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American History

Richard M. Nixon took his presidential seat in January 1969 and appointed Henry Kissinger as his national security advisor. During this period, ending of Vietnam War was a major concern for Nixon and his security advisor. He devised certain policies different from that of his predecessor. Richard Nixon announced a new policy of victimization to withdrawal more than five hundred thousand soldiers from Vietnam. In his policy of Vietnamization, Nixon proposed returning control of war to South Vietnamese Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). His policy did not aim at abandoning Saigon fully as United States would fund, train and supply ARVN.

Nixon hoped voters at home would support slow withdrawal of troops and reduce number of soldiers killed during the war (John, 1996). A major achievement of Nixon in stopping the Vietnam War was development of a doctrine that saw United States honor its current defense commitments without committing its troops anywhere. Nixon’s doctrine and Vietnamization reduced the number of casualties in the field but turned United States foreign policy upside down. His predecessors Eisenhower’s, Kennedy’s and Johnson’s policies aimed at using troops to prevent spread of communism but Nixon was opposed to such policies.

He proposed that United States would never commit its troops to end communist revolutions abroad. This is a major difference between the policy of Richard Nixon and his predecessors. Nixon believed that united States spend a lot of money in form of political cost which was too great through loss of more servicemen (John, 1996). A major development by Nixon and Kissinger was destruction of supply lines and base camps in Cambodia considered being the territory for running weapons and troops.


John, K. (1996). The History of the Vietnam War. London: Routledge

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