Flashcards in How Did The USA Contain The Spread Of Communism Deck (28):
Why did the Bay of Pigs incident happen in 1961 and what happened?
Because now a Communist state had been set up only 90 miles from the USA.
Kennedy authorised a CIA-trained invasion of Cuba by anti-Castro rebels
The invasion was unsuccessful because:
The USA had underestimated the strength of the Cuban armed forces.
The CIA had misunderstood how popular Castro was so they didn't have much support.
The USA didn't give them air support as promised.
Why did the USSR place missiles in Cuba?
Because of the invasion, Castro decided that Cuba needed Soviet military assistance.
In early 1962 the Americans placed a number of nuclear missiles in Turkey, within easy range of many cities in the USSR.
Why was Kennedy/USA successful in Cuba
Got Russia to remove missiles from Cuba.
They avoided a nuclear war.
Public image is maintained as it appears that he has managed to make Russia back down without conceding anything, as he responded only to the public requests of Russia about not invading Cuba.
He is not found to be a liar as he fully admits to the missiles in Turkey.
Why was Kennedy/USA not successful in Cuba?
Kennedy annoyed the European allies by not including them in the discussion, it seemed to them that their opinions weren't important:
He only told his closest allies, Britain, about the missiles 5 days after he found out.
France withdrew from NATO and encouraged Western Europe to follow and independent line.
Why was Khrushchev/USSR not successful in Cuba?
Public image is harmed as he refused to admit he had bombs in Cuba.
He removed his missiles publicly before America, suggesting that he was the weaker power - contributed to his fall from power in 1964.
He annoys communist China - contributes to Sino-Soviet split.
Why was Khrushchev/USSR successful in Cuba?
The opinion of Khrushchev within Russia doesn't matter that much because media is state controlled and little political opposition.
He manages to get America to remove its missiles from turkey
How did Vietnam become divided?
Vietnam had been a French colony.
After WW2, Vietnamese nationalists and communists, led by Ho Chi Minh, fought against the French.
In 1954 the French decided to pull out and Vietnam was divided into two.
Communists took power in North Vietnam.
South Vietnam was ruled by an anti-communist leader called Diem.
What were the Geneva agreements in 1954?
It was a meeting of international leaders to sort out the problems in Asia, including the Vietnam conflict between the French.
France withdrew from Indochina.
Vietnam was partitioned in communist north Vietnam and democratic south Vietnam.
Laos and Cambodia were set up as independent states.
How did American involvement in Vietnam increase from 1954-1963?
From 1954, South Vietnam depended on aid from the USA.
Americans used 'domino theory' as a justification for their involvement in foreign states, like Vietnam.
November 1961 - Kennedy began providing support for south Vietnam army incl. US soldiers as 'combat advisers'. He hoped this would help Diem defeat communist rebels.
This did not happen, and USA because increasingly unhappy with Diem
1963 - Diem's government further annoyed USA by clashing with local Buddhists.
November 1963 - with American approval, SV's generals overthrew Diem in a coup
What happened in 1959 in Vietnam
The communist government in the North decided to encourage a revolution in the South.
Southern communists, who had fled North, returned to fight.
These forces were known as the Vietcong.
How did Fidel Castro worsen relationships between Cuba and the USA when he came to power in 1959?
He wanted to get rid of American influence:
He shut down the gambling casinos and the brothels.
He nationalised the American-owned sugar mills.
The USA cut-off diplomatic relations with Cuba.
Castro began to work with the USSR and they offered to buy Cuba's sugar instead.
What happened in 1964 in Vietnam?
In 1964, regular NVs forces marched along the Ho Chi Minh Trail to support the Vietcong.
Without outside help SV looked doomed
What happened in the Gulf of Tonkin incident and why did it increase US involvement?
A clash at sea between NV and USA.
A US destroyer near the the coast of north Vietnam was attacked by north Vietnamese ships.
No serious damage was done.
However Johnson ordered the bombing of Northern bases in retaliation.
Congress gave Johnson the power to take all necessary steps to defend SV
Why and how did American involvement in Vietnam increase in 1965?
American bombers were regularly attacking targets in the North.
Johnson didn't think that this was enough and decided the SVs needed the help of large numbers of American soldiers on the ground.
July 1965- Johnson sent 180,00 US troops to Vietnam.
Over next 3 years increased to 540,000.
What was the Ho Chi Minh trail?
It was a logistical system that ran from NV to SV through Laos and Cambodia.
The system provided support in the form of manpower and material to the Vietcong and the NVs army during the Vietnam War.
What happened in the Tet Offensive?
Jan 1968 - NV communist troops launched a massive attack in towns all over the country at the time of Tet, a religious festival.
They struck in the southern capital of Saigon and on the US embassy.
Communists hoped that this would spark revolution in the South. This did not happen and 50,000 communist troops were killed.
The US used great force and took back the towns. They destroyed the ancient city of Hue, killing many civilians.
How was the Tet offensive a failure for the USA (therefore a reason for their withdrawal, 10 mark q)
Americans saw brutal images from it on TV.
About 14,000 US soldiers were killed.
As a result of the violence of the attack and the clear determination of the communists many US politicians and citizens became disillusioned with the war
The US anti-war movement grew in strength and leading figures in the US government began to lose faith in the war.
How did Nixon try to obtain 'a peace with honour'?
1) Paris peace talks
- tried to persuade NV that their soldiers should withdraw from the South at the same time as the US troops.
- threatened to launch a mass attack on NV if they didn't compromise, but this was a bluff and NV called his bluff.
- they refused to make a deal but Nixon didn't launch attack.
2) Nixon tried to persuade USSR and China to use their influence over the government of NV but USSR and China saw no reason to help USA over Vietnam.
-he tried to put more of the war burden on the SVs government.
-reduced the number of US soldiers and insisted more fighting should be done by the SVs.
- by 1971 he decreased the number of troops in Vietnam to 157,000.
What was the My Lai massacre and why was it bad for USA
16 March 1968.
American soldiers massacred the villagers of a place called My Lai as an attempt to root out VC. But the casualties ranged from 1-82 years old.
The American officer, Lieutenant William Calley, was eventually court-martialled for the murder of 109 civilians.
My Lai horrified many Americans as it was shown on TV. They had seen their actions in Vietnam as a fight against wicked communists. In My Lai the wickedness was American.
Was Vietnamisation a success?
The government of SV and General Thieu had support of Catholic Church and the landlords but not the peasantry.
USA bombed the supply lines of the VC.
Spread the war to Cambodia and Laos, created communist sympathisers there.
Consequences of the Vietnam War?
1973 Ceasefire - because in 1972, NV had attempted a large scale attack of SV but reached Stalemate - USA withdraws.
March 1975 - north attacks south.
April 1975 - Saigon falls, Vietnam united.
55,000 Americans dead.
Billions spent on war.
Improved relations with China.
Reasons US military failures was main reason for their failure in the Vietnam War
The Americans had to respond to VC guerrilla tactics.
Massive air power to try to bomb supply lines and chemical defoliants to destroy areas of the countryside where communist soldiers might be hiding - angered ordinary people of Vietnamese countryside and increased support of Vietcong and Minh. Bombing alienated SVs and US but not NVs.
Helicopters and blasting of zones where the US planned to land - VC would just leave after hearing the noise and would just move back after
Sent more and more men - didn't cause victory and caused protests in the US.
'Search and destroy' missions failed - ratio of destruction was usually 6SV:1VC. Lowered attitude of Vietnamese people, US were killing innocent people
Why were Vietnamese tactics reason for US failure
Guerrilla war - surprise attacks and planted bombs. Booby traps and mines - accounted for 11% of American combat deaths.
Aims and tactics were clearer - communist soldiers fought more effectively.
More determined - fighting for their own independence and ideology, very difficult to reduce their morale.
VC tried to blend in with peasants - difficult to identify VC soldiers and US mistreated civilians, alienating them.
Why was lack of support from Vietnamese for USA reasons for US failure
US policies failed to understand and care about Vietnamese people and cultures.
-1963: 10,000 Buddhists protested against discrimination from Diem, sole burning themselves alive.
-Kennedy pleased ignorant to discrimination to escape blame, but if this was true it just alienated more Vietnamese people as he didn't know that most SV were Buddhist.
Vietnamese people favoured Minh
- more Vietnamese nationalist unlike US dominated Saigon regime.
- communist soldiers behaved better to the peasants.
- communist policy of fair land redistribution was appealing to poor Vietname
Why the attitude of the US people from pro-war to anti-war in a democratic country like the US meant US failure
1965: protests increased because of US ground troops being sent to Vietnam.
As protests increased, morale of US soldiers decrease and improved NV morale.
1966: Johnson suffered bad defeats in mid-term elections and this changed view of US politicians who encouraged Johnson to get out of the war.
1967: Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara advocated for halting the increase in sending troops.
March 1968: group of senior advisors advocated for retreat.
Why did the UN become involved in the Korean War
Truman believed that the Russians were behind the attack of North Korea on South Korea and that it was a test of the US policy of containment.
Many Americans feared communism and in September 1949 Americans found out that the USSR had nuclear weapons.
Truman ordered US forces to Korea and then asked the UN Security Council to back the troops.
At the time the USSR was boycotting the Security Council and was not able to use its veto.
So the security council supported the USA and called on other countries to provide troops.
How was the UN successful in Korea
They contained communism as the communist government was maintained in North Korea along the 38th parallel. This is considered a success because the UN shouldn't be able to change borders.
Proving the UN will not be as ineffective as the League. It has America's support, however the only reason they can act is because Russia is boycotting the UN in 1950, for their refusal to recognise Communist China