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Victorious Failure


Defining Moment

Goals of a forsaken war

Victorious Failure

Point of View

The United States policy of Vietnamization was a good idea, but the time was not ripe for it to best be used. South Vietnam’s military strength was rated by nearly all experts in South Vietnam as incapable of handling a combined threat. True, Vietnamization was not what led to the total withdrawal of troops from Vietnam, but the opinions pressed by Melvin Robert (Bam) Laird a member of Nixon’s Cabinet had somewhat of an affect on our agreeing to sign a ceasefire agreement. Also, if we had used Vietnamization's program of building up South Vietnam's armed forces more extensively, South Vietnam might still be in existence today.

The My Lai Massacre was a tragic events and an extreme embarrassment to the USA. Soldiers killed hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese civilians. They tastelessly murdered them in cold blood. The soldiers showed no restraint what so ever; they were merciless in their attempt to locate the members of the NLF. The NLF or the National Liberation Front was a group of anti-capitalist gorilla soldiers that defeated the USA and eventually forced them to withdraw from Vietnam. This group resided within civilian populations so it was difficult to weed out the soldiers from the general population. The stress and difficulty of finding these soldiers drove them to commit heinous acts and crimes. The massacre caused a rift in the American public. Huge anti-war protests were staged against the war especially after the events that occurred after the news of the events that occurred at My Lai were made public. Many soldiers attempted to file for conscientious objector status.

When American Forces initially entered Cambodia, they almost immediately faced large forces that were extremely disorganized and unsystematic. These soldiers attempted to defend the secret NVA supply bases, which American forces were attempting to destroy. Even though US forces faced large opposition they were easily defeated. These US military successes, combined with the violent political turmoil which plagued American college campuses in protest of the US invasion of Cambodia, caused Nixon on May 7 to create a directive limiting the American invasion to incursion depth of 22 miles and setting a deadline to remove all US forces from there.



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