Although the Vietnam War is escalating, there is no hope of victory.
Johnson is deeply worried about this.
He didn’t want to be president of the war and didn’t want the war to destroy his political reputation.
However, he was unwilling to lose the war.
He feared that abandoning the war would make the Republican Party.
Therefore, the 36th president of the United States desperately added stakes to the Vietnam battlefield.
Defense Secretary McNamara told Johnson that the gradual pressure strategy could put 600000 U.S. ground troops into South Vietnam and kill 1000 people a month, and there would be no real victory until 1968.
However, Ambassador Taylor and general Westmoreland in South Vietnam frequently worried Johnson: on the one hand, they asked for the use of a minimum number of U.S. troops to defend their allies’ air bases, on the other hand, they asked U.S. ground forces to fight against the North Vietnamese army.
This proposal was supported by the joint chiefs of staff.
By the end of 1965, 184000 US troops had invaded Vietnam since Johnson announced the direct participation of US troops in the war on June 8, 1965.
There are three integrated divisions, three army combat brigades and one Marine Regiment.
It is accompanied by a battalion from Australia, a land brigade and an infantry division from South Korea, with a total of 45 mobile battalions.
By the end of 1966, the United States had 385000 troops in South Vietnam.
With the acceleration of the pace of war, the need for ground forces has also escalated.
Because North Vietnam has the ability to compete with the US Army.
In order to solve the shortage of troops, the US military assistance command in South Vietnam asked to increase the combat force from 79 battalions to 124 battalions by 1967.
The US government approved a relatively limited troop increase plan to increase the US expeditionary force to 450000.
The Johnson Administration launched Operation arc while sending more ground troops and strengthening air support.
That is, B-52 bombers carried out large-scale bombing of suspected “Communist army” positions in sparsely populated areas.
This operation is usually carried out by a formation of three aircraft.
A “arc” bombing can drop 100 tons of high explosives in an area of one square mile.
Since the bombers dropped bombs from an altitude of 7 miles, the other side could not give an alarm in time, so the “arc” bombing had terrible consequences.
With the escalation of bombing, anti war movements in the United States surged.
The anti war movement has moved from political debates and protest rock concerts on university campuses to the streets.
After the peaceful march in 1965, tens of thousands of people surrounded the Pentagon in October 1967.
Anti war activists attacked conscription units and recruitment stations and made positive arrangements for young men to avoid military service or flee to Canada.
Major US television networks and newspapers also encouraged the anti war movement with a large number of sympathetic news reports.
Facing the dual pressure of the South Vietnam battlefield and domestic anti war, Johnson played a new trick of combining talking and talking.
In early 1967, Johnson believed that “perhaps the only way to the road to peace is to engage with”.
He decided to write to Ho Chi Minh and suggested that the representatives of the United States and Vietnam hold secret talks in an effort to find a peaceful solution acceptable to both sides.
Johnson told Ho Chi Minh in his letter that he was concerned that the North Vietnamese army might use the moratorium on bombing to strengthen its military status.
Johnson said: if I am assured – whether secret or public, that North Vietnam will stop sending troops and providing supplies and equipment to the south, then I am ready to stop all bombing and take further measures and freeze the U.S. armed forces in Vietnam at the current level.
Facing the American military blackmail, Ho Chi Minh strongly condemned the US bombing of the north as a bandit act.
On the other hand, it insists that the United States must withdraw all armed forces as the only basis for peace, and the Vietnam Southern National Liberation Front must be the only real representative of the South Vietnamese people.
The positions of the two sides are far apart.
When the peace talks failed, Johnson raised his sword again.
In the dry season of 1968, in order to consolidate the important areas captured and continue to expand the war results, the U.S. military adopted the strategy of combining “tenacity and elimination” and launched the third dry season offensive.
Through this offensive, we tried to concentrate more mobile forces to “destroy the main force of the Communist Party of Vietnam” and “basically solve” the problem of the Vietnam War.
The campaign basically adopts the tactical means of search, encirclement and suppression, and carries out small-scale offensive operations with a small force without being far away from the position (mainly the base) or station.
In the vast rural areas, the US military mainly uses the air force to support the South Vietnamese army.
At this time, the South Vietnamese people’s armed struggle officially began to develop from rural areas to cities, and implemented the tactics of combining guerrilla warfare with mobile warfare.
Once the time is ripe, concentrate troops and take the initiative to attack.
From January 30 to February 7, 1968, the people’s armed forces launched a large-scale “new year offensive” throughout South Vietnam, focusing on attacking the US military, including the presidential palace and the US embassy, as well as the heads of the puppet regime in South Vietnam, important airports, radio stations, warehouses and other key targets, inflicting an unprecedented heavy blow on the US military and annihilating 150000 US troops, Smashed the third dry season offensive organized by the US Army.
After three years of ground operations, the US military not only failed to eliminate the South Vietnamese people’s armed forces, but was beaten by the people’s armed forces.
In 1968, U.S. President Johnson announced that the post of commander Westmoreland of the U.S. Army invading Vietnam was revoked and replaced by deputy commander General Abrams.
In order to reverse the defeat, at the end of February 1968, the United States urgently airlifted 10500 people from the 3rd Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division and the 27th regiment of the 5th Marine Division to South Vietnam.
In July of the same year, the 1st Brigade of the 5th mechanized infantry division was transferred to South Vietnam.
So far, the US ground forces invading Vietnam have reached 9 divisions, 4 brigades and 2 regiments, with a total force of 543500.
Subsequently, the U.S. military mainly withdrew the main force to the interior line, abandoned some remote and difficult strongholds, shortened the front line, concentrated on guarding the gate of the 17th degree line, Saigon, Yangang and other major cities and other strategic points, and used 80% of the army for the exterior line to strengthen the “appeasement” activities.
The United States attributed the failure to win in the South Vietnam battlefield mainly to the failure to cut off the northern Vietnam’s support to the South and China’s massive assistance to Vietnam.
Therefore, it decided to carry out uninterrupted bombing of North Vietnam in addition to blocking the North-South passage of Vietnam on the ground, in the air and at sea.
Since the beginning of April 1965, the US military has mainly focused on the combat aircraft of the Navy and air force, expanding the bombing scope of North Vietnam from military bases and other targets to transportation supply lines to the south, such as bridges, railways and main roads.
By June 1966, the US military broke through the 20 degree line and expanded the air raid toHe (NEI) – Lao (street) and he (NEI) – you (Yiguan) railway lines, as well as the areas around Hanoi and Haiphong, all the way to the border area between China and Vietnam.
The US military also launched air to surface missiles at the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi on December 14, 1966 and May 19, 1967.
From August 13 to 14, the US military bombed the railway, highway and bridges between Langshan and Anhua for two consecutive days, breaking through the so-called “restricted zone” of bombing 25 miles along the China Vietnam border.
After the United States was forced by internal and external pressure to launch a “partial suspension of bombing” plan, it concentrated its forces to bomb the narrow strip south of 19 degrees to the demilitarized zone, while maintaining aerial reconnaissance of the whole North Vietnam.
After April 1968, the US military once focused on interdiction bombing of the “Ho Chi Minh Trail” and sometimes retaliatory bombing of deep targets in North Vietnam.
It was not until October 20, 1968 that the United States announced a complete cessation of bombing and shelling of North Vietnam.
From February 1965 to November 1968, the US military carried out 107700 air strikes on North Vietnam (an average of 3-4 sorties per day), throwing more than 2.
58 million tons of ammunition.
At the critical moment of the Vietnam War, the US election came.
The anti war sentiment of the people forced Johnson, the main initiator of the American War of aggression against Vietnam, to win votes for himself with the promise of reducing the scale of the war, but all this did not have much effect.
Finally, he had to withdraw from the American political stage with the political scars of the war of aggression against Vietnam and the shame of the losers in the election.
On January 20, 1969, Richard Milhouse Nixon, the newly elected president of the United States, entered the White House in an atmosphere of gloomy weather and cold wind.
When the new president took office, he faced many difficulties.
However, the most difficult problem for him was how to pull his legs out of the mire of the war of aggression against Vietnam.
On the day of taking the oath of office, the streets were “bustling”.
On both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue connecting Congress and the White House, several teams with different intentions and costumes were gathering.
One is the audience to visit the swearing in ceremony, the other is the mass demonstration to protest against the continued war of aggression against Vietnam and President Nixon’s coming to power, and the other is composed of troops from the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army who are urgently transferred to the capital from the camp of Fort Bragg, North Carolina to suppress the mass demonstration Protect the armed military and police forces passing through the motorcade of the new president.
Armed with live ammunition, the military and police are like a great enemy.
This uncoordinated atmosphere of cheerfulness and confrontation cast an ominous shadow on Nixon who took office.
Nevertheless, Nixon took the podium as a winner and stood in a bulletproof B ō In the glass cover, he delivered his inaugural speech.
At the beginning of his inaugural speech, he catered to the strong desire of the American people for peace and against war, saying: “we are in war and need peace”, “we are in division and need unity”.
He vowed: “let us move towards the goal of making peace popular in places where we do not know what peace is.
making peace firm in places where peace is not firm.
and making peace permanent in places where peace exists only temporarily.
” Nixon kept talking about peace in order to win over the people, but it was by no means easy to really solve this problem.
In his early days in the White House, the war was still escalating, and some orders were issued by the new president.
On March 18, 1969, the US military began to send B-52 strategic bombers to bomb Cambodia.
This was Nixon’s first order to expand the war after he entered the White House.
However, the prospect of war does not make the new president optimistic.
Four months after the Nixon administration took office, a report from the US military command invading Vietnam said that more than 4000 people were killed in South Vietnam, with an average of more than 1000 killed every month.
In order to ease the domestic anti war sentiment and change the passive situation on the Vietnam battlefield, Nixon vigorously pursued the “Vietnam” policy of the war, changed the practice of “fighting for Asians” with the US military as the main body in the Johnson period, and strengthened the combat capability of the South Vietnam group, so as to realize the attempt of “local people fighting local people”.
“We can’t win the war for the Vietnamese.
in the final analysis, the Vietnamese have to win the war by themselves,” he explained At the end of August 1969, Nixon announced the withdrawal of US troops from Midway Island, Vietnam.
This is the first time that the US government has announced the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam.
The reason and basis for Nixon’s announcement of troop withdrawal is: “the ‘Americanization’ of the war has damaged the morale of the Vietnamese.
the protracted war has damaged the morale of the Americans.
” In order to end the unpopular war as soon as possible, Nixon vigorously promoted the “Vietnamization” of the war militarily, and frequently shook the olive branch to Vietnam diplomatically to urge the restart of the peace talks.
Before the negotiations, the United States and Vietnam each made their own views through the news media.
On May 8, 1969, Chen Baojian, head of the delegation of Vietnam’s southern national liberation front, who attended the Paris peace talks, put forward the “ten point proposal”.
The core of this proposal is that the United States must withdraw US troops and other foreign troops from southern Vietnam without any conditions.
The Vietnamese armed forces in the south of Vietnam shall be solved by all Vietnamese parties themselves.
The people of southern Vietnam formed a coalition government through universal suffrage.
On May 14, 1969, Nixon made a televised speech and put forward the “eight point plan” against the “ten point proposal” of the southern national liberation front of Vietnam.
The core of this case is that the withdrawal of all “non South Vietnamese” troops from South Vietnam is to equate the troops in northern Vietnam with foreign troops such as the United States and “withdraw together” from southern Vietnam.
The United States and Vietnam have fought for many years and accumulated deep resentment.
In addition, their negotiation conditions and asking prices are far apart.
Therefore, the Vietnam US talks to be held in Paris will not be an easy thing.
To this end, Nixon carefully selected negotiators.
After long consideration, he chose Dr.
Henry Kissinger, a professor at Harvard University.
Kissinger was born in a Jewish teacher’s family in felte, Germany on May 27, 1923.
During the turbulent years of Nazi rule, Henry spent his childhood and youth.
The first action after taking office in 1933 was to fire Jewish teachers in public schools.
Henry’s father Louis had to work in a Jewish vocational middle school.
Three years later, the job was lost.
Forced by life, the Kissinger family fled Germany in August 1938, first to London and soon moved to New York.
In September, Henry wasFrom there, he entered George Washington High School, studied at the City College of New York after graduation, and was recruited to the U.S. Army in February 1943.
After the war, Kissinger entered Harvard University in 1947.
In 1950, Kissinger, 27, married Anne Fleischer.
After receiving his doctorate, he was employed as the Rapporteur of a research group of the Foreign Relations Association in New York in 1955.
During this period, he completed the writing of the book “nuclear weapons and foreign policy”, which made him famous in one fell swoop.
He returned to Harvard and became the deputy director of the European Research Center.
Later, he was favored by Nelson and worked for the Rockefeller brothers.
During Rockefeller and Nixon’s presidential campaign, Kissinger was Rockefeller’s right-hand assistant.
Throughout 1967, Kissinger advised Rockefeller on how to use Vietnam in the 1968 presidential campaign.
In the primary election, the governor of New York described Richard Nixon as an incurable eagle, for which Kissinger provided many “shells” for attack.
To Kissinger’s great surprise, Nixon ignored the past and hired him as the president’s national security adviser to be responsible for the plan aimed at ending the Vietnam War.
On the one hand, it shows Nixon’s magnanimity.
On the other hand, it can also be seen that Nixon was a practical politician.
The new president chose Kissinger not so much out of his trust as out of his understanding of his abilities.
In the first few months of Kissinger’s entry into the government, his image as a think tank and secret messenger was revealed.
Among the top Republican figures, few can compete with him.
The only one who can compete is mache Mitchell.
The Vietnam issue is the core of the difficult diplomatic problem of the United States.
Kissinger and Nixon are determined to protect the new government from the suffering suffered by Lyndon Johnson after 1966.
The Paris peace talks must make significant progress, the troops must withdraw, the casualties must be reduced, the allies must be reconciled, and the domestic “peace movement” must subside.
At the same time, the South Vietnamese government must be “convinced that Washington still supports it in the war”.
Kissinger, known as coming without shadow and going without trace and good at hiding, played an extremely important role in the Vietnam us peace talks.
His whirlwind shuttling and multi-party planning has made “great contributions” to solving the Vietnam problem.
In order to make progress in the stalled Paris peace negotiations, Kissinger put forward a new idea of “two track” approach.
The so-called “two track” approach means that on one track, Hanoi and Washington will focus on solving the military problems of their conflict.
On another track, Saigon and the national liberation front will focus on solving the political problems of South Vietnam.
When an agreement is reached on both tracks, an international conference will be convened to “formulate the guarantees and guarantees of the agreements reached, including the establishment of international institutions for peacekeeping”.
Subsequently, Nixon took three steps on the issue of Vietnam US negotiations: the first step was to change the lineup and powers of the US negotiating delegation in Paris, appoint Henry Cabot Lodge and Lawrence Walsh, a New York lawyer who once served in the government, to replace Avril Harriman and Cyrus Vance of the Democratic Party, and negotiate with Vietnam according to Kissinger’s “two track” approach.
As the first step of the military issue, the United States and the North Vietnamese army were proposed to “withdraw” from South Vietnam.
The second step is to focus on the Soviet Union, the “key to peace” in Southeast Asia, and open the “behind the scenes way” of consultation between the White House and the Kremlin through Kissinger’s contact with Soviet ambassador to the United States Dobrynin.
The third and most important step, when Lodge put forward the new plan of “joint withdrawal of foreign troops” from South Vietnam in Paris, he decided to put forward a plan of unilateral withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam, and announced the unilateral withdrawal of 25000 US troops from Vietnam on June 8, 1969.
However, these action steps of the United States have not received more enthusiasm from the Vietnamese government.
Kissinger’s secret meeting with Chunshui in France also failed to make a breakthrough.
The two sides only expounded their well-known positions.
Nixon’s letter to Ho Chi Minh and Ho Chi Minh’s reply to Nixon before his death could not find a “loose” tone between the lines.
During this period, there were 3 important events that were not good for the United States in Indochina.
In June 1969, the southern republic of Vietnam was established and an interim revolutionary government was established.
On March 18, 1970, the United States instigated the Rano srimada coup in Cambodia, and brazenly sent troops to invade Cambodia on April 30, in an attempt to destroy the main force and supply base of the people’s armed forces on the Cambodian Vietnamese border in one fell swoop with a “short-term decisive battle”.
As a result, two months later, the United States had to withdraw the US troops from the Cambodian stronghold.
In April 24, 1970, the Indochina people’s high-level meeting was held at Laos, Vietnam and China.
The meeting condemned the U.S. aggression against Cambodia and finally issued a joint statement, emphasizing that India and China should strengthen unity and jointly oppose the U.S. aggression until the final victory.
The military attack was weak, and Nixon played the negotiating card again.
On July 1, 1970, the day after the last American soldiers left Cambodia, Nixon appointed veteran diplomat David Bruce, who had served as US ambassadors to Germany (West Germany), France and Britain, as the head of the US negotiating delegation in Paris, so as to publicly express his readiness to negotiate to Hanoi.
In order to make the negotiations successful, Nixon and Kissinger secretly formulated a new plan to break the deadlock – “ceasefire plan”.
There are three options: the first ceasefire requires the withdrawal of all North Vietnamese troops from South Vietnam, which the United States has always insisted on but failed to achieve for many years.
The second option recognizes the fact that it is impossible for North Vietnamese troops to withdraw from South Vietnam, which is “a big concession” of the United States to Hanoi.
The central idea of this plan is to allow the North Vietnamese army to regroup in some designated areas of South Vietnam.
The third option is an on-site ceasefire, which only requires the North Vietnamese to stop fighting and allow it to continue to politically control all areas under its military control at that time.
In fact, despite Saigon’s opposition, he accepted Hanoi’s request that the North Vietnamese army can operate throughout South Vietnam.
Kissinger believes that the most practical and feasible of these three plans is to cease fire on the spot.
It is hopeful to win the consent of Hanoi and finally reach an agreement.
However, the commander of the US military invading Vietnam, general Abrams, and the puppet president of South Vietnam, Nguyen Van Sau, firmly opposed the plan of local ceasefire.
They believe that this scheme is “too risky”,The war situation has shifted from a strategic stalemate to a strategic counter offensive.
A strong military counter offensive is being planned.
On March 21, 1972, under the cover of a large number of Soviet tanks and long-range artillery, four whole divisions of the North Vietnamese people’s army suddenly rushed through the demilitarized zone and began the long planned spring offensive.
The timing and scale of the attack shocked the Nixon government.
Over the past few months, while making active military preparations for the spring offensive, northern Vietnam has made a serious negotiation posture to satisfy Kissinger’s appetite.
It was not until the rumble of gunfire of the Vietnamese people’s army attack reached the White House that Kissinger woke up from his fantasy: as early as October 1971, when Li Deshou got “diplomatic disease”, Hanoi had decided to resort to force.
On April 4, the United States immediately responded to the military attack by North Vietnam.
That morning, the Pentagon officially announced that the United States would take all necessary measures to protect the US troops remaining in South Vietnam.
Then informally told reporters that one or two B-52 strategic bombers had just left North Carolina air force base to fly to Thailand.
Since then, the US naval and air power in Indochina has increased at an alarming rate.
Within one month of the North Vietnam attack, six aircraft carriers, five cruisers and 40 destroyers were concentrated in the Beibu Gulf.
The B-52 strategic bomber group in Guam increased to nearly 100.
There were 53 B-52 strategic bombers and 224 fighter bombers in utabao, Thailand, and 113 fighter bombers in Yangang.
By the end of April, more than 1000 US military aircraft had been used in combat.
Since April 6, the United States has reneged on its 1968 commitment to unconditionally stop bombing northern Vietnam, dispatched fighter bombers to attack 60 miles north of the demilitarized zone, and warned Hanoi that unless the offensive is stopped, the US offensive will gradually move northward.
However, the warning did not scare the heroic Vietnamese people.
On April 7, Luning in the northwest of Saigon was occupied by the North Vietnamese army, and there was a fierce battle between Anlu and the suburbs of Guangzhi.
According to the news, Nick was so frustrated that he ordered B-52 bombers to go deep into North Vietnam on April 8 to attack military targets behind him, and bombed the port Rong City 145 miles north of the Demilitarized Zone on April 10.
On April 15, after “being alone and thinking hard”, Nixon approved the plan code named “freedom porch” and dispatched B-52 bombers to bomb Hanoi and coastal defense over the weekend.
It also announced that the US Air Force and navy would continue to attack North Vietnam until Hanoi stopped attacking.
The bombing failed to save the decline of the puppet army in South Vietnam.
On May 1, Vietnamese people’s army tanks invaded Guangzhi city.
Ruan Wenshao’s army collapsed and fled for his life.
The people’s army raised a red flag on the castle of Guangzhi city to declare victory.
In the victorious march of the Vietnamese people’s armed forces, the Paris talks resumed again.
On May 2, Kissinger came to Paris with Nixon’s new proposal.
The new proposal is that the United States agreed to withdraw from Indochina within 4 months, such as the cease-fire and repatriation of American prisoners of war by the North Vietnamese people’s army.
Li Deshou did not accept this.
He scornfully rejected Nixon’s proposal, and the negotiations still made no progress.
In order to promote the success of the peace talks, the White House played the “Soviet card”.
Nixon personally went to Moscow to reach an agreement on the limitation of strategic weapons with the Soviet Union, which made the Soviet leaders feel that dealing with Washington in terms of trade, loans and talks on the limitation of strategic weapons is of great benefit, and it is necessary to help Nixon in solving the Vietnam issue.
On June 5, 1972, President Podgorny, one of the “troikas” of the Soviet Union, flew to Hanoi to persuade the Vietnamese leaders that it was time to change their strategy and conduct serious negotiations with the United States.
He believes that there will be little risk in doing so.
Because Nixon seemed serious about withdrawing troops.
Moreover, the United States took a new position and no longer asked the North Vietnamese troops to withdraw from the south.
He probably also conveyed Brezhnev’s view that no one can stop the Communist Party from winning in the South sooner or later.
Bo’s advice had a subtle impact on the position of Vietnamese leaders.
Due to Kissinger’s needlework and the persuasion of Soviet leaders, Hanoi convened a special meeting to study strategy at the end of June.
Since then, Li Deshou’s attitude has changed significantly in the peace talks.
On October 9, Kissinger crossed the Atlantic for the 19th time and came to Paris to continue talks with Li Deshou.
Hanoi put forward a nine point proposal on ending the war and restoring peace in Vietnam during the talks: first, the United States respects Vietnam’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity stipulated in the 1945 Geneva Agreement.
2、 “Within 24 hours after the signing of the agreement”, a ceasefire will be implemented in southern Vietnam, and the United States will withdraw all U.S. troops from southern Vietnam “within 60 days”.
3、 “At the same time as the withdrawal of U.S. troops” – that is, within 60 days – release “all captured and imprisoned personnel” of all parties.
4、 “Establish a political power institution named the National Commission for national reconciliation and harmony, which includes three equal components, to urge the interim revolutionary government of the southern republic of Vietnam and the government of the Republic of Vietnam to implement the signed agreements and organize universal suffrage.
” In this agreement, Hanoi expressed for the first time that it was willing to discuss the military and political aspects of the war separately, thus accepting Kissinger’s “two track” approach, that is, the military issues should be solved by the United States and North Vietnam, first announcing a ceasefire, and then withdrawing the US troops and repatriating the US prisoners of war.
Subsequently, the hostile parties in South Vietnam tried to reach a political settlement.
At the same time, he no longer insisted on letting Ruan Wenshao step down.
The positions of the two sides are getting closer and closer, and Vietnam sees hope for peace.
However, one wave has been flattened and another wave has arisen.
When Kissinger rushed to Saigon “nonstop” to inform Ruan Wenshao of the negotiations, he encountered unexpected trouble.
Ruan Wenshao obstructed the signing of the agreement everywhere.
He made it clear: “first, we oppose the ‘committee’ (National Commission for national reconciliation and harmony).
It is now clear that this is actually a coalition government (the National Commission in Vietnamese contains this meaning) .
Second, we cannot agree that the North Vietnamese army will remain in our country.
Third, we cannot accept that North Vietnamese can freely pass through the demilitarized zone.
In short, we cannot sign this agreement.
” On October 4, enraged Ruan Wenshao made a televised speech, revealing his meeting with Kissinger.
In his two-hour television speech, Ruan Wenshao was excited.
He read the speech for a while, talked casually and repeatedly.