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Amerikaanse verbintenis tot die groei van Viëtnam - geskiedenis


Die Amerikaanse verbintenis tot Viëtnam het vroeg in 1962 toegeneem namate die troepesterkte tot 8 000 man verhoog is. President Kennedy het die Amerikaanse troepe die opdrag gegee om op die Vietcong te skiet as hulle self vyandige vuur teëkom.

In 1954 het 'n konferensie in Genève Viëtnam in twee dele verdeel om die Franse Indo-Chinese oorlog tot 'n einde te bring. Die bepalings van die ooreenkoms lui dat 'n verkiesing sou plaasvind, maar dit het nooit gebeur nie. Die Noord -Viëtnamese was vasbeslote om Viëtnam te herenig, en het dus gehelp met die vorming van die Suid -Viëtnamese terreurgroep, die VietCong.

In die nasleep van die Genève -ooreenkomste het die Verenigde State die verantwoordelikheid aangeneem om die troepe van Suid -Viëtnam te bewapen en op te lei. Hierdie verantwoordelikheid het egter uitgebrei, en teen die tyd van die moord op president Kennedy het dit 8000 troepe ingesluit, waarvan sommige Suid -Viëtnamese troepe in die geveg vergesel het.


Alternatiewe geskiedenis: kon die VSA Viëtnam -oorlog gewen het deur meer bombardemente?

Die Verenigde State kon lugmag in Vietnam meer effektief gebruik het as wat dit gedoen het, maar selfs die doeltreffendste planne sou waarskynlik nie die Saigon -regime kon red nie.

Hier is wat u moet onthou: Lugmag kon nie die Noord -Viëtnamese verbintenis tot eenwording vernietig nie, nóg die Saigon -bewind se vermoë om sy eie gebied te beheer, voldoende versterk.

Met die koms van 'n nuwe lugveldtog teen ISIS, blyk Amerikaanse betrokkenheid by die Irak -oorlog weer te begin. As ons die versekering van die president ernstig opneem, sal hierdie herhaling van die oorlog nie die VSA van Amerikaanse grondmagte insluit nie, maar eerder uitsluitlik konsentreer op lugmag.

Die Obama -administrasie het effektief besluit om op lugmag staat te maak in sy pogings om die katastrofiese, deurlopende chaos wat deur die Irak -oorlog veroorsaak is, te beperk. Om in hierdie terme aan die operasie teen ISIS te dink, roep byna onvermydelik soortgelyke gedagtes oor vorige katastrofiese oorloë op. Sou lugmag byvoorbeeld die Viëtnam -oorlog gewen het, of ten minste die omvang van ons nederlaag beperk?

Sekerlik, baie mense het destyds so geglo. Alhoewel die Amerikaanse lugmag die Rolling Thunder-veldtog as sub-optimaal beskou het, gegewe die begeerte om 'n baie groter reeks teikens aan te val, het die bevelvoerders dit destyds as 'n geleentheid beskou om aan te toon dat die diens 'n oorlog teen sy eie. As ons kyk na die strategiese, taktiese en gesamentlike aspekte van die gebruik van lugmag in Viëtnam, kan ons die antwoord kry op 'Miskien, maar ...', met die klem op die 'maar'. Die Verenigde State kon lugmag in Vietnam meer effektief gebruik het as wat dit gedoen het, maar selfs die doeltreffendste planne sou waarskynlik nie die Saigon -regime kon red nie.

Die strategiese bombardementveldtog van die Rolling Thunder wou Hanoi se wil om te veg vernietig deur die koste van sy eenwindingspogings geleidelik te verhoog. Rolling Thunder het grootliks misluk omdat die Verenigde State die aard van die Noord-Viëtnamese verbintenis onvoldoende verstaan ​​het en geen goeie waardering gehad het vir hoe om die koste-bate-berekening van Hanoi aan te pas nie.

Kon 'n anders gestruktureerde veldtog meer 'n uitwerking gehad het? Onwaarskynlik. Rolling Thunder het skaars Hanoi se beheer oor die Noord -Viëtnamese platteland geskud, en die Amerikaanse bombardement het die hardliners eintlik versterk. Die oorlogspoging van Noord -Viëtnam was afhanklik van die vermoë om voorrade uit drie bronne China, die Sowjetunie en die Suid -Viëtnamese platteland te verkry. Rolling Thunder kon nie een hiervan raak nie, of ten minste nie vir 'n lang tyd nie. Met betrekking tot die Noord -Viëtnamese moraal, is daar min aanduidings dat 'n breër of meer uitgebreide veldtog die vermoë van die Hanoi -regime om sy bevolking te beheer, sou onderbreek het.

Debat oor Linebacker II, die laaste strategiese bomaanval van die Viëtnam -oorlog, duur voort in beide Viëtnam en die Verenigde State. Hoogstens het die offensief van Hanoi gewillig geword om sy pogings om die Saigon -regime te vernietig, tydelik te modder. Meer waarskynlik, dit het bloot 'n misleidende boodskap van Amerikaanse toewyding aan Saigon gestuur.

Een van die grootste lesse van die Viëtnam -oorlog was dat strategiese bomaanvalle nie werk nie, selfs al word dit op groot skaal deur groot, moderne lugmag teen swak vyande uitgevoer. Daar is min rede om te dink dat die opstel van die strategiese veldtog anders 'n groot verskil sou gemaak het.

Lugmag is groter as die lugmag, en behels meer as net lugaanvalle. In die Viëtnam -oorlog was die eerste grootskaalse ontwikkeling van die konsep van lugmobiliteit, die idee dat vliegtuie grondmagte mobiel en effektief in taktiese, sowel as operasionele en strategiese kontekste kon maak. Die revolusie van lugmobiliteit in die Amerikaanse weermag het behels dat die lugbeheer gebruik kon word om (in vergelyking) 'n groot aantal vegtende manne oor 'n kort tydjie oor groot afstande te beweeg.

Die taktiese probleem van opstand lê in die onvermoë van konvensionele leërs om vuurkrag op opstandelinge te plaas. Guerilla's val aan as hulle die voordeel het, en verdwyn dan in die bevolking of op die platteland. Die Amerikaanse weermag het probeer om hierdie probleem op te los deur helikopters en ligte vliegtuie te gebruik om infanterie meer beweeglik te maak. Helikoptergedrewe troepe kan vinnig na gevegsgebiede ontplooi word, en kan selfs vuurondersteuning bied aan verloofde magte.

Die Amerikaanse weermag het groot sukses met sy lugmag in die Viëtnam -oorlog geniet, maar hierdie sukses het nooit verder gestrek as die taktiese en operasionele nie. Boonop kon die Amerikaanse weermag nie die omstandighede skep waaronder Suid -Viëtnamese magte hierdie sukses kon herhaal nie. Laastens het 'n bittere inter-diens konflik tussen die weermag en die lugmag oor die beheer van helikopters, ligte vervoervliegtuie en nabye lugondersteuning die moontlikheid van die VSA beperk om die mobiliteit ten volle te benut. 'N Meer gesamentlike poging (of 'n ander organisatoriese struktuur) het moontlik die Amerikaanse pogings ietwat verbeter, maar kon nie die weermag van die Republiek Viëtnam (ARVN) heeltemal herorganiseer of die voordele van kommunistiese magte heeltemal uitskakel nie.

Die Amerikaanse vloot en die Amerikaanse lugmag het hul grootste sukses van die Viëtnam-oorlog in die Linebacker I-operasie van die lente 1972 geniet. Noord-Viëtnam het begin wat dit gehoop het 'n konvensionele offensief van die Suide sou wees om Saigon se leërs te verpletter en 'n politieke ineenstorting. Die inval misluk, grootliks as gevolg van die doeltreffendheid van Amerikaanse lugmag om die People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) eenhede te vernietig en hul logistiek te verbied. Amerikaanse lugaanvalle sny die hart uit die inval, wat 'n katastrofiese nederlaag vir die Noorde tot gevolg het.

Sou 'n voortgesette lugverbintenis Suid -Viëtnam kon handhaaf? Moontlik, maar die belofte van so 'n verbintenis hang af van die wil van die Verenigde State om vir 'n baie lang tydperk in Vietnam betrokke te bly. Noord -Viëtnam het verskeie instrumente om die Suide aan te val, wat nie almal maklik deur lugmag afgeskrik is nie. Dit is inderdaad nie voor die hand liggend dat die laaste aanvalle van 1975 Amerikaanse ingryping sou veroorsaak het totdat dit te laat was nie, niemand die volle ineenstorting van die Suid -Viëtnamese weermag verwag het nie. En dit is uiters onwaarskynlik dat die Amerikaanse publiek so 'n langtermyn verbintenis tot Saigon se veiligheid sou toelaat.

Deur effektief gebruik te word, kan lugmag konvensionele militêre aanvalle stop. Dit kon egter nie die fundamentele politieke probleme oplos wat Suid -Viëtnam kwesbaar vir die Noorde gemaak het nie. Lugmag kon nie die Noord -Viëtnamese verbintenis tot eenwording vernietig of die Saigon -regime se vermoë om sy eie gebied te beheer, voldoende versterk nie. Sonder om hierdie basiese faktore te verander, was die oorwinning van Noord -Viëtnam net 'n kwessie van tyd.

Robert Farley is 'n assistent -professor aan die Patterson Skool vir Diplomasie en Internasionale Handel. Sy werk sluit in militêre leerstellings, nasionale veiligheid en maritieme aangeleenthede. Hy blog by Lawyers, Guns and Money and Information Dissemination en The Diplomat. Volg hom op Twitter:@drfarls.

Hierdie artikel verskyn die eerste keer in 2014 en word gepubliseer weens die belangstelling van lesers.


FEITBLAD: Handel en belegging met Viëtnam

Die Verenigde State gaan voort om sy kommersiële verhouding met Vietnam te versterk, 'n land wat vinnig groei en wat Amerikaanse ondernemings en werkers aansienlike geleenthede bied vir uitgebreide handel en beleggings, die bevordering van ekonomiese groei en ontwikkeling en ondersteuning van werk. Die goederehandel tussen Amerika en Viëtnam beloop in 1995 $ 451 miljoen, die jaar toe die Verenigde State en Viëtnam diplomatieke betrekkinge genormaliseer het, en sedertdien byna honderdvoudig tot $ 45 miljard toegeneem het.

Ons verhouding groei vinnig: In 2015 het die Amerikaanse uitvoer na Viëtnam met 23 persent gegroei, die grootste toename van uitvoere op 'n jaargrondslag na enige van die top 50 uitvoermarkte in Amerika. Oor die tydperk 2010 tot 2015 was Vietnam die tweede vinnigste groeiende van Amerika se top 50 uitvoermarkte.

Ons verhouding diversifiseer: Amerikaanse uitvoergroei is hoog in sektore wat wissel van geïntegreerde stroombane tot siviele vliegtuie en katoen, suiwel, boom-/vrugte -neute en ander landbouprodukte. In die afgelope vyf jaar het Viëtnam 'n belangrike rol as verskaffer van hoëtegnologiese verbruikersprodukte aan die Verenigde State ontwikkel.

Ons verhouding is inklusief: handel sluit klein- en familieondernemings in beide lande sowel as groot ondernemings in. Sedert 2014 het 6 031 klein en mediumgrootte Amerikaanse ondernemings na Viëtnam uitgevoer, terwyl 5 895 klein en middelslag Amerikaanse ondernemings Viëtnamese goedere ingevoer het.

Ons neem nou die volgende stap. Behalwe dat hy meer as $ 16 miljard aan transaksies onderteken het om lugvaart- en energiesektorontwikkeling in Viëtnam te bevorder en tienduisende Amerikaanse werkgeleenthede te ondersteun, beklemtoon die besoek van president Obama ons verbintenis op die volgende gebiede:

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

TPP is sentraal in ons doel om die Amerikaanse en Viëtnamese ekonomiese verhouding te verdiep. Die administrasie het die bekragtiging van TPP 'n topprioriteit gemaak en werk saam met Viëtnam en ander TPP -vennote om hulle te help om tydige en volledige uitvoering van hul TPP -verbintenisse te verseker. TPP sal nuwe geleenthede vir Amerikaanse en Viëtnamese werkers en besighede skep, insluitend klein ondernemings wat innovasie bevorder en die digitale ekonomie bevorder billike mededinging, deursigtigheid en goeie bestuur en bevorder werknemers se regte, bewaring en volhoubare groei. Dit is ook 'n kritieke stap in die rigting van ons strategiese doel om die oop, reëls-gebaseerde ekonomiese stelsel wat die Verenigde State sedert die Tweede Wêreldoorlog gelei het, te laat herleef.

Die Amerikaanse regering sal hulpbronne en tegniese kundigheid inspan om Viëtnam en ons ander TPP -vennote te ondersteun om die verpligtinge van die ooreenkoms na te kom en effektief af te dwing. Ter ondersteuning van Viëtnam bied die Verenigde State meer as $ 30 miljoen aan kapasiteitsbouhulp, wat werk insluit om vryheid van assosiasie, insluitend onafhanklike vakbonde, en ander internasionaal erkende beskerming van arbeidsregte en handhawing van intellektuele eiendom en omgewingsbeskerming en volhoubare groei te verseker .

Amerikaanse korporatiewe maatskaplike verantwoordelikheid

Amerikaanse direkte buitelandse belegging in Viëtnam het in 2014 tot $ 1,5 miljard gegroei en is aangevul deur Amerikaanse beleggings in korporatiewe burgerskap in Viëtnam se gemeenskappe en omgewing. Amerikaanse ondernemings in Viëtnam handhaaf hoë standaarde vir korporatiewe burgerskap deur te belê in die gemeenskappe en omgewing waarin hulle sake doen. Amerikaanse ondernemings in Viëtnam het byvoorbeeld honderde ingenieurs opgelei in omgewingsbeskerming en volhoubare ontwikkeling, meer as $ 12 miljoen aan sagteware en dienste geskenk om honderde nie-regeringsorganisasies te ondersteun en die vaardigheid van tienduisende onderwysers en studente in die gebruik van inligting- en kommunikasietegnologie. Die Amerikaanse regering is daartoe verbind om publiek-private vennootskappe te ondersteun wat korporatiewe maatskaplike verantwoordelikheid deur Amerikaanse ondernemings aanmoedig:

'N USAID-vennootskap met Arizona State University en verskeie Amerikaanse ondernemings maak samewerking tussen die universiteit en die private sektor moontlik en ontwikkel kurrikulumvennootskappe, mentorskappe en praktiese geleenthede wat deur die bedryf geborg word.

Talle Amerikaanse ondernemings werk saam aan 'n nuwe USAID-alliansie met Harvard Medical School en twee hospitale in die Boston-omgewing om die kwaliteit en doeltreffendheid van mediese opleiding in Viëtnam te verbeter, insluitend op gebiede wat relevant is vir die Global Health Security Agenda.

In 2016 het Cargill Vietnam die Amerikaanse minister van buitelandse sake se toekenning vir korporatiewe uitnemendheid gewen vir sy langtermyn verbintenis om te belê in sy boerevennote, die ondersteuning van gemeenskapsgesondheid en die opleiding van meer as 12,000 boere in volhoubare produksietegnieke. Cargill Vietnam se Cargill Cares -skoolbouprogram het 76 skole in landelike gemeenskappe gebou en afgelewer, wat meer as 13 000 kinders per jaar bevoordeel.

'N Regeringsbenadering tot vennootskap

Die Verenigde State gebruik 'n hele regeringsbenadering om Amerikaanse uitvoer na en beleggings in Viëtnam te ondersteun, insluitend programme wat volhoubare en inklusiewe ekonomiese groei bevorder, wettige en verantwoordbare bestuur aanmoedig, terwyl handelshindernisse aangespreek word, maatskaplike verantwoordelikheid van die onderneming ondersteun word en die reël versterk word van die reg en die sakeklimaat.

VS-ASEAN Connect Initiative

Deur US-ASEAN Connect werk die Amerikaanse regering saam met Viëtnam en ander lede van die Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) om die beleidsomgewings te bevorder wat die ekonomiese integrasie van ASEAN bevorder, handel en beleggings te verhoog, die ontwikkeling van skoon energie en energie te bevorder. konnektiwiteit en bevorder volhoubare, innovasie-geleide ekonomiese groei.

Amerikaanse agentskap vir internasionale ontwikkeling (USAID)

Die programme vir ekonomiese groei en bestuur van USAID ondersteun Vietnam se pogings om groter deursigtigheid en verantwoordbaarheid, ekonomiese openheid, mededinging en die oppergesag van die reg in ekonomiese aangeleenthede te bevorder. USAID het bygedra tot meer as 150 wette en verwante regulasies en verordeninge, en het meer as 50 Viëtnamese regeringsagentskappe bygestaan ​​in die regs- en ekonomiese hervormingsproses.

Amerikaanse Departement van Landbou (USDA)

Vietnam is nou die 11de grootste landbou-uitvoermark in die Verenigde State. Om hierdie verhouding op te wek, sal USDA die kapasiteit van Vietnam help op 'n wye verskeidenheid gebiede, insluitend: voedselveiligheid, klimaatslim landbou, biotegnologie, dieregesondheid, plantgesondheid, moderne kleinhandel/verspreiding en ander sektorspesifieke onderwerpe.

Amerikaanse Departement van Handel

Die Amerikaanse departement van handel sal saam met die Amerikaanse privaatsektor saamwerk om Viëtnam te help met die ontwikkeling van die sterk infrastruktuur wat die land benodig om sy doelwitte van ekonomiese modernisering teen 2035 te bereik. sy infrastruktuurgerigte konferensies voortgesit op gebiede soos gesondheidsorg, lugvaart, slim stede en skoon energie.

Die departement beplan om in Julie 2016 'n besigheidsontwikkelingsmissie vir waterinfrastruktuur na Vietnam te lei, om nuwe tegnologieë en internasionaal erkende kodes en standaarde bekend te stel om die watersektor in Vietnam te versterk. Die departement beplan ook om 'n burgerlike kernhandelsending in 2017 te reël, wat die samewerking tussen die VSA en Viëtnamese industrie ondersteun in die ontwikkeling van die burgerlike kernprogram van Viëtnam.

Amerikaanse ministerie van buitelandse sake

Die Amerikaanse ministerie van buitelandse sake het bygedra tot die ontwikkeling van 'n wetenskapsgebaseerde regulasiesisteem in Viëtnam om handel en voedselveiligheidskwessies aan te spreek, insluitend landboubiotegnologie deur aktiwiteite wat honderde Viëtnamese beleidmakers, wetenskaplikes, akademici en joernaliste bereik het.

Amerikaanse departement van tesourie

Om 'n meer deursigtige en verantwoordbare infrastruktuur vir finansiële verslagdoening te bou, sal die Amerikaanse departement van die Tesourie se kantoor vir tegniese bystand (OTA) voortgaan om Vietnam se ministerie van finansies tegniese bystand te verleen vir die opstel van landwye opleidingsprogramme oor die boekhouding van die internasionale openbare sektor. hulpbronne en gereedskap, insluitend verslae en sjablone vir finansiële state en gebruikershandleidings wat die voorbereiding van die hele regering se gekonsolideerde finansiële state sal dokumenteer.

Amerikaanse uitvoer-invoerbank (EXIM Bank)

Sedert 2009 het EXIM Bank meer as $ 800 miljoen aan lenings, waarborge en versekering gemagtig om Amerikaanse uitvoer - van groot en klein ondernemings - na Vietnam te ondersteun. Hierdie uitvoere ondersteun die ekonomiese betrokkenheid van die VSA en Viëtnam in verskeie sektore, waaronder hernubare energie, lugvaart en vervaardiging. Hierdie Amerikaanse uitvoer ondersteun nie net duisende werkgeleenthede in die Verenigde State nie, maar skep ook werkgeleenthede en bevorder infrastruktuurinvestering in Viëtnam.

EXIM sal aktief betrokke bly by toekomstige geleenthede om Amerikaanse uitvoere na Viëtnam te finansier, veral dié wat ook die behoeftes van infrastruktuur in Vietnam ondersteun. EXIM Bank herbevestig sy belang om Amerikaanse uitvoer vir burgerlike kernkragprojekte in Viëtnam te ondersteun.

Amerikaanse handels- en ontwikkelingsagentskap (USTDA)

USTDA sal voortgaan om Amerikaanse ondernemings aan prioriteitsprojekte in die sektore vir skoon energie, inligtingstegnologie, vervoer en waters in Viëtnam te verbind. Deur vennootskappe wat wedersyds voordelig is, op te bou wat kapitaal vir die infrastruktuurontwikkeling in Viëtnam benut, sal die agentskap die Amerikaanse uitvoer van $ 3 miljard wat hy reeds gehelp het, na Vietnam help uitbrei.

USTDA is daartoe verbind om Vietnam se toesig oor lugvaartveiligheid te versterk. In die energiesektor fasiliteer die agentskap die ontwikkeling van 470 megawatt windkragopwekking, wat meer as $ 1 miljard se belegging kan benut. In stedelike vervoer ondersteun USTDA 'n ontplooiing van $ 100 miljoen in inligting- en kommunikasietegnologie vir die metro -spoorstelsel in Ho Chi Minh -stad.

Ter ondersteuning van Vietnam se verskuiwing van steenkoolkragopwekking, sal USTDA in die herfs van 2016 'n omgekeerde handelsmissie met aardgas na die Verenigde State borg. Die besoek beklemtoon die ervaring van die Verenigde State in die bou, bedryf, onderhoud en opknapping van gas- kragsentrales en verwante infrastruktuur.

Deur middel van sy Global Procurement Initiative: Understanding Best Value (GPI), werk USTDA saam met die Ministerie van Beplanning en Belegging om 'n databasis te ontwerp om die prestasie van kontrakteurs op te spoor en te monitor wat kontrakteurs wat miljarde dollars aan goedere en dienste lewer, elk aan die regering van Viëtnam lewer jaar.

Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)

As die ontwikkelingsfinansieringsinstelling van die Amerikaanse regering, sal OPIC sy nuut geopende kantoor in Suidoos -Asië benut om geleenthede te ontsluit wat die ekonomiese ontwikkeling van Viëtnam ondersteun deur belegging in die private sektor in alle sektore, met spesiale aandag aan hernubare energie en lugvaartinfrastruktuur.

Sedert 2003 het OPIC meer as $ 40 miljoen aan finansiering en versekeringsondersteuning aan sewe projekte in Viëtnam verskaf. OPIC se beleggings strek oor sektore, insluitend kommunikasie, vervaardiging, advies en ekonomiese ontwikkelingsdienste, akwakultuur en kragopwekking.


Mense en die samelewing

Bevolking

Nasionaliteit

selfstandige naamwoord: Viëtnamees (enkelvoud en meervoud)

byvoeglike naamwoord: Vietnamees

Etniese groepe

Kinh (Viet) 85,7%, Tay 1,9%, Thai 1,8%, Muong 1,5%, Khmer 1,5%, Mong 1,2%, Nung 1,1%, Hoa 1%, ander 4,3%(2009 skatting)

let op: 54 etniese groepe word deur die Viëtnamese regering erken

Tale

Viëtnamees (amptelik), Engels (toenemend begunstig as tweede taal), sommige Frans, Chinees en Khmer, berggebiede (Mon-Khmer en Maleis-Polinesies)

Godsdienste

Boeddhistiese 7,9%, Katolieke 6,6%, Hoa Hao 1,7%, Cao Dai 0,9%, Protestantse 0,9%, Moslem 0,1%, geen 81,8%(2009 skatting)

Demografiese profiel

Toe Viëtnam in 1975 herenig word, het die land 'n jeugdige ouderdomsstruktuur en 'n hoë vrugbaarheidskoers gehad. Die bevolkingsgroeikoers het gedurende die volgende 25 jaar dramaties afgeneem namate vrugbaarheid afgeneem het en kindersterftes en lewensverwagting verbeter het. Die aanneming van 'n een-of-twee-kind beleid in 1988 het gelei tot verhoogde voorbehoeding en aborsie. Die totale vrugbaarheidsyfer het vinnig gedaal van byna 5 in 1979 tot 2,1 of vervangingsvlak in 1990, en op 1,8 is vandag onder die vervangingsvlak. Vrugbaarheid is hoër in die meer landelike sentrale hooglande en noordelike hooglande, wat hoofsaaklik deur armer etniese minderhede bewoon word, en is laer onder die meerderheid Kinh, etniese Chinese en 'n paar ander etniese groepe, veral in stedelike sentrums. Met meer as twee derdes van die bevolking van die werkende ouderdom (15-64), het Viëtnam die potensiaal om ongeveer drie dekades (tussen 2010 en 2040) 'n demografiese dividend te haal. Die vermoë daarvan om dit te doen, sal egter afhang van die verbetering van die kwaliteit van onderwys en opleiding vir sy arbeidsmag en die skep van werk. Die Viëtnamese regering oorweeg ook veranderinge aan die land se bevolkingsbeleid, want as die land se vrugbaarheidskoers onder die vervangingsvlak bly, kan dit in die toekoms tot 'n tekort aan werknemers lei.

Viëtnam het die afgelope dekades sowel interne migrasie as netto emigrasie beleef, beide om humanitêre en ekonomiese redes. Interne migrasie en landelike-plattelandse en landelike-stedelike, tydelike en permanente en ndash is steeds 'n manier om die uiterste weer en oorstromings in Vietnam te hanteer. Alhoewel die bevolking van Vietnam nog steeds hoofsaaklik op die platteland is, word 'n toenemende aantal jong mans en vroue na die stedelike sentrums van die land gevestig, waar hulle meer geneig is om vaste werk en hoër salarisse in die groeiende nywerheids- en dienstesektor te vind.

Die nadraai van die Viëtnam -oorlog in 1975 het in die komende twee dekades tot ongeveer 1.6 miljoen Viëtnamese vlugtelinge gelei. Tussen 1975 en 1997 het programme soos die Orderly Departure Program en die uitgebreide plan van aksie honderde duisende Viëtnamese vlugtelinge in die buiteland hervestig, waaronder die Verenigde State (880,000), China (260,000, hoofsaaklik etniese Chinese Hoa), Kanada (160,000), Australië (155 000) en Europese lande (150 000).

In die 1980's het sommige Viëtnamese studente en werkers na geallieerde kommunistiese lande begin migreer, waaronder die Sowjetunie, Tsjeggo -Slowakye, Bulgarye en Oos -Duitsland. Die oorgrote meerderheid het teruggekeer huis toe na die val van kommunisme in Oos -Europa in die vroeë 1990's. Sedertdien het Viëtnamese arbeidsmigrante eerder geleenthede in Asië en die Midde -Ooste begin soek. Hulle verrig dikwels swak geskoolde werk onder moeilike omstandighede vir lae salarisse en is kwesbaar vir dwangarbeid, insluitend skuldgebondenheid aan die private makelaars wat die werkskontrakte reël. Ondanks die huidige arbeidsoorskot in Viëtnam, het die land die afgelope paar jaar buitelandse werkers gelok, veral uit China en ander Asiatiese lande.

Ouderdomstruktuur

0-14 jaar: 22,61% (manlik 11,733,704/vroulik 10,590,078)

15-24 jaar: 15,22% (mans 7,825,859/vroulik 7,202,716)

25-54 jaar: 45,7% (manlik 22 852 429/vroulik 22 262 566)

55-64 jaar: 9,55% (manlik 4,412,111/vroulik 5,016,880)

65 jaar en ouer: 6,91% (manlik 2,702,963/vroulik 4,121,969) (raming vir 2020)


Amerikaanse verbintenis tot die groei van Viëtnam - geskiedenis

Amerika stap op die 'gladde helling' op 'n stil stuk strand net noordwes van die Viëtnamese stad Da Nang.

Op 8 Maart 1965 het twee bataljons van ongeveer 3 500 mariniers aan wal gestap op Red Beach 2 - wat die eerste Amerikaanse gevegstroepe is wat na Viëtnam ontplooi is.

In die daaropvolgende maande is hulle gevolg deur nog duisende gevegsmagte, wat 1965 die jaar was toe die Verenigde State die Viëtnam -konflik in 'n Amerikaanse oorlog omskep het.

Vir geslagte Amerikaners wat Viëtnam slegs deur boeke, rolprente en legendes ken, is dit moeilik om te dink hoe die Verenigde State in so 'n oorlog kon beland het wat baie van hul ouers en grootouers skaars op 'n kaart kon vind.

In 1964 het 'n Gallup -peiling bevind dat 63 persent van die Amerikaanse publiek geen aandag gee aan Viëtnam nie, wat president Lyndon B. Johnson self 'n 'verdomde klein pissant -land' genoem het.

Min Amerikaners buite die Beltway het besef die reuse -stap wat hul regering geneem het in die rigting van 'n oorlog wat uiteindelik meer as 58,000 Amerikaanse lewens geëis het en algemeen beskou word as 'n politieke en militêre ramp.

Die landing op Red Beach 2, bemoeilik deur slegte weer en af ​​en toe sluipskutters, het 'n hoogtepunt van jare se sielondersoek, frustrasie en beleidsgevegte wat grootliks vir die Amerikaanse bevolking verborge was. Hulle leiers kon nie besluit of Vietnam 'n klein interne stryd was in 'n Asiatiese agtergrond of deel uitmaak van 'n groot kommunistiese strategie vir globale of streeksoorheersing nie.

Ses maande voor die landing - te midde van 'n presidentsverkiesingsveldtog - het Johnson aan 'n gehoor aan die Universiteit van Akron in Ohio gesê: 'Ons is nie op die punt om Amerikaanse seuns nege of 10.000 kilometer van die huis af te stuur om te doen wat Asiatiese seuns behoort te wees nie doen vir hulself. ”

Drie maande na die toespraak het 'n seëvierende Johnson in sy intreerede gesê: 'Ons kan nooit weer opsy staan ​​nie, trots in isolasie. Groot gevare en probleme wat ons vroeër 'vreemd' genoem het, bly nou voortdurend onder ons. ”

Teen 1965 het 'n sameloop van gebeure - Suid -Viëtnamese nederlae op die slagveld, politieke onrus in Saigon en Noord -Viëtnamese oplossing in die gesig van 'n Amerikaanse bombardement - bymekaargekom om 'n situasie te skep waarin Washington die keuse van oorlog of ontkoppeling in die gesig gestaar het.

Amerikaanse leiers was senuweeagtig oor die eerste opsie, maar was nie bereid om die politieke gevolge van die tweede te hanteer nie. Hulle het vasgehou aan die oortuiging dat as hulle meer hulpbronne gebruik, die Noord-Viëtnamese uiteindelik 'tot besinning sou kom' en sou terugval eerder as om 'n algehele oorlog met die sterkste militêre mag ter wêreld te waag.

Op die hoogtepunt van die Koue Oorlog het frases soos 'Amerikaanse geloofwaardigheid' en 'die Domino -teorie' - 'n oortuiging dat 'n nederlaag in Suid -Viëtnam die kommunisme in Suidoos -Asië sou versprei - die oordeel vertroebel terwyl Washington sy opsies weeg.

Toe Johnson die presidentskap op 22 November 1963 aanvaar het, na die moord op president John F. Kennedy, het die nuwe president 'n buitelandse beleid van die Koue Oorlog geërf tydens die drie vorige administrasies. Die kern van die beleid was die konfrontering van kommunisme.

Die mislukking van die inval van die Bay of Pigs -inval in Kuba, die bou van die Berlynse muur en kommunistiese invalle in Laos, Viëtnam, het Kennedy oortuig dat die VSA moet standhou teen kommunistiese uitbreiding. Kennedy het in 1961 aan 'n New York Times -joernalis gesê dat 'ons 'n probleem het om ons krag geloofwaardig te maak en Vietnam lyk soos die plek.'

Hoewel hy huiwerig was om grondgevegsmagte te pleeg, het Kennedy die aantal Amerikaanse militêre adviseurs tot 16 000 verhoog - van 900 wat daar was sedert president Dwight D. Eisenhower se administrasie.

Hulle rol was om die Suid -Viëtnamese weermag, bekend as die ARVN of Army of the Republic of Vietnam, op te lei en te versterk. Sedert die suidelike opstand in 1958 toegeneem het, het die Suid -Viëtnamese weermag geleidelik veld verloor, selfs toe die Noord -Viëtnamese in 1961 na die naburige Laos gedruk het en die toevoerlyne deur Kambodja uitgebrei het.

Johnson was nie diep betrokke by die beleid van Viëtnam toe hy in die presidentskap gedruk word nie. Sy prioriteit was om die sosiale en ekonomiese hervormings van sy handtekening Great Society -program in te stel. Sy naaste medewerker, Jack Valenti, onthou dat “Vietnam destyds nie groter was as die vuis van’ n man op die horison nie. Ons het dit amper nie bespreek nie, want dit was nie die moeite werd om te bespreek nie. ”

Terselfdertyd het Johnson gevrees dat swakheid in Viëtnam hom politieke steun sou kos om die Great Society in te stel. Hy het aan vertrouelinge gesê dat hy bekommerd is oor die skuld dat hy "Viëtnam verloor" het, net soos president Harry S. Truman deur sy Republikeinse mededingers daarvan beskuldig het dat hy twee dekades tevore "China verloor" het.

'Ek gaan Viëtnam nie verloor nie,' het Johnson aan die Amerikaanse ambassadeur in Suid -Viëtnam gesê Henry Cabot Lodge kort nadat hy president geword het. 'Ek gaan nie die president wees wat Suidoos -Asië gesien het soos China gegaan het nie.'

Die Kennedy -administrasie het sy hoop daarop gevestig dat president Ngo Dinh Diem met Amerikaanse hulp die oorhand kan kry teen die kommuniste. Maar korrupsie en politieke onrus tussen Diem, 'n Rooms -Katoliek, en sy meerderheid Boeddhistiese teenstanders het die Amerikaanse vertroue ondermyn.

Toenemend gefrustreerd met Diem, staan ​​die VSA opsy terwyl senior Suid -Viëtnamese offisiere hom net drie weke voor Kennedy se sluipmoord uit die veld jaag en vermoor. Die staatsgreep het die administrasie geskud, en geleerdes is nog steeds verdeeld oor die vraag of dit Kennedy sou laat heeltemal van Vietnam afskakel.

In plaas daarvan het die nuwe president die aantal Amerikaanse militêre adviseurs in Viëtnam tot 23,000 verhoog. Johnson noem genl Maxwell Taylor, wat Kennedy aangespoor het om die Amerikaanse betrokkenheid by Viëtnam te verdiep, as sy ambassadeur in Saigon. Met die ondersteuning van Taylor het Johnson genl. William Westmoreland aangewys as die top Amerikaanse bevelvoerder in Viëtnam.

Die skuiwe het in 1964 min aandag getrek, toe Amerikaners deur 'n presidentsverkiesing opgeneem is. Johnson en sy Demokrate het probeer om die konserwatiewe Republikeinse uitdager, senator Barry Goldwater, as 'n gevaarlike strydlustige uit te beeld.

Goldwater het gewaarsku dat Johnson se Vietnam -beleid 'doel, koers of doel' ontbreek en slegs tot 'skielike dood in die oerwoude en die stadige wurging van vryheid' sou lei.

Hierdie kommentaar is egter verdrink deur Goldwater se eie oproepe om taktiese kernwapens te gebruik. Johnson het in die openbaar volgehou dat hy die oorlog nie wou uitbrei nie, selfs nie ná die aanval in Augustus op twee Amerikaanse vlootskepe in die Golf van Tonkin en die Amerikaanse lugaanvalle as vergelding nie.

Die Amerikaanse kieserskorps het Goldwater as die strydlustige havik beskou. Hy is in die verkiesing van November 1964 verdryf, en wen slegs sy tuisstaat Arizona en vyf in die diep suide.

Intussen het die situasie op die slagveld van erg na erger gegaan. Teen Julie het Amerikaanse intelligensie gereelde Noord -Viëtnamese weermag -eenhede in die suide opgespoor, terwyl hulle langs Viet Cong -guerrillas veg. Die VSA het beraam dat 40 persent van die land onder die beheer of invloed van die kommuniste was, terwyl verlatings in die ARVN toeneem. Die opsies was om dieper in te gaan of uit te kom - met al die politieke risiko's van 'n 'sny en hardloop' strategie.

Aan die einde van 1964 het die kommuniste 'n reeks militêre operasies begin, wat die Suid -Viëtnamese ongevalle berokken het wat hulle nie kon bekostig nie. By 'n aanval in Binh Gia, 'n dorpie naby Saigon, is 201 Suid-Viëtnamese soldate en vyf Amerikaanse adviseurs dood, al het die Suid-Viëtnamese dit reggekry om die dorp in 'n geveg van agt uur te herower.

Op 7 Februarie 1965 het die Viet Cong 'n aanval op 'n Amerikaanse vliegveld naby Pleiku uitgevoer en agt Amerikaanse soldate doodgemaak en 25 helikopters vernietig of beskadig. Within hours of the attack, Johnson ordered selective bombing of North Vietnamese targets.

Three days later, the communists attacked the U.S. base at Qui Nhon, killing 23 Americans. Johnson responded by ordering a sustained bombing campaign against North Vietnam — Operation Rolling Thunder — that would continue throughout his presidency. The Soviets, in turn, agreed to provide North Vietnam with missiles to resist the attacks.

Results of the bombing proved disappointing, fueling Johnson’s personal skepticism about air power. Even before ordering Rolling Thunder, Johnson told Taylor, “I have never felt that this war will be won from the air.” Instead he urged greater use of Marines and special operations units. “I myself am ready to substantially increase the number of Americans fighting in Vietnam.”

Viet Cong attacks on U.S. airfields convinced the administration that the bases needed more protection if the bombing campaign were to succeed. Westmoreland’s staff recommended sending Marines to guard the airfields because of “the questionable capability of the Vietnamese to protect the base.”

Four U.S. ships of Amphibious Task Force 76 appeared off shore on the morning of March 8. Intermittent rain and up to 4-foot waves delayed the landing for about an hour. The Marines were welcomed by signs in Vietnamese and English and a delegation of local dignitaries, including high school girls who presented a scowling Brig. Gen. Frederick Karch with flowered leis.

With the arrival of the Marines and the escalation of the air campaign, America’s military role in Vietnam crossed the line from advise and assist to offensive warfare.

Johnson, still leery of a big ground war, offered North Vietnam a major economic development plan, which Communist Party leader Ho Chi Minh promptly rejected. In a top secret memorandum dated April 6, Johnson approved thousands more troops for Vietnam. He also changed the mission to allow “more active use” of ground troops — meaning offensive combat operations.

A few weeks later, the 173rd Airborne Brigade arrived at Bien Hoa to protect the air base, the first U.S. Army combat unit to deploy to Vietnam.

The U.S. public largely supported the move. A Gallup poll in May 1965 found only 26 percent of the public believed that sending troops to Vietnam was a mistake. By November 1965, with tens of thousands more Americans in Vietnam, the figure actually dropped to 21 percent.

Doubts were expressed, though most often in private.

“Ever since 1961 — the beginning of our deep involvement in Vietnam — we have met successive disappointments,” Undersecretary of State George Ball wrote Johnson in June 1965. “We have tended to overestimate the effectiveness of our sophisticated weapons under jungle conditions. We have watched the progressive loss of territory to Viet Cong control. We have been unable to bring about the creation of a stable political base in Saigon.”

Nevertheless, Westmoreland insisted on more troops, telling the president, “I see no course of action open to us except to reinforce our efforts … with additional U.S. or third country forces as rapidly as is practical.”

By the end of 1965, more than 184,000 American troops were in Vietnam.

President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Sen. Barry Goldwater four days before Johnson's 1965 inauguration.
YOICHI OKAMOTO / LBJ LIBRARY


Vietnam Archive: Pentagon Study Traces 3 Decades of Growing U. S. Involvement

A massive study of how the United States went to war in Indochina, con ducted by the Pentagon three years ago, demonstrates that four administrations progrestively developed a sense of com mitment to a non‐Communist Vietnam, a readiness to fight the North to pro tect the South, and an ultimate frustra tion with this effort—to a much greater extent than their public statements ac knowledged at the time.

The 3,000‐page analysis, to which 4,000 pages of official documents are appended, was commissioned by Secre tary of Defense Robert S. McNamara and covers the American involvement in Southeast Asia from World War II to mkr‐1968—the start of the peace talks in Paris after President Lyndon B. John son had set a limit on further military commitments and revealed his intention to retire. Most of the study and many of the appended documents have been obtained by The New York Times and will be described and presented in a series of articles beginning today.

Three pages of documentary material from the Pentagon study begin on Page 35.

Though far from a complete history, even at 2.5 million words, the study forms a great archive of government decision‐making on Indochina over three decades. The study led its 30 to 40 au thors and researchers to many broad conclusions and specific findings, in cluding the following:

¶That the Truman Administration's de cision to give military aid to France in her colonial war against the Communist led Vietminh “directly involved” the United States in Vietnam and “set” the course of American policy.

¶That the Eisenhower Administra tion's decision to rescue a fledgling South Vietnam from a Communist take over and attempt to undermine the new Communist regime of North Vietnam gave the Administration a “direct role in the ultimate breakdown of the Geneva settlement” for Indochina in 1954.

¶That the Kennedy Administration, though ultimately spared from major escalation decisions by the death of its leader, transformed a policy of “lim ited‐risk gamble,” which it inherited, into a “broad commitment” that left President Johnson with a choice between more war and withdrawal.

¶That the Johnson Administration, though the President was reluctant and hesitant to take the final decisions, in tensified the covert warfare against North Vietnam and began planning in the spring of 1964 to wage overt war, a full year before it publicly revealed the depth of its involvement and its fear of defeat.

¶That this campaign of growing clan destine military press the, through 1964 and the expanding program of bombing North Vietnam in 1965 were begun de spite the judgment of the Government's intelligence community that the meas ures would not cause Hanoi to cease its support of the Vietcong, insurgency in the South, and that the bombing was deemed militarily ineffective within a few months.

¶That these four succeeding adminis trations built up the American political, military and psychological stakes in In dochina, often more deeply than they realized at the time, with large‐scale military equipment to the French in 1950 with acts of sabotage and terror warfare against North Vietnam begin ning in 1954 with moves that en couraged and abetted the overthrow of President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Viet nam in 1963 with plans, pledges and threats of further action that sprang to life in the Tonkin Gulf clashes in Au gust, 1964 with the careful preparation of public opinion for the years of open warfare that were to follow and with the calculation in 1965, as the planes and troops were openly committed to sustained combat, that neither accom modation inside South Vietnam nor early negotiations with North Vietnam would achieve the desired result.

The Pentagon study also ranges be yond such historical judgments, It sug gests that the predominant American interest was at first containment of Com munism and later the defense of the power, influence and prestige of the United States, in both stages irrespec tive of conditions in Vietnam.

And it reveals a great deal about the ways in which several administra tions conducted their business on a fate ful course, with much new information about the roles of dozens of senior of ficials of both major political parties and a whole generation of military com manders.

The Pentagon study was divided into chronological and thematic chapters of narrative and analysis, each with its own documentation attached. The Times —which has obtained all but one of nearly 40 volumes—has collated these materials into major segments of varying chronological length, from one that broadly covers the two decades be fore 1960 to one that deals intensively with the agonizing debate in the weeks following the 1968 Tet offensive.

The months from the beginning of 1964 to the Tonkin Gulf incident in August were a pivotal period, the study makes clear, and The Times begins its series with this phase.


US Commitement to Vietnam Grows - History

"No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now. Rarely have so many people been so wrong about so much. Never have the consequences of their misunderstanding been so tragic." [Nixon]

The Vietnam War has been the subject of thousands of newspaper and magazine articles, hundreds of books, and scores of movies and television documentaries. The great majority of these efforts have erroneously portrayed many myths about the Vietnam War as being facts. [Nixon]

Myth: Most American soldiers were addicted to drugs, guilt-ridden about their role in the war, and deliberately used cruel and inhumane tactics.

91% of Vietnam Veterans say they are glad they served [Westmoreland]

74% said they would serve again even knowing the outcome [Westmoreland]

There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and non veterans of the same age group (from a Veterans Administration study) [Westmoreland]

Isolated atrocities committed by American soldiers produced torrents of outrage from antiwar critics and the news media while Communist atrocities were so common that they received hardly any attention at all. The United States sought to minimize and prevent attacks on civilians while North Vietnam made attacks on civilians a centerpiece of its strategy. Americans who deliberately killed civilians received prison sentences while Communists who did so received commendations. From 1957 to 1973, the National Liberation Front assassinated 36,725 South Vietnamese and abducted another 58,499. The death squads focused on leaders at the village level and on anyone who improved the lives of the peasants such as medical personnel, social workers, and schoolteachers. [Nixon] Atrocities - every war has atrocities. War is brutal and not fair. Innocent people get killed.

Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison - only 1/2 of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes. [Westmoreland]

97% were discharged under honorable conditions the same percentage of honorable discharges as ten years prior to Vietnam [Westmoreland]

85% of Vietnam Veterans made a successful transition to civilian life. [McCaffrey]

Vietnam veterans' personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent. [McCaffrey]

Vietnam veterans have a lower unemployment rate than our non-vet age group. [McCaffrey]

87% of the American people hold Vietnam Vets in high esteem. [McCaffrey]

Myth: Most Vietnam veterans were drafted.

2/3 of the men who served in Vietnam were volunteers. 2/3 of the men who served in World War II were drafted. [Westmoreland] Approximately 70% of those killed were volunteers. [McCaffrey] Many men volunteered for the draft so even some of the draftees were actually volunteers.

Myth: The media have reported that suicides among Vietnam veterans range from 50,000 to 100,000 - 6 to 11 times the non-Vietnam veteran population.

Mortality studies show that 9,000 is a better estimate. "The CDC Vietnam Experience Study Mortality Assessment showed that during the first 5 years after discharge, deaths from suicide were 1.7 times more likely among Vietnam veterans than non-Vietnam veterans. After that initial post-service period, Vietnam veterans were no more likely to die from suicide than non-Vietnam veterans. In fact, after the 5-year post-service period, the rate of suicides is less in the Vietnam veterans' group." [Houk]

Myth: A disproportionate number of blacks were killed in the Vietnam War.

86% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasians, 12.5% were black, 1.2% were other races. (CACF and Westmoreland)

Sociologists Charles C. Moskos and John Sibley Butler, in their recently published book "All That We Can Be," said they analyzed the claim that blacks were used like cannon fodder during Vietnam "and can report definitely that this charge is untrue. Black fatalities amounted to 12 percent of all Americans killed in Southeast Asia - a figure proportional to the number of blacks in the U.S. population at the time and slightly lower than the proportion of blacks in the Army at the close of the war." [All That We Can Be]

Myth: The war was fought largely by the poor and uneducated.

Servicemen who went to Vietnam from well-to-do areas had a slightly elevated risk of dying because they were more likely to be pilots or infantry officers.

Vietnam Veterans were the best educated forces our nation had ever sent into combat. 79% had a high school education or better. [McCaffrey]

Myth: The domino theory was proved false.

The domino theory was accurate. The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand stayed free of Communism because of the U.S. commitment to Vietnam. The Indonesians threw the Soviets out in 1966 because of America's commitment in Vietnam. Without that commitment, Communism would have swept all the way to the Malacca Straits that is south of Singapore and of great strategic importance to the free world. If you ask people who live in these countries that won the war in Vietnam, they have a different opinion from the American news media. The Vietnam War was the turning point for Communism. [Westmoreland]

Democracy Catching On - In the wake of the Cold War, democracies are flourishing, with 179 of the world's 192 sovereign states (93%) now electing their legislators, according to the Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union. In the last decade, 69 nations have held multi-party elections for the first time in their histories. Three of the five newest democracies are former Soviet republics: Belarus (where elections were first held in November 1995), Armenia (July 1995) and Kyrgyzstan (February 1995). And two are in Africa: Tanzania (October 1995) and Guinea (June 1995). [Parade Magazine]

Myth: The fighting in Vietnam was not as intense as in World War II.

The average infantryman in the South Pacific during World War II saw about 40 days of combat in four years. The average infantryman in Vietnam saw about 240 days of combat in one year thanks to the mobility of the helicopter.

One out of every 10 Americans who served in Vietnam was a casualty. 58,169 were killed and 304,000 wounded out of 2.59 million who served. Although the percent who died is similar to other wars, amputations or crippling wounds were 300 percent higher than in World War II. 75,000 Vietnam veterans are severely disabled. [McCaffrey]

MEDEVAC helicopters flew nearly 500,000 missions. Over 900,000 patients were airlifted (nearly half were American). The average time lapse between wounding to hospitalization was less than one hour. As a result, less than one percent of all Americans wounded who survived the first 24 hours died. [VHPA 1993]

The helicopter provided unprecedented mobility. Without the helicopter it would have taken three times as many troops to secure the 800 mile border with Cambodia and Laos (the politicians thought the Geneva Conventions of 1954 and the Geneva Accords or 1962 would secure the border) [Westmoreland]

Approximately 12,000 helicopters saw action in Vietnam (all services). [VHPA databases]

Army UH-1's totaled 9,713,762 flight hours in Vietnam between October 1966 and the end of American involvement in early 1973. [VHPA databases]

Army AH-1G's totaled 1,110,716 flight hours in Vietnam. [VHPA databases]

We believe that the Huey along with the Huey Cobra have more combat flight time than any other aircraft in the history of warfare assuming you count actual hostile fire exposure versus battle area exposure. As an example, heavy bombers during World War II most often flew missions lasting many hours with only 10 to 20 minutes of that time exposed to hostile fire. Helicopters in Vietnam seldom flew above 1,500 feet which is traffic pattern altitude for bombers and were always exposed to hostile fire even in their base camps.


Myth: Air America, the airline operated by the CIA in Southeast Asia, and its pilots were involved in drug trafficking.

The 1990 unsuccessful movie "Air America" helped to establish the myth of a connection between Air America, the CIA, and the Laotian drug trade. The movie and a book the movie was based on contend that the CIA condoned a drug trade conducted by a Laotian client both agree that Air America provided the essential transportation for the trade and both view the pilots with sympathetic understanding. American-owned airlines never knowingly transported opium in or out of Laos, nor did their American pilots ever profit from its transport. Yet undoubtedly every plane in Laos carried opium at some time, unknown to the pilot and his superiors. For more information see http://www.air-america.org

Facts about the fall of Saigon

Myth: The American military was running for their lives during the fall of Saigon in April 1975.
The picture of a Huey helicopter evacuating people from the top of what was billed as being the U.S. Embassy in Saigon during the last week of April 1975 during the fall of Saigon helped to establish this myth.

This famous picture is the property of UPI Corbus-Bettman Photo Agency. It is one of 42 pictures of this helicopter that UPI photographer, Hubert Van Es took on 29 April 1975 from UPI's offices on the top floor of the Saigon Hotel which was several blocks from the Pittman Apartments. [People]

Here are some facts to clear up that poor job of reporting by the news media.

It was a "civilian" (Air America) Huey not Army or Marines.

It was NOT the U.S. Embassy. The building is the Pittman Apartments, a 10 story building where the CIA station chief and many of his officers lived, located at 22 Ly Tu Trong St. The U.S. Embassy and its helipad were much larger. The platform is the top of the elevator shaft for the building and was not designed as a helipad. [People]

The evacuees were Vietnamese not American military. Two high ranking Vietnamese where among those taken that day to Tan Son Nhut airport, General Tran Van Don and the head of the secret police Tran Kim Tuyen. Both immigrated to Europe and both have since died. [People]

The person who can be seen aiding the refugees was CIA operations officer, Mr. O.B. Harnage, who is now retired in Arizona. The pilots who were flying this helicopter, tail number N4 7004, were Bob Caron who lives in Florida and Jack "Pogo" Hunter who died in 1997. [People]

Myth: Kim Phuc, the little nine year old Vietnamese girl running naked from the napalm strike near Trang Bang on 8 June 1972, was burned by Americans bombing Trang Bang.

No American had involvement in this incident near Trang Bang that burned Phan Thi Kim Phuc. The planes doing the bombing near the village were VNAF (Vietnam Air Force) and were being flown by Vietnamese pilots in support of South Vietnamese troops on the ground. The Vietnamese pilot who dropped the napalm in error is currently living in the United States. Even the AP photographer, Nick Ut, who took the picture was Vietnamese. The incident in the photo took place on the second day of a three day battle between the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) who occupied the village of Trang Bang and the ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) who were trying to force the NVA out of the village. Recent reports in the news media that an American commander ordered the air strike that burned Kim Phuc are incorrect. There were no Americans involved in any capacity. "We (Americans) had nothing to do with controlling VNAF," according to Lieutenant General (Ret) James F. Hollingsworth, the Commanding General of TRAC at that time. Also, it has been incorrectly reported that two of Kim Phuc's brothers were killed in this incident. They were Kim's cousins not her brothers.

Myth: The United States lost the war in Vietnam.

The American military was not defeated in Vietnam. The American military did not lose a battle of any consequence. From a military standpoint, it was almost an unprecedented performance. (Westmoreland quoting Douglas Pike, a professor at the University of California, Berkley a renowned expert on the Vietnam War) [Westmoreland] This included Tet 68, which was a major military defeat for the VC and NVA.


THE UNITED STATES DID NOT LOSE THE WAR IN VIETNAM, THE SOUTH VIETNAMESE DID after the U.S. Congress cut off funding. The South Vietnamese ran out of fuel, ammunition and other supplies because of a lack of support from Congress while the North Vietnamese were very well supplied by China and the Soviet Union.

Facts about the end of the war:

The fall of Saigon happened 30 April 1975, two years AFTER the American military left Vietnam. The last American troops departed in their entirety 29 March 1973. How could we lose a war we had already stopped fighting? We fought to an agreed stalemate. The peace settlement was signed in Paris on 27 January 1973. It called for release of all U.S. prisoners, withdrawal of U.S. forces, limitation of both sides' forces inside South Vietnam and a commitment to peaceful reunification. [1996 Information Please Almanac]

The 140,000 evacuees in April 1975 during the fall of Saigon consisted almost entirely of civilians and Vietnamese military, NOT American military running for their lives. [1996 Information Please Almanac]

There were almost twice as many casualties in Southeast Asia (primarily Cambodia) the first two years after the fall of Saigon in 1975 then there were during the ten years the U.S. was involved in Vietnam. [1996 Information Please Almanac]

POW-MIA Issue (unaccounted-for versus missing in action)

Politics & People , On Vietnam, Clinton Should Follow a Hero's Advice, contained this quote about Vietnam, there has been "the most extensive accounting in the history of human warfare" of those missing in action. While there are still officially more than 2,200 cases, there now are only 55 incidents of American servicemen who were last seen alive but aren't accounted for. By contrast, there still are 78,000 unaccounted-for Americans from World War II and 8,100 from the Korean conflict.
"The problem is that those who think the Vietnamese haven't cooperated sufficiently think there is some central repository with answers to all the lingering questions," notes Gen. John Vessey, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Reagan and Bush administration's designated representative in MIA negotiations. "In all the years we've been working on this we have found that's not the case." [The Wall Street Journal]

More realities about war: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - it was not invented or unique to Vietnam Veterans. It was called "shell shock" and other names in previous wars. An automobile accident or other traumatic event also can cause it. It does not have to be war related. The Vietnam War helped medical progress in this area.

Myth: Agent Orange poisoned millions of Vietnam veterans.

Over the ten years of the war, Operation Ranch Hand sprayed about eleven million gallons of Agent Orange on the South Vietnamese landscape. (the herbicide was called "orange" in Vietnam, not Agent Orange. That sinister-sounding term was coined after the war) Orange was sprayed at three gallons per acre that was the equivalent of .009 of an ounce per square foot. When sprayed on dense jungle foliage, less that 6 percent ever reached the ground. Ground troops typically did not enter a sprayed area until four to six weeks after being sprayed. Most Agent Orange contained .0002 of 1 percent of dioxin. Scientific research has shown that dioxin degrades in sunlight after 48 to 72 hours therefore, troops exposure to dioxin was infinitesimal. [Burkett]

Restraining the military in Vietnam in hindsight probably prevented a nuclear war with China or Russia. The Vietnam War was shortly after China got involved in the Korean war, the time of the Cuban missile crisis, Soviet aggression in Eastern Europe and the proliferation of nuclear bombs. In all, a very scary time for our country.

[Nixon] No More Vietnams by Richard Nixon

[Parade Magazine] August 18, 1996 page 10.

[CACF] (Combat Area Casualty File) November 1993. (The CACF is the basis for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, i.e. The Wall ), Center for Electronic Records, National Archives, Washington, DC

[All That We Can Be] All That We Can Be by Charles C. Moskos and John Sibley Butler

[Westmoreland] Speech by General William C. Westmoreland before the Third Annual Reunion of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA) at the Washington, DC Hilton Hotel on July 5th, 1986 (reproduced in a Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association Historical Reference Directory Volume 2A )

[McCaffrey] Speech by Lt. Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey , (reproduced in the Pentagram , June 4, 1993) assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Vietnam veterans and visitors gathered at "The Wall", Memorial Day 1993.

[Houk] Testimony by Dr. Houk, Oversight on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, 14 July 1988 page 17, Hearing before the Committee on Veterans' Affairs United States Senate one hundredth Congress second session. Also "Estimating the Number of Suicides Among Vietnam Veterans" (Am J Psychiatry 147, 6 June 1990 pages 772-776)

[The Wall Street Journal] The Wall Street Journal , 1 June 1996 page A15.

[VHPA 1993] Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association 1993 Membership Directory page 130.

[VHPA Databases] Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association Databases .

[1996 Information Please Almanac] 1995 Information Please Almanac Atlas & Yearbook 49th edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston & New York 1996, pages 117, 161 and 292.


5. Antoine and Julien Gaujot

Army Capt. Julien Gaujot (Photo: Public Domain)

Antoine and Julien Gaujot are the only brothers to receive the Medal of Honor in two different military campaigns.

In December 1899, Cpl. Antoine Gaujot was serving in the Philippines at the Battle of San Mateo. His unit was under heavy fire and needed to cross a river. He twice attempted to find a fording point. When that failed, he swam across the river and stole a canoe from the enemy side.

Twelve years later, Capt. Julien Gaujot was serving on the border with Mexico when a battle between Mexican government troops and rebels spilled over the border. Gaujot crossed to the Mexican side and negotiated a surrender of Mexican forces and helped them evacuate to American lines. He also rescued wounded from each side and took them to the U.S. for medical treatment.

MIGHTY TRENDING

US Commitement to Vietnam Grows - History

Frank Wolfe, Vietnam War protestors at the March on the Pentagon, Lyndon B. Johnson Library via Wikimedia.

Perhaps no single issue contributed more to public disillusionment than the Vietnam War. The “domino theory”—the idea that if a country fell to communism, then neighboring states would soon follow—governed American foreign policy. After the communist takeover of China in 1949, the United States financially supported the French military’s effort to retain control over its colonies in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. But the French were defeated in 1954 and Vietnam was divided into the communist North and anti-communist South.

The American public remained largely unaware of Vietnam in the early 1960s, even as President John F. Kennedy deployed over sixteen thousand military advisers to help South Vietnam suppress a domestic communist insurgency. This all changed in 1964, when Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution after a minor episode involving American and North Vietnamese naval forces. The Johnson administration distorted the incident to provide a pretext for escalating American involvement in Vietnam. The resolution authorized the president to send bombs and troops into Vietnam. Only two senators opposed the resolution.

The first combat troops arrived in South Vietnam in 1965 and as the war deteriorated the Johnson administration escalated the war. Soon hundreds of thousands of troops were deployed. Stalemate, body counts, hazy war aims, and the draft all catalyzed the anti-war movement and triggered protests throughout the United States and Europe. With no end in sight, protesters burned their draft cards, refused to pay income tax, occupied government buildings, and delayed trains loaded with war materials. By 1967, anti-war demonstrations drew crowds in the hundreds of thousands. In one protest, hundreds were arrested after surrounding the Pentagon.

Vietnam was the first “living room war.” Television, print media, and liberal access to the battlefield provided unprecedented coverage of the war’s brutality. Americans confronted grisly images of casualties and atrocities. In 1965, CBS Evening News aired a segment in which United States Marines burned the South Vietnamese village of Cam Ne with little apparent regard for the lives of its occupants, who had been accused of aiding Viet Cong guerrillas. President Johnson berated the head of CBS, yelling “Your boys just shat on the American flag.”

While the U. S. government imposed no formal censorship on the press during Vietnam, the White House and military nevertheless used press briefings and interviews to paint a positive image of the war effort. The United States was winning the war, officials claimed. They cited numbers of enemies killed, villages secured, and South Vietnamese troops trained. American journalists in Vietnam, however, quickly realized the hollowness of such claims (the press referred to afternoon press briefing in Saigon as “the Five O’Clock Follies”). Editors frequently toned down their reporters’ pessimism, often citing conflicting information received from their own sources, who were typically government officials. But the evidence of a stalemate mounted. American troop levels climbed yet victory remained elusive. Stories like CBS’s Cam Ne piece exposed the “credibility gap,” the yawning chasm between the claims of official sources and the reality on the ground in Vietnam.Nothing did more to expose this gap than the 1968 Tet Offensive. In January, communist forces engaged in a coordinated attack on more than one hundred American and South Vietnamese sites throughout South Vietnam, including the American embassy in Saigon. While U.S. forces repulsed the attack and inflicted heavy casualties on the Viet Cong, Tet demonstrated that, despite repeated claims by administration officials, after years of war the enemy could still strike at will anywhere in the country. Subsequent stories and images eroded public trust even further. In 1969, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh revealed that U.S. troops had massacred hundreds of civilians in the village of My Lai. Three years later, Americans cringed at Nick Ut’s wrenching photograph of a naked Vietnamese child fleeing an American napalm attack. More and more American voices came out against the war.

Reeling from the war’s growing unpopularity, on March 31, 1968, President Johnson announced on national television that he would not seek reelection. Eugene McCarthy and Robert F. Kennedy unsuccessfully battled against Johnson’s vice president, Hubert Humphrey, for the Democratic Party nomination (Kennedy was assassinated in June). At the Democratic Party’s national convention in Chicago, local police brutally assaulted protestors on national television. In a closely fought contest, Republican challenger Richard Nixon, running on a platform of “law and order” and a vague plan to end the War. Well aware of domestic pressure to wind down the war, Nixon sought, on the one hand, to appease anti-war sentiment by promising to phase out the draft, train South Vietnamese troops, and gradually withdraw American troops. He called it “Vietnamization.” At the same time, however, Nixon appealed to the so-called “silent majority” of Americans who still supported the war and opposed the anti-war movement by calling for an “honorable” end to the war (he later called it “peace with honor”). He narrowly edged Humphrey in the fall’s election.

“Tragedy at Kent,” May 15, 1970, Life Magazine.

Public assurances of American withdrawal, however, masked a dramatic escalation of conflict. Looking to incentivize peace talks, Nixon pursued a “madman strategy” of attacking communist supply lines across Laos and Cambodia, hoping to convince the North Vietnamese that he would do anything to stop the war. Conducted without public knowledge or Congressional approval, the bombings failed to spur the peace process and talks stalled before the American imposed November 1969 deadline. News of the attacks renewed anti-war demonstrations. Police and National Guard troops killed six students in separate protests at Jackson State University in Mississippi, and, more famously, Kent State University in Ohio in 1970.

Another three years passed—and another 20,000 American troops died—before an agreement was reached. After Nixon threatened to withdraw all aid and guaranteed to enforce a treaty militarily, the North and South Vietnamese governments signed the Paris Peace Accords in January of 1973, marking the official end of U. S. force commitment to the Vietnam War. Peace was tenuous, and when war resumed North Vietnamese troops quickly overwhelmed Southern forces. By 1975, despite nearly a decade of direct American military engagement, Vietnam was united under a communist government.

The fate of South Vietnam illustrates of Nixon’s ambivalent legacy in American foreign policy. By committing to peace in Vietnam, Nixon lengthened the war and widened its impact. Nixon and other Republicans later blamed the media for America’s defeat, arguing that negative reporting undermined public support for the war. In 1971, the Nixon administration tried unsuccessfully to sue the New York Tye and the Washington Post to prevent the publication of the Pentagon Papers, a confidential and damning history of U. S. involvement in Vietnam that was commissioned by the Defense Department and later leaked. Nixon faced a rising tide of congressional opposition to the war, led by prominent senators such as William Fulbright. Congress asserted unprecedented oversight of American war spending. And in 1973, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution, which dramatically reduced the president’s ability to wage war without congressional consent.

The Vietnam War profoundly shaped domestic politics. Moreover, it poisoned Americans’ perceptions of their government and its role in the world. And yet, while the anti-war demonstrations attracted considerable media attention and stand as a hallmark of the sixties counterculture so popularly remembered today, many Americans nevertheless continued to regard the war as just. Wary of the rapid social changes that reshaped American society in the 1960s and worried that anti-war protests further threatened an already tenuous civil order, a growing number of Americans criticized the protests and moved closer to a resurgent American conservatism that brewed throughout the 1970s.


US Commitement to Vietnam Grows - History

– Forty-Six Years After the Soldier’s Death, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Delivers His Diary to Vietnam’s Defense Minister –

ARLINGTON, VA, June 4, 2012 – U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta exchanged profoundly personal documents with Vietnam’s defense minister at their meeting in Hanoi today, Monday, June 4. Panetta brought with him a diary recovered from the body of a North Vietnamese soldier killed in a 1966 firefight near Quang Ngai.

The PBS series HISTORY DETECTIVES provided the diary to Secretary Panetta as part of its search for the personal story behind the diary.

“Our commitment to the effort to have an accounting of the efforts of both sides that were involved in the war, I think, is critical to our personnel today,” said Secretary Panetta, “to make it clear that we stand by our pledge to leave no one behind.”

The diary includes several entries and a photograph of two young women. History Detective Wes Cowan and other researchers for HISTORY DETECTIVES translated the diary and embarked on an investigation to identify the young women in the photograph and return the diary to the soldier’s family.

"I'm pleased that HISTORY DETECTIVES could, through Secretary Panetta, be part of a continuing process of reconciliation between our nations.  The diary and photograph are small reminders that the combatants who were lost on both sides were not simply warriors, but real people who will forever be remembered by their loved ones," said Wes Cowan, lead investigator for HISTORY DETECTIVES.

Marjorie Garner brought the diary to HISTORY DETECTIVES for her friend, U.S. Marine Robert “Ira” Frazure. After firing subsided in that 1966 battle, known as Operation Indiana, Frazure found the body of a North Vietnamese soldier in a machine gun pit a small red diary lay on his chest.

Frazure has held onto the diary for 46 years, with mixed emotions. He hopes HISTORY DETECTIVES can help him return the diary to the soldier’s family.

“We are grateful for the help of the PBS HISTORY DETECTIVES research team providing the diary to us for this exchange,” said Pentagon Press Secretary George Little.

To mirror this contribution, Vietnam Minister of Defense, General Thanh, turned over to Secretary Panetta several letters from a U.S. soldier killed in the Vietnam War. Panetta hopes to deliver these letters to that American soldier’s family members, who now live in California.

PBS HISTORY DETECTIVES will air the moving results of the investigation, and their collaboration with the Department of Defense, on Tuesday, September 25, 2012, 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS.

HISTORY DETECTIVES explores our nation’s past by uncovering the captivating history behind personal items that have puzzled their owners for years. The detectives discover the stories behind these artifacts and reveal the connections to defining events in America’s past. HISTORY DETECTIVES is produced by Oregon Pubic Broadcasting and Lion Television.


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