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C O U R S E 
The Modern World: Global History since 1760
Prof. Philip Zelikow, University of Virginia
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Third World Proxy Wars of the 1950s and 1960s
Notes taken on August 5, 2014 by Edward Tanguay
four regions of the world into the 1960s
Southeast Asia
communism vs. non-communism is an issue all over Southeast Asia
Communist North Vietnam is trying to help South Vietnamese dissidents overthrow the South Vietnamese government
Malaysia and Indonesia also have communist parties
connected to Chinese who have migrated there
Middle East
the superpowers are adopting proxies
internationalized local struggles
new nationalist governments in Syria and Egypt are getting military equipment from the Soviet Union, as well as Soviet advisers
the United States is finding its anti-communist allies among the tradition Arab monarchies
Saudi Arabia
private companies helping them develop their oil resources
center of attention
feeling pressed by Syria, Egypt, Jordan
1967: Israelis preemptively attack forces gathering to attack them
West Bank of Jordan river
Golan Heights
Sinai Peninsula
later given back to Egypt in a peace treaty negotiated in the late 1970s
ruled by the Shah
took power in coup sponsored by the United States and British in 1953
allied with the United States
Latin America
communism, anti-communism, proxy fights
Thomas Mann, secretary of state, became expert on Latin America and supported regime change under Lyndon B. Johnson's administration
United States was looking for that centrist Latin American leader who could find the right path of non-communist development
Peru's President Fernando Belaúnde
a Latin American "architect of hope"
Brazil's President Costa E Silva
his government started the most oppressive stage of the military regime against communists, which would be continued and expanded under his successor, General Emílio Garrastazu Médici
Republic of Congo
early 1960s
United States and Soviet Union both took an interest in the Republic of the Congo
1970s more proxy battles between communists and non-communists
1960s many of the struggles were still about nation building
one of the most populous states in Africa
1967-1970 Biafra breakaway republic
the Vietnam War
the great Third World struggle of the 1960s and early 1970s
the issue
starts in 1950s after French are pushed out
supposed to be an election defining a single Vietnamese government
elections are never held
Vietnam instead becomes two states
North Vietnam
capital Hanoi
Ho Chi Minh aided by Le Duan
throughout 1960s Ho Chi Minh becomes the aging symbol of the leadership
many of the real strings of power being pulled by Le Duan
by 1959, the North decide to make an all out effort to overthrown the South
first just military supplies to Vietcong guerrillas
eventually troops, along Ho Chi Minh Trail
through neutral and weakly-ruled Laos, also used Cambodia
South Vietnam
capital: Saigon (today: Ho Chi Minh City)
ruler: Ngo Dinh Diem
charismatic Catholic Nationalist
responses to North Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh Trail
USA gives military supplies to South Vietnam
China gives military supplies to North Vietnam
USA pins hopes on Diem
Diem becomes increasingly controversial
high-handed style
Diem is faltering
1963: Kennedy's Dictaphone thoughts about coup against and killing of Diem
felt responsible for the coup after having sent telegram, apparently supporting it
shocked by death of Diem
he was an extraordinary character
end of May 1964, conversation between Johnson and Richard Russell
Russell was known for a tough, anti-communist conservative
wonders what U.S. is doing in Vietnam
"I'd get some crowd that got rid of old Diem to get rid of these people and get some fella in there that said he wished to hell we would get out, that would give us good excuse for getting out"
feels trapped, unable to solve his dilemma
gets reelected
is increasingly pressured to do something about communism in Vietnam
1968: 500,000 American combat troops are deployed
100s of soldiers are dying each week
American bombing North Vietnam
more bombs being dropped on Indochina than dropped in all of WWII in Germany, but its not enough
America considers ground invasion into North Vietnam
didn't do it because the Chinese are involved
Chinese have warned Americans, an invasion into North Vietnam is an attack on China
remembering the North Korean president, Americans stay back
fight the war on North Vietnamese and Chinese terms, i.e. ground war only in South Vietnam
although there was aerial bombing of Hanoi in the North
the historical significance of the war
for America
divides the country
makes America question itself and its ideals
for Southeast Asia
damage done, Laos and Cambodia got swept up in the war
creates polarized communist/anticommunist conflict throughout the area
September 1965, Sukarno overthrown in Indonesia
the "30 September group" feared that the Chinese communists were going to launch a coup of their own
overthrow Sukarno and purge communist party in Indonesia
lead massacres that cause the deaths of 100,000s of Indonesians, a purge to cement a new military-sponsored right-wing dictatorship in Indonesia
China is imploding in its own cultural revolution
for the world
Vietnam War becomes a symbol of the limits anti-communist containment
London protests to stop supporting the U.S. war
protests in Paris, Berlin, Rome