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Jan 27, 2022

January 27, 1973; US leaves Vietnam

Foreign Affairs News Desk
Image: YouTube
Image: YouTube

After nearly 20 long and devastating years, the U.S. War in Vietnam came to an end on January 27, 1973, when the governments of Vietnam and the United States signed the Paris Peace Accords.

The United States, South Vietnam, and North Vietnam signed the Paris Peace Accords agreeing to a cease-fire and the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam

The agreement required the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops, the return of prisoners of war, and the reunification of Vietnam through peaceful means.

One of the most contentious and unpopular wars ever fought by the United States, the Vietnam War had sparked a cultural revolution in the late-1960s.

Many citizens, from artists to educators to politicians, outwardly opposed America’s involvement in the Indochina conflict, and great unrest swept the nation. Negotiations to end the war officially began in 1968, but many notable delays prolonged the conflict for years, during which antiwar protests grew as thousands of troops lost their lives overseas.

The war was begun after the heart of the conflict was the desire of North Vietnam, which had defeated the French colonial administration of Vietnam in 1954, to unify the entire country under a single communist regime modeled after those of the Soviet Union and China.

Finally, in 1973, after 20 years and more than 1.3 million soldier and civilian deaths, an agreement was reached to end America’s involvement in the controversial war.

The U.S. military reported 58,220 American casualties. Although North Vietnamese and Viet Cong casualty counts vary wildly, it is generally understood that they suffered several times the number of American casualties.

The U.S. military has estimated that between 200,000 and 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers died in the war.

The human costs of the long conflict were harsh for all involved. Not until 1995 did Vietnam release its official estimate of war dead: as many as 2 million civilians on both sides and some 1.1 million North Vietnamese and Viet Cong fighters.

Yet after U.S. forces were removed from the conflict, the warring factions in Vietnam resumed fighting.

Two years later, North Vietnam captured Saigon, the capital city of South Vietnam, and began the reunification of the country under socialist rule, officially bringing an end to the Vietnam War.

The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, was a conflict in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam.

It was said that America “lost” South Vietnam because it was an artificial construct created in the wake of the French loss of Indochina. Because there never was an “organic” nation of South Vietnam, when the U.S. discontinued to invest military assets into that construct, it eventually ceased to exist.