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Lecture 6

POSC415 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Communist Party Of Vietnam, Battle Of Ap Bac, Strategic Hamlet Program


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POSC415
Professor
Kaufman
Lecture
6

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Deteriorating situation in South Vietnam
Strategic hamlets displace peasants from ancestral land
Military practice of “search and avoid”
Suppression of Buddhism provokes self-immolation protests of buddhist monks
(“buddhist barbecues”)
Rural military posts as “VC PXs”
Diem widely seen as hopelessly inept and corrupt
Kennedy admin reactions
Sends helicopters and 1000s of advisors
Battle of Ap Bac (1962) proves ineffectiveness of ARVN
US sponsors military coup against Diem in Oct. 1963
Immediate result is worse instability (many short-term leaders) leading to near-collapse
of GVN
How the two sides saw the war?
North vietnam/nlf view
The war is a revolutionary war by the Nationalist Liberation front (NLF) inside S.
Vietnam
War organized and led by (north) Vietnamese communist party aiming to reunify
the country
Maoist strategy aims to gain popular support inth south
Land policies and clean govt lead to widespread rural support
North Vietnamese army (NVA) sent in to counter US army
The US View
Us involvement as deterrence of north Vietnamese intervention
NLF wrongly seen as outside agitators
Johnson initiaties rolling thunder bombing campaign in 1965
Main concern was US pride, put in terms of us CREDIBILITY in Asia
George bell notes most us allies wanted political settlement
Example of NLF organization: village XB in Mekong Delta
Viet minh carride out land reform In the 1950w
Diem government sent landlords back, supported by soldiers
In 1959, NLF rebuilt
Mass meetings in village denounced landlords, forced them to flee (kill the land
robbers)
Organized outer social services (e.g. public health)
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