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Assessment of President Richard Nixon’s Plan During The Vietnam Battle

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Richard Nixon’s primary strategy in Vietnam was a method deemed “Vietnamization” in which would have American forces train and specialize the South Vietnamese army. In doing so, American forces would not have to participate in a combative role and thus this would find solvency in the issues regarding having American troops die for a cause that people back home in the United States already did not support. This approach would also look towards a gradual withdrawal of troops in South Vietnam, finally allowing those troops to go home which is what the American public had asked and protested for throughout the Vietnam War. However, despite this stance, Nixon was very much so dedicated to the cause of helping South Vietnam in becoming independent and democratic. This was indicated when he stated: “The defense of freedom is everybody’s business, not just America’s business. And it is particularly the responsibility of the people whose freedom is threatened” (Nixon). Nixon’s approach did do one beneficial thing in terms of American interests. In reality, his Vietnamization goals really did lead to the withdrawal of American troops. His approach was effective in that: “Nixon gradually reduced the number of U.S. troops in Vietnam in several stages, from a peak of 549,000 in 1969 to 69,000 in 1972” ( Based on this perspective and objective alone, Nixon’s Vietnamization approach was great as troops were no longer stationed in Vietnam and they could return home.

On the other hand, it can be said that Nixon’s strategy ultimately destroyed the Southern Vietnamese. The gradual withdrawal of the Americans in South Vietnam also presented many great military opportunities for the Northern forces. His goal to strengthen the South Vietnamese army, allowing them to be independent and capable of defending themselves was ultimately a failure. This can be evidenced when the South Vietnamese forces fell to the Communists in 1975. Therefore, there were some positive and negative aspects in regards to Nixon’s plan for the Vietnam War. Whereas it did bring about the withdrawal of American forces from Vietnam, and ultimately satisfied the American public in doing so, it also did not fulfill the main premises Vietnamization set out to do. These premises were to build a strong southern Vietnamese force that would otherwise be strong enough to be self-dependent and be able to fend of the North Vietnamese forces on their own. As evidenced by the North’s victory, that was obviously not the case, making Nixon’s Vietnamization a failure for the South Vietnamese.

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Assessment of President Richard Nixon’s Plan During the Vietnam Battle. (2019, April 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 26, 2023, from
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