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United States Foreign Relations

HistoryOf. ThingsWhichSuck. UpdateThis. Hasty transcription of notes hastily taken; take this with a grain of salt.

Wikipedia::Vietnam War

FDR hadn't expected continued involvement in Europe, but the ColdWar changed things. NATO, etc.

i18l politics had changed drastically since the start of WWII. 2 major powers peripheral to Europe - US & USSR. European powers greatly weakened - Germany occupied, France defeated, British empire crumbling. Traditional balance o' power out of whack.

Iran :: brits & soviets had sent forces to protect iran from axis powers. American forces too, under Brits. March 2 1946, they were supposed to leave. Brits and Americans did, Russians did not. Stalin was making demands on iranian government - oil & so forth. The iranian gov met most soviet demands until the troops left; shah ousted commies from gov once they were gone.

WinstonChurchill came to FultonMissouri and delivered his Iron Curtain speech - thought Britain and the US had to join in containing soviet expansion.

Turkey - summer 1945 - Soviets had begun pressuring Turkey; wanted sea access, border changes, military alliance of sorts. August 46, turks appealed to brits and americans; US makes a firm committment to turkey.

greece - civil war - "left & right" resumed 1946 - monarchy vs. leftists. Yugoslavia and bulgaria gave support to the left (at stalin's urging, supposedly). After election brought the king back, civil war kicked off again.

February 21 1947, brits declare intent to pull out of Turkey & Greece by April 1.

March 12, HarryTruman went to congress for $400 mil for turkey, greece, etc.

'''TrumanDoctrine''': Stark division between communist and free world (apparently right wing dictatorships are "free"). Spring 1947, Marshall went to Moscow


Raise your skinny fists like antennae to the sky! Never start a land war in Southeast Asia.

1950s - Korean War - unexpected - American policy shift

July 25 1950 - North Korea attacks South; had been skirmishes previously but nothing huge.

Truman, a self-described Wilsonian, saw NorthKorea as the first test of the UnitedNations.


Apparently General Westmoreland was an idiot.

== Vietnam war - late 50s & 60s ==

1956 - lull in war - Ho & communist party started consolidating power in the North; 'collectivisation' - rich peasants would lose land - peasant revolts 56, 57, 58 - just keeping power was hard enough. Lots in the North (900k +) fled South, mostly Catholics. (Diem was Catholic.)

1957 - gov in North tightening control; in South, settlement of refugees from North, who became Diem's most loyal core of support. Not much land redistribution in South; there was land, which wasn't used much - 100k theoretically got some land, which actually meant receiving title for land they already held, meaning they actually had to ''pay'' for the title - not exactly happy - a million peasants got nada.

Saigon government no more free than Hanoi, though less competent at dictatorship. Elections all rigged - legal system May 6 1959 - Death penalty by mil. tribunal for any opposition to Saigon government.

Diem to Washington.

1959 - war kicking back into gear in the South.

1960 - CommunistParty in Hanoi calling for open resistance, united front in the South;

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last edited January 3, 2006