Counterinsurgency In Vietnam War Research Paper

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United States Counterinsurgency Operations in Vietnam from 1961 to 1968

The United States policies of counterinsurgency throughout the Vietnam War have largely been criticized by historians, government officials, and the U.S. population ever since the escalation of occupation the U.S. had in South Vietnam starting in 1961. The Geneva Accords of 1954 stated that there was to be no foreign military presence in North and South Vietnam, however the U.S. ignored the accords because of their belief in the Domino Theory.1 The U.S. was scared that if one country fell to communism then all of Southeast Asia would be susceptible to falling to communism. The National Liberation Front was gaining support in South
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counterinsurgency plans included the building of strategic and defended hamlets; the hamlets were created to protect the rural populations from Vietcong attacks. Strategic hamlets were government created villages with military protection built in white and pink areas.33 Defended hamlets were government constructed villages with heavy military protection built in red areas.34 These hamlets had strict governmental policies created within them. For example there were free fire zones created around them and curfews were set up for the people living within the walls.35 If someone was found in these areas past their designated curfew they were subject to be shot on the spot without any hesitation from the military.36 Identity cards were also distributed to the people living in the hamlets, as a way for the military to identify who was living in the hamlets and who the outsiders were.37 Furthermore, checkpoints were created around the hamlets, and throughout the roads and waterways to help eliminate Vietcong supply …show more content…
troops present in South Vietnam. In 1964, the U.S. troops increased to 23,000 from the 16,000 mark that was in Vietnam in 1963.52 By 1965 the amount of troops in Vietnam reached 180,000 and by 1966 had reached 400,000.53 In 1968, nearing the end of the U.S. counterinsurgency effort, there were over 500,000 troops present in Vietnam.54 This dramatic increase of troops from 1963-1968 shows the difficulties the U.S. was having in fighting against the Vietcong. The U.S. thought that troop increase in South Vietnam would directly lead to more control over the country, and believed that with more troops present it could carry out more military operations against the insurgents. They were extremely mistaken; the insurgency was far too imbedded within the Southern population for even arguably the most advanced military in the world to take control

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