Richard Nixon and the Vietnam War Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :


It took two months after the signing of the Vietnam peace agreement, for the last of the American prisoners to be released by Hanoi and American troops to exit South Vietnam. The closing of an eight-year long war in Vietnam ended. Saigon had an estimated 7,000 American Department of Defense civilian workers remain to assist South Vietnam against communist North Vietnam. The Vietnam War was a taxing experience for everyone in the United States. It took over five presidencies with the last presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Gerald R. Ford having to deal with the ongoing struggle and aftermath of the war.

Former President Lyndon B. Johnson became engulfed in the war as it became the major initiative in his presidency. President Nixon had to deal with public outcry from American citizens and pulling back of American troops. Former President Gerald R. Ford declared a formal end to the war in Vietnam and concluded this years-long conflict. But what led to the pulling back of the troops by then President Nixon that would ultimately lead to the end of the war? President Richard Nixon ordered the withdraw of United States forces in Vietnam; however, protests by the American people as well as political pressure from other politicians influenced his decision.


The U.S. intervention in the Vietnam War formally began March 8th, 1965. Although this is the official data, just a month before, then President Johnson a retaliation that would spark the desire for the United States to intervene in this long war.

Using as a pretext a Vietcong attack on 7 February 1965 at Pleiku that killed eight American soldiers, Johnson ordered retaliatory bombing north of the Demilitarized Zone along the 17th parallel that divided North and South Vietnam, within a week, the administration began ROLLING THUNDER, a gradually intensifying air bombardment of military bases, supply depots, and infiltration routes in North Vietnam (Anderson, 1999).

These actions helped provide what would end up being an eight-year long conflict in Vietnam. While the United States did not want to spread communism in the world, there was a need once the United States entered the war, to end it. Protestors arrived by the thousands to protest the war and many believed it was unnecessary. The American public believed the war hurt their men fighting in Vietnam and hurt the American economy.

President Nixon, who began to pull troops away tried to bolster South Vietnam soldiers in a method called Vietnamization. “Vietnamization was a strategy that aimed to reduce American involvement in the Vietnam War by transferring all military responsibilities to South Vietnam. The increasingly unpopular war had created deep rifts in American society” (History Staff, 2010). He believed that by strengthening military forces in South Vietnam, they could win and keep Vietnam as a whole from adopting a communist ideology. However, the idea did not seem to have the intended effect after it was implemented. Still, former President Nixon continued to bring back American troops to appease the American public and from the pressure of other politicians in Congress and the White House.

Although the Vietnamization strategy was not effective, there were other DIME strategic concepts applied. DIME stands for Diplomacy, Information, Military, and Economic. Nixon attempted to set up objectives to be achieve via implementation of DIME concepts although neither this or Vietnamization were successful. This shows the failure of Nixon and the United States government at accomplishing what they felt was necessary in Vietnam, while also creating a problem for the next President, former President Ford to handle.

Ways: DIME

The United States saw Vietnam as a potential ideological opponent similar to Cuba and North Korea. They aimed to isolate and contain such ideology as much as possible. When the South lost to the North Vietnamese government, the United States to that as a loss for democracy. The main reason that the U.S. intervened in the war was due to the diplomatic mission to make Vietnam a Democratic Nation. The main American interest in the region, “was prevent the fall of Indochina to the Communists.” The Truman administration, and all…

Cite This Research Paper:

"Richard Nixon And The Vietnam War" (2017, September 27) Retrieved February 17, 2018, from

"Richard Nixon And The Vietnam War" 27 September 2017. Web.17 February. 2018. <>

"Richard Nixon And The Vietnam War", 27 September 2017, Accessed.17 February. 2018,