What if USA goes all out in Vietnam War?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by polyharmonic, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. dandan_noodles Well-Known Member

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    You think the Chinese or the Soviets are going to fight a nuclear war over an American occupation of the southern tip of Laos? Extending the defenses along the 17th parallel to Savannakhet on the Mekong would make supplying the southern insurgency much harder; they aren't going to be running truck relays and oil pipelines through positions physically occupied by allied forces. China could still get supplies to North Vietnam, but the only use for that aid would be frontal battering against a continuous and fortified front. The southern insurgency would not be able to continue without the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and allied forces would give considerably better account of themselves in conventional fighting along the 17th parallel.
     
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  2. Orcbuster Well-Known Member

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    But the argument goes the other way as well, both Johnson and Nixon were determined to avoid increased tension with China and the soviet union over Vietnam at any cost and knew that moving a primarily US led invasion and occupation into Laos would carry high risk of open conventional warfare.
     
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  3. Ian_W Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious why you think extending further into the Highlands will do anything beyond making the other side detour further.
     
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  4. dandan_noodles Well-Known Member

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    Because Thailand is too strong for the North Vietnamese to just brush aside like they did the Laotians, and the terrain on the other side of the Mekong is too open for them to risk exposing their truck convoys and fuel pipelines.
     
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  5. Seandineen Member

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    South Vietnam was authoritarian, north Vietnam totalitarian.
    If you read marshal ky’s writing he tried to democratize however slowly
     
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  6. Seandineen Member

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    Perhaps. Sadly accepting red’s fish means,never learning to find your own.
     
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  7. DValdron Random human being

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    So.... push the Indochina war into Thailand and hope for the best? Yeah, that sounds like a great plan.
     
  8. Seandineen Member

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    The Thai proceeded to win.
     
  9. jerseyguy Well-Known Member

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    Putting Ngo Dinh Diem into power was a horrible idea. He was a Roman catholic who cracked down on Buddhism in an 85% buddhist country. The North won the won because people weren't so much pro-North as anti Diem, and after he was gone Saigon got a revolving door of incompetent late-weimar esque leaders ruling for a few months at a time. Without Diem we wouldn't have the famous picture of the self-immolating monk at a major traffic intersection.

    War is politics by other means. The US lost in Vietnam because the government in the South failed to build legitimacy or create a strong social contract. This was a fundamentally political defeat on the South Vietnamese and US "home fronts"
     
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  10. Seandineen Member

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    You have a point.
     
  11. Dempsey-Louis Fight Fan

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    He is talking of extending the 17th parallel across from the China Sea to the Thai border. Ignoring Laos' supposed neutrality. Creating an America (conventional war) interior defensive line that forbids northern troops and supplies from moving south. Forcing Hanoi to do a long end-around, around an extended American line, causing a severe friction of distance increase, in miles traveled, organized Thai resistance, and extended travel through Cambodia/Laos, that would have made supplying the southern insurgents difficult.

    In short, making the Ho Chi Minh trail a longer and more arduous run.

    American troops would have been separated from the South Vietnamese populace (no American-Cong village encounters) with the responsibly for crushing the southern insurgence falling exclusively to the ARVN, who would have found themselves engaging a weakened, (in both supply and manpower) Viet Cong.

    The southern war would have been Saigon's problem; repelling the 'foreign' invasion, the American war.

    Best scenario: this line needed to be created before the summer of 1965, before any NVA troops moved south.
     
  12. dandan_noodles Well-Known Member

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    We didn't put Diem in power; Bao Dai gave him a position of only nominal influence to placate the anti communist nationalists, and he used it to mobilize support and crush the opposition, destroying the Hao Hoa and Cao Dai sects, then the Binh Xuyen crime syndicate under French influence, then oust Bao Dai and turn Vietnam into an independent republic. Moreover, the religious flag laws developed in response to Catholic unruliness. When they enforced the law on the Buddhist population, the mostly Buddhist generals who later overthrew Diem supported the government's measures to clamp down on the resulting unrest, and really wanted him to take even harsher measures. What happened was that they mistook the editorializations of the New York Times supporters for the official opinion of the US government, and feared the US would withdraw support for the war if they didn't get rid of Diem. Even then, there was no approval from the US until a bureaucratic end run by mid level State Dept officials essentially tricked the president and coerced the cabinet into green lighting it. RVN was holding its own, and even making considerable progress with the Strategic Hamlets until the Buddhist crisis and coup; things only really went bad in the chaos of constant changes in government, followed by American irresolution with the tepid bombing campaign of 1964, convinced them the war could be won if pursued in earnest.
     
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  13. Seandineen Member

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    Cao Ky Should have gone into the presidential palace earlier, avoiding the there coups in two years hoo hah
     
  14. Dempsey-Louis Fight Fan

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    I early 1951 Diem approached the America State Department to try to persuade US military intervention into Vietnam (under his leadership). Dean Acheson (Truman) thought him "too Catholic, too ridged, and too 'monkish'" to be an effective leader. Earlier on Diem had once held the position as Minister of Interior under French rule but resigned the post; he then refused multiple time to be part of any government lead by Bo Dai and eventually fled the country.

    By 1954 and the Geneva Accords, Diem Diem was in self imposed exile in Lakewood New Jersey; William Donovan, Intelligence Chief during WWII, along with Cardinal Spellman and Senator Mansfield championed Diem to the Eisenhower administration.

    With prominent Catholics lobbying for his appointment Bo Dai had no choice but to go through Diem in his request for American assistance. The Eisenhower administration then tied Diem to American support and Bo Dai had no choice but to accept Diem as Prime Minister.

    The Dulles brothers (John Foster [SS] and Allan [CIA]) than began their 'nation building' (and extended their pactomania) through Diem and began to squeeze the last of French rule out of SVN.

    The new government formed under Diem was made the de facto government of SVN when Dulles directed ALL American military and financial aid through Diem's government only. The French left the region.

    In 1955, after announcing American intentions to forgo the proscribed unification election, Dulles then orchestrated a national election between Diem and Bo Dai. Diem carried 98.2 percent of the vote wining more than 605,000 votes from the 405,000 registered voters in Saigon. (I didn't miss type.)

    Diem was an American creation (John Foster Dulles's creation); it was not without its critics.

    But either way Diem is 100% ours!
     
  15. marathag Well-Known Member

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    Would have been better than Thieu
     
  16. Seandineen Member

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    They both had skills, but Ky being both Buddhist and a northerner understood the bargaining game. Under the french, northern indochinese were given a little more than their southern brethren.
     
  17. Livius wannabe Well-Known Member

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    How come nobody is mentioning the dikes?