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Indochina Essay

The South Vietnamese government had a substantial amount of success in keeping power up until 1968, surprisingly. This was done in a number of ways such as; government policies, fighting tactics/strategies and the aid of other countries e. g. America. On 26th October 1955 Ngo Dinh Diem won a referendum which appointed him as the President of South Vietnam (This was a rigged vote) and gave Emperor Bao Dai the boot. Although the country wasn’t really a democracy anymore it was more like an oligarchy that implemented a totalitarian regime.

Over the next coming years Diem and his followers built his army up going against the communists in their own country, carry out a new campaign known as the Denunciation Campaign. This campaign convinced people to report anyone to the government who were in favour of communism by means of supporting the Viet Minh or anyone who had fought against the French. By August 1956, Diem made it illegal, in a decree known as Ordinance 47, to be a communist or to associate with one and it is estimated that because of this decree 12 000 people were killed and 40 000 were imprisoned.

Although the way the government went about getting rid of communist was seen as harsh, today it can be seen that this tactic could have greatly contributed to government being as successful as they were in keeping power up until 1968. From the moment the Geneva Conference ended in 1954, America was South Vietnams backbone. This can be proven in a letter sent from President Eisenhower of the USA to Ngo Dinh Diem which states that the United States wanted to help with the welfare, stability and strength of the government of South Vietnam.

America’s contribution to South Vietnam took form in many different ways, such as; 1. America sent over a thousand military personal to South Vietnam to assist in training and building up there armies. 2. From July of 1957 to June of 1958 America paid ALL of the South Vietnamese cost for their army, 80% of government expenditures and 90% of all imports. 3. The USA provided each refugee coming into South Vietnam with $89 America was a big reason in why South Vietnam was so successful in keeping power up until 1968, without their knowledge, military and financial power South Vietnam would have fallen to he Communist very early on in the war.

Another reason the Government being as successful as they were in keeping power was their fighting strategies and tactics, although to many people some of these strategies and tactics can seem harsh and inhumane they actually helped South Vietnam a lot in keeping their government up and running and it has been documented that North Vietnam’s war tactics/strategies were just as inhumane as the South. The South Vietnamese government along with the help of the Americans implemented five main war strategies and tactics.

These include; Counterinsurgency, Combat Troops, Search and destroy, Chemical warfare and Pacification. Most of these were very successful on the battlefield and proved to keep some sort of stability in the government. The South Vietnamese government was sufficiently successful in their bid to keep power up until the Tet offensive in 1968. Although without the help of the American government the country would have failed to keep their power well before this. The tactics and strategies implemented by both governments defiantly helped keep the country afloat and rain in some sort of government stability.

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