• A Broker of International Reconciliation: UNICEF Through the Korean and Vietnam Wars

      Hitchcock, William I.; Krueger, Rita (Temple University. Libraries, 2010)
      This paper represents original research in the UNICEF archives and illuminates the case study of this particular intergovernmental organization (IGO) during the period of the Korean War through the Vietnam War (1948-1975). It investigates the complex issues raised by the intersection of power politics and humanitarian impartiality. It argues that historians must take intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) seriously in their attempt to accurately interpret the historical record. The story of UNICEF during the Korean War charts a familiar narrative where superpower rivalries served to derail the good intentions of this purportedly impartial intergovernmental organization. However, the case study of UNICEF in Vietnam is a surprising example of the rising influence and impact of IGOs and INGOs on the international scene. By balancing its associations across the East-West divide and riding a wave of increasingly international sentiment worldwide, UNICEF navigated a treacherous political arena and realized new heights of its goal of impartiality even before the cessation of war in Vietnam. In a dramatic show of their expanding influence, UNICEF played a pivotal role in improving relations between the United Nations and North Vietnam.
    • "Being Vietnamese": The Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the United States during the Early Cold War

      Immerman, Richard H.; Farber, David R.; Simon, Bryant; Quinn-Judge, Sophie; Buzzanco, Robert (Temple University. Libraries, 2012)
      This dissertation examines the early U.S.-D.R.V. relationship by analyzing related myths and exploring Viet Minh policies. I go beyond the previous literature to examine the Viet Minh government's modernization and anti-imperialist projects, both of which proved critical to D.R.V. policy evolution and the evolution of a new national identity. During the French era, as Vietnamese thinkers rethought the meaning of "being Vietnamese," groups like the Viet Minh determined that modernization was the essential to Vietnam's independence and that imperialist states like the U.S. posed a serious threat to their revolution and their independence. I argue that D.R.V. officials dismissed all possibility of a real alliance with the U.S. long before 1950. Soviet and Chinese mentors later provided development aid to Hanoi, while the D.R.V. maintained its autonomy and avoided becoming a client state by seeking alliances with other decolonizing countries. In doing so, Vietnamese leaders gained their own chances to mentor others and improve their status on the world stage. After Geneva, Hanoi continued to advance modernization in the North using a variety of methods, but its officials also heightened their complaints against the U.S. In particular, the D.R.V. denounced America's invasion of South Vietnam and its "puppet" government in Saigon as evidence of an imperialist plot. In advocating an anti-imperialist line and modernized future, D.R.V. leaders elaborated a new national identity, tying modernization and anti-imperialism inextricably to "being Vietnamese." Yet modernization presented serious challenges and Hanoi's faith in anti-imperialism had its drawbacks, limiting their ability to critique and evaluate the U.S. threat fully.
    • Inventing Ecocide: Agent Orange, Antiwar Protest, and Environmental Destruction in Vietnam

      Immerman, Richard H.; Isenberg, Andrew C. (Andrew Christian); Hitchcock, William I.; McNeill, John Robert (Temple University. Libraries, 2008)
      This project examines the scientific developments, strategic considerations, and political circumstances that led to the rise and fall of herbicidal warfare in Vietnam. The historical narrative draws on a wide range of primary and secondary source literature on the Vietnam War and the Cold War, the history of science, and American and international history of the 1960s and 1970s. The author conducted archival research in the United States in a variety government and non-government research facilities and toured formerly sprayed areas in Vietnam. This project utilizes oral history interviews of American and Vietnamese scientists who were involved in some aspect of the Agent Orange controversy. The thesis explains why American scientists were able to force an end to the herbicide program in 1971 and ensure that the United States would not engage in herbicidal warfare in the future. This political success can be understood only in the context of two major political transformations in the Vietnam Era: the collapse of Cold War containment as a salient model of American foreign policy, and the development of globally-oriented environmental politics and security regimes. The movement to end herbicidal warfare helped shift the meaning of security away from the Cold War toward transnational efforts to combat environmental problems that threaten all of the world's people.
    • The Way A Drunk Uses A Lamp Post: Intelligence Analysis and Policy During the Vietnam War, 1962-1968

      Immerman, Richard H.; Nguyen, Dieu T.; Goedde, Petra, 1964-; Lawrence, Mark Atwood; Farber, David R. (Temple University. Libraries, 2018)
      This dissertation examines the relationship between intelligence analysis and policy formation during the Vietnam War from 1962 to 1968. Rooted in a multidisciplinary approach that draws from history and international relations theory, it argues that Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, along with most of their top advisors, used intelligence analysis to confirm their preconceived notions about the U.S. war effort in Vietnam. Both presidents and the majority of their advisors all agreed that while victory in Vietnam would be difficult, allowing the Republic of (South) Vietnam (RVN) to fall to Communism was unthinkable. They filtered out intelligence analyses that suggested the U.S. could not win or that its geopolitical position could withstand the RVN’s loss. JFK and LBJ’s national security decision-making system enabled this dysfunctional use of intelligence. Both presidents relied on an ad hoc system of policy formation in which major policy decisions took place in informal meetings staffed only by their most trusted advisors. Doing so allowed either president or their advisors latitude to expel intelligence officers from critical meetings for any reason. Analysts who became bearers of bad news on the war effort or developed negative personal relationships with any influential member of the administration risked banishment to the policy wilderness. On the other hand, analysts who reinforced their customers’ preconceptions received more access to policy circles. Top Kennedy and Johnson administration officials abused intelligence in several different ways. Ignoring or disregarding analyses that cast doubt on the war effort’s prospects was most common. In such cases, officials favored more optimistic reporting or used their own reasoning. In doing the latter, most policymakers and military officials based decisions on personal insecurity, rigid anti-Communism, previous personal experiences during World War II, and interpretations of history that justified American involvement in Vietnam. They also “cherry-picked” or pulled language from analyses that justified their positions while ignoring language elsewhere in the same reports that did not. And when the war became more controversial within the Johnson administration in 1967, some pro-war officials began openly politicizing intelligence, or pressuring analysts to advance a particular conclusion regardless of evidence. Finally, gaps in intelligence collection and analytic tradecraft worsened the intelligence community’s standing during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Throughout the war, American intelligence collectors were unable to break the Democratic Republic of (North) Vietnam’s high-level communication codes or recruit any defectors or spies within the Hanoi government. Analysts thus used less reliable evidence, which weakened the reliability of their conclusions. Many analysts did not even cite sources at all. Analysts also used vague language that made their findings appear untrustworthy. All of these factors made Vietnam-era intelligence analyses easier for their readers to ignore. The result was flawed policy and strategy in Vietnam.
    • Veteran Narratives and the Collective Memory of the Vietnam War

      Kusmer, Kenneth L., 1945-; Urwin, Gregory J. W., 1955-; Hilty, James W.; Katz, Stanley Nider (Temple University. Libraries, 2011)
      This dissertation is a comprehensive study of the content, author demographics, publishing history, and media representation of the most prominent Vietnam veteran memoirs published between 1967 and 2005. These personal narratives are important because they have affected the collective memory of the Vietnam War for decades. The primary focus of this study is an analysis of how veterans' memoirs depict seven important topics: the demographics of American soldiers, combat, the Vietnamese people, race relations among U.S. troops, male-female relationships, veterans' postwar lives, and war-related political issues. The central theme that runs through these analyses is that these seven topics are depicted in ways that show veteran narratives represent constructed memories of the past, not infallible records of historical events. One reoccurring indication of this is that while memoirists' portrayals are sometimes supported by other sources and reflect historical reality, other times they clash with facts and misrepresent what actually happened. Another concern of this dissertation is the relationship of veteran memoirs to broader trends in public remembrance of the Vietnam War, and how and why some books, but not others, were able to achieve recognition and influence. These issues are explored by charting the publishing history of veteran narratives over a thirty-eight year period, and by analyzing media coverage of these books. This research indicates that mainstream editors and reviewers selected memoirs that portrayed the war in a negative manner, but rejected those that espoused either unambiguous anti- or pro-war views. By giving some types of narratives preference over others, the media and the publishing industry helped shape the public's collective understanding of the war.