The Vietnamizing the war is the term which is associated with the figure of the US president Richard Nixon. Vietnamizing the war is the withdrawal of the US troops from the theatre of war in Vietnam. Richard Nixon was a sort of forced to make this uneasy decision, and there were a few factors which contributed into the withdrawal of troops. Let us take a closer look at only three of them.
The first factor was the growing disapproval of the war among general US population. The idea that the united States were sticking their fingers into something, that was not their business gained popularity across the country (Anderson, 2004). The United States tax payers believed that their money is being spent in a least wise manner possible. At the same time the number of soldiers involved in the war was quite significant. In this respect the matter was relevant for a large number of US families. They did not understand why their children or husbands had to risk their lives and what this intervention in a foreign land had to do with patriotism.
Another important factor, which contributed into the Vietnamization of war, was the growing disobedience in the US troops. The soldiers and even officers were disappointed with their participation in the war, and demotivated. They did not follow orders, in some instances they could act just contrary to the order. They used drugs; they got involved in acts of vandalism and violence. This factor was, certainly, among the most influential when the decision about troop’s withdrawal was taken.
Lastly, there was a widely used practice, when troops would withdraw somewhere to the countryside and from their send radiograms about their fake participation in battles or any other fake news. In other words, managing the troops was becoming very ineffective.
During the period of transition, however, the troops were still contributing into the success of South Vietnamese army. Their role was to establish logistics, to provide the Vietnamese with the things they needed to effectively fight, to provide them with the know-how of leading an effective battle (Greiner, 2010).
But it was not the only thing Americans did in order to support the South Vietnam troops. The very term “Vietnamizing the war” hints that the efforts were mainly directed at deeper involvement of South Vietnam into their war with North Vietnam. Now it was no longer an opposition of the United States and the Soviet Union. By far not, this was a civil war, a war between two parts of Vietnam. But Americans were there to help. The aids were provided in the shape of financial support. South Vietnamese soldiers were much better dressed, had better ammunition, and all this was financed by the US government. This means that on the one hand the open stage of the opposition with the Soviet Union ended. However another one, the implicit, hidden phase started. The Vietnamese were playing the civil war, while in reality the USA and the Soviet Union were still demonstrating their military muscles before one another.
Certainly, there were other important factors, which contributed into the vietnamising the war, but the three mentioned above are, definitely, the most significant ones. It is important to take into consideration the anti-war movement, which was gaining popularity in the United Sttes in the end of sixties, and the withdrawal of the troops will appear to be quite natural even due to this factor alone. Still, total disorder and lack of discipline made effective management of the troops absolutely unthinkable and this factor as well constituted for a reason of withdrawal. Substance abuse, violence and other unfortunate deeds of US soldiers and officers could also serve as one and the only reason for the president to take the decision to withdraw the troops.
- Anderson, David L.. “Columbia Guide to the Vietnam War. New York: Columbia University Press. 2004.
- Greiner, Bernd. “War Without Fronts: The USA in Vietnam”. London: Vintage Books. 2010