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Vietnam War: American's Role

Anh Le

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During the Vietnam War, did the Americans make any promise to the vietnamese people? if yes, what were the promise(s)? Did they break the promise(s)?

If fact please state source.

Richard Nixon told the American people during the 1968 presidential election that he fully supported Lyndon Johnson’s peace talks.

However, at the same time he used Anna Chennault (a Chinese born Republican) to carry secret messages to President Thieu. Nixon persuaded Thieu not to go along with these peace talks. In return, Nixon promised to send South Vietnam enough US troops to “win the war”. This is why Thieu refused to take part in the peace talks (he announced this on 2nd November, three days before the election).

Nixon knew the American people would not accept an escalation of the war. He therefore continued Lyndon Johnson’s policy of talking to the North Vietnamese government. Nixon eventually accepted the peace terms available in 1968. By that time another 20,763 American soldiers had died. So had 109,230 South Vietnamese soldiers, 496,260 combatants from the North and an unknown number of civilians.

This information appears in several books. Probably the best account appears in Anthony Summers’s book, The Arrogance of Power (298-306).

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