AMH Chapter 19 Section 1 Part 3

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)
– 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”
• 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
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
• Images of wounded and
dead American soldiers in
the media made
Americans doubt the
truthfulness about the
Containment of Vietnam
• George Keenan, the
American diplomat who
helped to create the
policy of containment
believed that Vietnam
was not strategically
• Many college students
began protesting the
• 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).

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