Unit #2 Vietnam


Brandon Yousif, Nick Francis, Adam Vita, Chirstian Winter, Zack Mendel

01/01/1939 - 01/02/1939


01/01/1940 - 01/02/1940

The reason there was a war in Vietnam was because the Vietnamese people were trying to overcome constant opression through communism which was an obvious threat to the Unnited States resulting in them trying to contain it.

National Security Action Memorandum #273

11/06/1943 - 11/07/1943

oThis document from the Pentagon Papers, signed by Lyndon B. Johnson on November 26th 1943, seems to have the most solid evidence for conspiracy theorists that some members of the U.S. government had knowledge of the JFK assassination plot before it happened, and that the evidence was written in the DRAFT of the paper
oSome theory ideas: (quote from article in jfklancers.com)
“The President has reviewed the discussions of South Vietnam which occurred in Honolulu, and has discussed the matter further with Ambassador Lodge.”
oThe idea is that within the DRAFT there is evidence saying that when the paper referred “the president” it was actually referring to Lyndon Johnson, although he was not president at the time the DRAFT was written.

Domino Theory

10/06/1949 - 01/06/1950

•Domino theory/ containmen t
oThe domino theory was the United States trying to contain the communist countries so that they would die out.
oThe United states wanted to enter the Vietnam to stop the communist
oThis strategy of containment said that the U.S had to stop communism in Southeast Asia
oWhat the United states believed was that if one country went communist it would infect other countries and turn them in to communist like a virus
oThe domino theory became part of the formal US policy in 1964
oThe white house then asked the Board of National Estimates on its viewpoint of the Domino theory
o"We do not believe that the loss of South Vietnam and Laos would be followed by the rapid, successive communization of the other states of the Far East. . . . With the possible exception of Cambodia, it is likely that no nation in the area would quickly succumb to Communism as a result of the fall of Laos and South Vietnam. Furthermore, a continuation of the spread of Communism in the area would not be inexorable, and any spread which did occur would take time--time in which the total situation might change in any of a number of ways unfavorable to the Communist cause . . . [Moreover] the extent to which individual countries would move away from the US towards the Communists would be significantly effected by the substance and manner of US policy in the area following the loss of Laos and South Vietnam."

oI feel that the United States theory to contain the communist countries was more out of fear then practicality. They just didn’t want the communism to spread so much that it would even overpower the United States. The United States was so scared of Communism spreading that they went half way across the world to this little country that they knew little about and went to war with Vietnam. In the quote that I put it explains how the White house asked the Board of national Estimates on how it felt. And even this government institution said they did not feel as though a domino theory would occur. This shows just how scared the United States was in stopping communism.

NSC 68

04/16/1950 - 09/30/1950

oThe national council report 68 (NSC 68) was a 58 page top secret paper that was issued by the National Security Council
oIt told America’s stance on its own foreign policy for the next 20 years and how it wanted to contain the communism
oIt also said how America would put an end to the Soviet Union
oIt was shown to Harry S. Truman on April 16th 1950 but was signed by the president on September 30th 1950

oI think that they came up with the NSC 68 in order to express to the upper government officials of the United States how they felt about the Communism threat. They wanted to explain if a country was Communist no matter what they were an enemy of the United States and it would not be taken lightly. I think that they did not want to have any guessing when it came to Communism. They just wanted it to be plain and simple if there is Communism we are going to take it out.

Korean War

06/25/1950 - 07/27/1953

oKorea was divided at the end of WWII between North and South
North surrendered to the Soviet Union
South surrendered to the United States
Then North Korea invaded south Korea in 1950
oPresident Truman is afraid that the Communism might spread like Hitler’s movement did
Sends aid to south Korea
oGeneral MacArthur pushed North Korea past the 38th parallel
But is afraid that the Chinese might enter the war
oFrance then comes in a colonizes mush of Southeast Asia
oHo Chi Minh comes looking for aid and looks to communist
oWe back French in containing Communism and support the French against the Vietnamese
oWhat I think about the Korean War is that it was very similar to the Vietnam War. You would think that because we just fought a war against communism we would learn. But not much changed between Korea and Vietnam. I feel like the United States needs to find things out about where they are going in to before they spend millions of dollars and American Lives. They need to understand their culture. I think before getting involved with the French we should of looked at the Vietnamese people and if they we really bad. The United States knew that Ho Chi Minh just wanted a free country and to free his people. The OSS that was sent over, told many stories of a nice and gentle leader. I think the United states just saw the Communism and instantly thought contain.

Strategic Hamlet Program

11/01/1961 - 11/01/1963

•It was a program designed to counter the Communist insurgency through popular transfer.
•The plan was to give the peasants weapons and training. We would then slowly expand these hamlets in order to create an expanding frontier.
•President Kennedy sent Roger Hilsman to Vietnam in order assess the situation, and he met Robert Thompson there.
•Robert Thompson shared the plan then.
•The execution of the program was awful, as it was uncontrollable and was put into effect too quickly. The hamlets were easily corrupted and overrun.
•The assassination of the President on November 1st, 1963 confirmed the almost complete failure of the program.
•This program was an act of desperation and a bad attempt to keep US forces out of Vietnam.

Max Taylor- Walt Rostow

11/01/1961 - 11/02/1961

•They wrote a report in November of 1961.
•The report stated that we needed to increase the use of US combat troops in Vietnam, and improve the training of ARVN troops.
•Max Taylor was one of JFK’s most trusted friends within the government.
•He specifically requested to JFK that we send in 8,000 combat troops to Vietnam, but JFK refused.
•Walt Rostow strongly supported the United States getting involved in Vietnam.

Battle of AP Bac

01/03/1963 - 01/04/1963

•Fought on January 3, 1963 in Dinh Tuong Province.
•It proved to the American people that American troops would be needed in Vietnam.
•This battle shocked the American people and caused them to lose hope in the Vietnamese forces. It was a big turning point because of the realization that we needed to send our own.

Buddhist Crisis

05/01/1963 - 11/01/1963

•A time of religious and political tension in South Vietnam.
•Occurred between May and November of 1963.
•The government, led by President Ngo Dinh Diem, was pro- catholic while nearly 80% of the general population was Buddhist.
•The government put policies into place that allowed Catholics to prosper while the Buddhists suffered.
•This caused tensions to build up and inspired a coup on November 1st, 1963. This coup ended with the fall of the Diem government and assassination of the President.

The assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem

11/01/1963 - 11/02/1963

o Ngo Dinh Diem was the president in South Vietnam during the Kennedy Administration
o Diem wanted Kennedy to deploy 100,000 troops in Vietnam; Kennedy refused sending a couple thousand to train Vietnamese soldiers to fight the North Vietnamese.
o Diem started to look to the Chinese for aid in the war, the U.S. did not approve of this.
o Some of the South Vietnamese generals plotted to assassinate Diem and his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu.
o The generals told the U.S. Ambassador about the assassination plot, who then told Washington.
o Washington did not want the plot to go through, but the Ambassador claimed there was nothing they could do.
o The generals with a small militia confronted Diem and demanded he and his brother resign.
o Diem eventually did resign, but then tried to run away in a secret passage.
o The militia found the Diem brothers, arrested them, and killed them inside an armored car on November 2, 1963.
o The deaths of the Diem brothers shocked Kennedy, and a number of powerful generals ruled over Saigon for a time.
o The assassination of the Diem brothers led to an unstable government issue in South Vietnam. The North Vietnamese took advantage and gained a much stronger hold on the country as a result.

Warren Commission

11/22/1963 - 04/01/1964

oThe President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, called the Warren Commission after its chairman Earl Warren, conducted hearings in 1964 on the assassination of President Kennedy. It issued its finding that, “Lee Harvey Oswald, alone and unaided, killed President Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963.” It also found that Jack Ruby's murder of Oswald, while Oswald was in police custody, was also not part of any conspiracy.
oThe commission published 26 volumes of evidence in September 1964 The released files of the Warren Commission include over 50,000 pages of numbered documents, internal memorandum, transcripts of Executive Sessions, and more.
The Warren commission tried to put to rest the theories of conspiracy, although it seemed to make the matter worse.

Lee Harvey Oswald

11/22/1964 - 11/23/1964

oBorn on October 18,1939.
oOswald is charged as the assassin who killed JFK on November 22, 1964.
oOswald was seen on that day on the sixth floor of the Texas Schoolbook Depository Building at the time of the shooting.
oHe is charged with shooting JFK twice, with a third shoot hitting an innocent bystander, with a rifle he owned.
oHe lived in Russia, where he was married, then moved back to America.
oThe Warren Commission concluded that he was a lone assassin and was not part of a conspiracy.
oWas a marine before and was a competent marksman.
o2 days after his arrest, he was killed by Jack Ruby on live television in the Dallas County Jail.
oThe murder of JFK and Oswald are still hotly debated topics to this day.
oWith these two events going on all at once, it took much focus off the war in Vietnam, which was an issue for the soldiers there.
oWith Lyndon Johnson as president, the war in Vietnam escalated when LBJ send hundreds of thousands more troops to Vietnam, which might not have happened if JFK was still alive.