Chapter 19 Section 1 Part 3 After the Gulf of Tonkin Incident • After the Gulf of Tonkin incident and Resolution in August 1964, President Johnson (in March 1965) ordered: – American aircraft to begin a sustained bombing campaigned against targets in North Vietnam – The first American combat troops into Vietnam. Public Opinion • In the spring of 1965, A Gallup poll showed that 66% of Americans approved of the policy in Vietnam. How the Vietcong fought • When the American combat troops arrived in Vietnam, they discovered the guerilla tactics and fighting methods used by the Vietcong which included ambushes and booby traps. Vietcong Tactics • The Vietcong blended into the civilian population and vanished after they struck their targets. • American troops tried to find the enemy and bomb their positions, destroy their supply lines, and force them into the open. “Search and Destroy” • To counter the Vietcong’s ability to hide in thick jungles, American used “search and destroy” missions. • These mission included planes that dropped napalm, a jellied gasoline that explodes on contact. • They also used Agent Orange, a chemical that strips leaves from trees. Continuous bombing • American military leaders believed that continuous bombing and the killing of many Vietcong would make them surrender. • However, the guerrillas did not surrender. Supply Chain • North Vietnam received supplies from the Soviet Union and China (both communist nations), and then sent supplies to South Vietnam through a network known as the Ho Chi Minh trail. Ho Chi Minh Trail • The main North Vietnamese supply route (known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail) consisted of a network of jungle paths in Cambodia and Laos, bypassing the border between North and South Vietnam. No…don’t invade North Vietnam • President Johnson did not order an invasion of North Vietnam because he feared this would bring China into the war. • Instead of conquering enemy territory, American troops tried to defeat the enemy by slowly wearing them down. • As casualties on both sides mounted through 1967, the Vietcong still showed no sign of surrendering. T.V. War • Vietnam was the first “television war”, with footage of combat appearing nightly on the evening news (along with the casualty count from fighting that day) Credibility Gap • Opposition to the Vietnam War grew in the late 1960s. • Many Americans believed a credibility gap had developed. • Images of wounded and dead American soldiers in the media made Americans doubt the government’s truthfulness about the war. Containment of Vietnam • George Keenan, the American diplomat who helped to create the policy of containment believed that Vietnam was not strategically important. Teach-ins • Many college students began protesting the war. • A group of faculty members and students at the University of Michigan joined together in a teach-in to discuss opposition to the war. Opposed to the war • People opposed the war for different reasons. Some believed it was a civil war that did not involve the United States. • Others believed South Vietnam was a corrupt dictatorship, and supporting it was immoral. • Some were against the draft system. Postponing military service • At the beginning of the war, college students were able to postpone military service until after they graduated. Minorities in Vietnam • Minorities, particularly African Americans made up a disproportionately large number of soldiers in Vietnam. • Other young people from low-income families were more likely to serve in the military because they could not afford college MLK’s View • In April 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. broke his silence and publically condemned the conflict in Vietnam. Two Sides • Despite the antiwar protests, a majority of people in early 1968 supported the war. • Those who wanted to withdraw from Vietnam were called doves. • Those who wanted to stay and fight were called hawks. Draft Lottery System • In 1969 the government issued a lottery system for the draft. • However, while men could be drafted to fight in Vietnam at age 18, they could not vote until they were 21. 26th Amendment • Protests against the war and the draft led to ratification of the 26th amendment which gave citizens 18 years older the right to vote (the amendment was ratified in 1971).