The early days - 1000 years of chinese domination- Liberation from china - China bites back - Le lo enters the scene - The coming of the europeans - Lording it over the people - Tay son rebrllion - The last of the nguyens - The french takeover - Independence aspiration - WWII breaks out - A false dawn - War with the french - A separate south vietnam - A new north vietnam - The north south war - Enter the cavalry - The turing point - Nixon his doctrine- Other foreign involvement - The fall of the south - Reunification of vietnam - Opening the door - Vietnam today


Richard Nixon was elected president in part because of a promise that he had a 'secret plan' to end the war. The Nixon Doctrine, as it was called, was unveiled in July 1969 and it called on Asian nations to be more 'self-reliant ' in defian ce matters. Nixon 's strategy called for 'Vietnamisation', which meant making the South Vietnamese fight the war without US troops. More recently , it's been dusted off for Iraq, but no-one has yet referred to it as the Bush Doctrine. Even with the election of Tricky Dickeys ', the f irst half of 1969 saw yet greater escalation of the conflict. In April the number of US soldiers in Viet­nam reached an all-time high of 543,400. While the f ighting raged, Nixon's chief negotiator . Henry Kissinger, pursued peace talks in Paris with his North Vietnamese counterpart Le Duc Tho. In 1969 the Americans began secretly bomb ing Cambodia in an attempt to flush out Vietnamese communist sanctuaries across the border. Given the choice between facing US troops and pushing deeper into Cambodia, they fled west. In 1970 US ground forces were sent into Cambodia to extricate ARVN units, whose combat ability was still unable to match the enemy's. The North Vietnamese moved deep er into Cambodian territory and together with their Khmer Rouge allies controlled half of the country by the summer of 1970, including the world-famous temples of Angkor. This new escalation provoked yet more bitter antiwar protests. A peace demonstration at Kent State University in Ohio resulted in four protesters being shot dead by National Guard troops. The rise of organizations such as Vietnam Veterans Against the War demonstrated that it wasn't just 'cowardly students fearing military conscription ' who wanted the USA out of Vietnam. It was clear that the war was tearing America apart. In the spring of 1972 the North Vietnamese launched an offensive across the 17th Parallel; the USA responded with increased bombing of the North and by laying mines in North Vietnam 's harbors. The 'Christmas bomb­ing ' of Haiphong and Hanoi at the end of 1972 was meant to wrest conces­s ions from North Vietnam at the negotiating table. Eventually, the Paris Peace Accords were signed by the USA, North Vi etnam, South Vietnam and the VC on 27 January 1973, which provided for a cease-fire, the total withdrawal of US combat forces and the release of 590 American POWs. The agreement failed to mention the 200,000 North Vietnamese troops still in South Vietnam. In total, 3.14 million Americans (including 7200 women) served in the US armed forces in Vietnam during the war. Off icially, 58,183Americans were killed in action or are listed as missing in act ion (MIA). Pentagon f igures indicate that by 1972.3689 fixed-wing aircraft and 4857 helicopters had been lost and 15 million tones of ammunition had been expended. The direct cost of the war was off icially put at US$165 billion, though its real cost to the economy was double that or more. By the end of 1973, 223,748 South Vietnamese soldiers had been killed in action; North Vietnamese and VC fatalities have been estimated at one million. Approximately four million civilians (or 10% of the Vietnamese population) were injured or kited during the war. many of them as a direct result of US bombing in the North. At least 300,000 Vietnamese and 2200 Americans are still listed as MIA or 'Missing in Action '. US teams continue to search Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia for the remains of their fallen com­rades. In more recent years, the Vietnamese have been searching for their own MIAs in Cambodia and Laos. Individual family members often use mediums to try and locate the remains of their loved ones.