Professor John Cronin
November 02, 2011
“First, the United States will keep all of its treaty commitments. Second, we shall provide a shield if a nuclear power threatens the freedom of a nation allied with us or of a nation whose survival we consider vital to our security. Third, in cases involving other types of aggression, we shall furnish military and economic assistance when requested in accordance with our treaty commitments. But we shall look to the nation directly threatened to assume the primary responsibility of providing the manpower for its defense.” (http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/) This quote is from President Richard Nixon’s speech on “Vietnamization” in 1969. Vietnamization was a U.S. policy during the Vietnam War which gave the South Vietnamese government ultimate responsibility for the war to allow for the withdrawal of American troops. I will explain in further detail the overall goal, effects and outcome of this policy.
I would like to give a brief synopsis of the Vietnam War and the factors which prompted the “Nixon Doctrine.” The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War or the Vietnam Conflict, occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1959 to 1975. The war was fought between the communist North Vietnam and supported by its communist allies, and South Vietnam which were supported by the United States and other member nations of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). Also involved in the war were the Vietcong, the lightly armed South Vietnamese communist insurgency, which largely fought against anti-communist forces in the South Vietnam region. The North Vietnamese Army fought a more conventional war by sending large-sized units into battle. The South Vietnamese and United States forces also fought in a more conventional manner by relying on air superiority and overwhelming firepower involving ground forces, artillery and air strikes. The United...