August 11, 2016

Today in History: U.S. quietly removes last ground combat unit from Vietnam (1972)

John RobsonResident Historian
 

On August 11 of 1972, rather quietly amid the general uproar of the Vietnam War, superpower diplomacy and domestic protests, the United States removed its last ground combat unit from Vietnam.

It was some two and a half years before the tragic fall of Saigon and some people, though probably not Richard Nixon, believed it was clever to have a “decent interval” before the consequences of “bugging out” became clear.

But you can’t preserve credibility by ditching an ally when you think no one is looking.

They are looking, and the turmoil in the world in the late 1970s should give pause to anyone who figures the US and NATO can quietly sneak out of Iraq or Afghanistan and have nobody notice.

If friends do not trust you and enemies do not fear you, you’re in a world of hurt.

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commented 2016-08-12 23:54:37 -0400
It’s always misinformation and conspiracies with the Left.
commented 2016-08-12 23:54:37 -0400
It’s always misinformation and conspiracies with the Left.
commented 2016-08-12 13:01:13 -0400
Henry Reardon

Exactly. Truman did the same thing to the KMT in China in 1945. He basically handed China to the Communists. What happened to the KMT? A free and prosperous Formosa/Taiwan !
commented 2016-08-12 11:37:17 -0400
I have always had a soft spot for Vietnam vets. They were betrayed, murdered and marginalized by the cowards on the left.
The war in Vietnam began with the economic and anti-colonial stupidity of the Democratic Roosevelt administration. After Roosevelt died his henchman Truman completely handed SE Asia to the Communists. To the Democrats, ignoring the pleading of members of their intel and British and French intel, Ho Chi Minh was a Nationalist, not a Communist. However it is evident that his fervour for Nationalism was linked to his Communism.
The US hated the French in Indo-China and had little understanding of what was really happening in SE Asia. It can be argued that most of the allies in SE Asia had this problem however it was the Democrat administration running the show. In many cases it was difficult to combine efforts because everyone was seeking economic power in the region and this seriously affected the war against Japan and diverted attention away from the Communist threat. Rather than tell Minh to piss off, the US saw him as their only source of intel in the north. It was actually a spy ring set up by a Canadian that operated in Indo-China during the war but after the Japanese backed coup, this source of intel was shut down and to a certain extent ousted by the Americans.
This began the relationship between certain elements ( because they could hardly be considered united ) in US intel and the Viet Minh. It saw US backing of the Viet Minh against the French.
Communism in SE Asia used the demand for independence as a catalyst to gain political control not only from the colonialists but also any local political opposition. Campaigns of slaughter of political rivals were instigated. This was one major argument used by the left to oppose American involvement in Vietnam. They claimed that Minh and Communism was chosen by the people. This is simply nonsense and it only seems that way due to corrupt media reports and the fact that the Communists murdered all their opposition.
The left also claim that the regime in the South was corrupt and got what they deserved. Well, name a government that isn’t corrupt. Our present Liberal dictator is amongst them. They are trying to state that a Communist regime cant be corrupt? Nuts! It is in the dogma of the Communist, like that of Hitler’s Socialists, to desire world domination. If that means beginning in Vietnam or China or Malaya so be it. Why do you think Cuba was in Angola and spread throughout S America. There were even Soviets and Cubans in N Vietnam.
One thing that has been COMPLETELY neglected and brushed off, is the fact that Communist sympathizers within the Democratic Party, Youth Groups, University Groups, Media and the US Government in general were fighting for Minh. One of the most destructive and asinine events of the Vietnam war was Walter Cronkite and CBS’s reporting of the Tet Offensive. It has only been proved and publicized recently that rather than the failure portrayed by the likes of Cronkite and the other idiots from 60 Minutes like Morley Safer, that Tet was a RESOUNDING success, not only of the US military but also largely of the oft mistreated ARVN Army of South Vietnam. Practically 85% of the tens of thousands of Communists that took part were killed or captured. In fact it has been a left wing lie that the war in Vietnam was impossible to win. The US and their allies slaughtered the Communists in practically ALL engagements big and small. It was asinine ( Like today ) LEFT WING DEMOCRATIC POLICY that created a cat and mouse game that ended up killing thousands of Americans and Vietnamese for nothing. From bombing useless targets over and over again so as not to offend the Chinese or Russians to murdering Americans to take the same hill over and over again. Patrolling territory over and over again ( like in Iraq and Afghanistan ) that ends up killing more of us than the enemy. This is why Donald Trump calls Obama a founder of ISIS, because he is essentially doing their bidding.
A committed military and diplomatic effort in Vietnam could have at least kept South Vietnam out of the clutches of the Communists.
The left wing argument that the Vietnamese wanted Communism is a joke. For one, the US and its allies had the allegiance of ALL the indigenous peoples of Vietnam who HATED the Communists. That is all you need, as seen during allied fighting in Burma during WW 2, to win such a war. It simply required a commitment. A commitment that Democrats and other brain dead leftists have not been able to achieve since WW2. After all when the British fought Argentina in the Falklands, they did not land on a corner of the Island chain and stay there and patrol into enemy territory, they completely CLEARED the islands of the enemy and pushed them into the sea. THAT is how you fight a war. Powerful, Quick and Decisive a commitment to win at all costs regardless of collateral damage. To hell with the media and the peace freaks, they kill more people than any decisive action ever would. It also shortens the commitment and expense. Military tacticians and historians that defend how conflicts are fought today need to be fired and replaced. Frankly, with the power of the US or NATO I could have wiped out ISIS in a week sparing the world the pain it is suffering now.
There are 20,000 employees at the Pentagon and their are countless thousands more working in Intel in other nations and you expect anyone with a brain to believe that you did not see ISIS coming or on the move! that is when Donald Trumps claims of Obama and Clinton being in cahoots with Islamists becomes truthful. After all it was Obama who released from prison all the future leaders of ISIS. Take that Evan Solomon you idiot.
commented 2016-08-11 16:11:22 -0400
Henry Reardon,

That is my understanding and memory as well.

In addition, something that is swept under the rug by the Democrats is that Vietnam Nam was there war. Kennedy went in and Johnson expanded, leaving it to a Republican administration to sort out the mess. The Democrats then developed the narrative that it was a Republican war, leading to the budget games you mention.
commented 2016-08-11 15:44:53 -0400
It is my understanding that it was not Nixon, a Republican president, who really did in the South Vietnamese by pulling out combat troops, but the Democrats in Congress who ensured that the big military aid packages for South Vietnam were defeated. With neither American soldiers nor sufficient aid money to buy their own weapons systems, the South Vietnamese could do very little but wait for the inevitable military victory by their Communist enemies.