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
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.
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.