Into the Quagmire 1954-1964 After the 1954 French defeat in Vietnam, the country was divided between a communist north and a capitalist south. The north was eager to unify the country and rid it of Western influence. The Americans saw this as part of the great global communist conspiracy for world domination and slowly moved forces into the south. Next Stop is Vietnam 1964-1966 In 1964 American military theorists speculated that U.S. technology and sheer strength of numbers could win the war. It was a disastrous miscalculation and by the summer of 1966, the U.S. had committed 430,000 troops to Vietnam. America's War 1966-1967 By 1966, the U.S. had virtually taken military control away from the South Vietnamese. The main strategy was to employ "search and destroy" missions to kill as many enemy fighters as possible. High body counts, not solving Vietnam's political problems, was the goal. The Bloody Slog Towards Tet 1968 As the new year of 1968 approached, American generals boasted of victory. Statistics said the Americans were winning, but the number of body bags heading stateside kept growing. The Fading Light 1969-1970 In 1969 Richard Nixon became president and wanted the South Vietnamese Army to take more responsibility in combat. The Americans were trying to get out, desperate to achieve peace with honour, but little of either could be found in Vietnam. Dust Off 1970-1975 By 1971, America was in retreat from Vietnam. They would be leaving their South Vietnamese allies to their own fate. In April 1973, a mass of North Vietnamese forces crossed the border and swept down on Saigon. The 10,000 Day War was over.