Year
1969

Nixon discusses the possibility of U.S. troop withdrawals

At a news conference, President Richard Nixon says there is no prospect for a U.S. troop reduction in the foreseeable future because of the ongoing enemy offensive. Nixon stated that the prospects for withdrawal would hinge on the level of enemy activity, progress in the Paris peace talks, and the ability of the South Vietnamese to defend themselves. Despite these public comments, Nixon and his advisers were secretly discussing U.S. troop withdrawals. On June 8, at a conference on Midway Island with South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu, Nixon formally announced a new policy that included intensified efforts to increase the combat capability of the South Vietnamese armed forces so that U.S. forces could be gradually withdrawn. This program became known as “Vietnamization.” The first U.S. troop withdrawals occurred in the fall of 1969 with the departure of the headquarters and a brigade from the 9th Infantry Division.

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