above the DMZ), and urged Hanoi to agree to peace talks.

At this time, America had some 525,000 troops in Vietnam. 

General Westmoreland asked for another 200,000 in the aftermath of Tet, bringing the total to 725,000, but he was turned down by a commission headed by Clark Clifford, the new United States Secretary of Defense.

During this period some 15,000 PAVN/PLAF troops attacked the American base at Khe Sanh. There were a number of other attacks as well  Khe Sanh

We have seen that, as President, Nixon [who took office in January 1969] agreed to a request by General Creighton W. Abrams, who had replaced Westmoreland in mid-1968, and American bombers attacked Cambodia.

This was followed by an invasion of Cambodia by some 30,000 USA/ARVN troops.

On the battlefields in Vietnam and at the conference table [once the shape of that table was agreed to] in Paris, a standoff was the situation by mid-1971. conference table debate

In Paris, the USA offered a withdrawal of United States forces if Hanoi stopped its infiltration of the South; Hanoi did agree to a coalition government in the south, Saigon, if the United States withdrew and there was a cease-fire.

The big stumbling block was the situation of President Thieu remaining as head of the South Vietnamese government, which Washington insisted on and Hanoi would not agree to. 

Hanoi sought to press the issue and the Easter offensive, ill-considered by Hanoi as it turned out, was launched on March 30, 1972.

ABC News 30 March 1972

The Wall

Richard Nixon and Henry A. Kissinger on 6 October 1972

Nixon, Kissinger… madman

What do you make of all this? 

The strategy of tactics? 

Perhaps, at the end of the day, that was the purpose of America in Vietnam?   

Not to lose?                                                               

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