U.S. Military History: Paris Peace Accords

U.S. Bell UH-1 Iroquois used during the Vietnam War at an open air exhibition in Huế, Vietnam

January 27 is often referred to as Vietnam Peace Day. On January 27, 1973, a peace treaty titled ‘Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet Nam’ was signed by the United States and Vietnam. It signaled the conclusion of the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War, which began in 1955 and ended in 1975.

The U.S. involvement in what’s known as the Vietnam War dates back to 1954, but some argue that involvement truly dates back to 1945 when the U.S. supported France’s attempt to reconquer Indochina, its colony established in the 19th Century. This conflict would continue until the Geneva Agreements were signed between North Vietnam and France in 1954.

As a result of the Geneva Agreements and the Geneva Conference, Vietnam was split into North and South. The conflicts that resulted from this change lasted just over two decades.

The Paris Peace Accord served a few purposes. First, it established a cease-fire in Vietnam. Second, it determined the withdrawal of all U.S. troops in Vietnam (which at the time was over 23,000). The U.S. also agreed to dismantle all of its’ bases within 60 days. All prisoners of war, U.S. or otherwise, were to be released by the North Vietnamese as part of the agreement. Furthermore, the Accord outlined withdrawals from Cambodia and Laos of all foriegn forces as well as prohibiting troops from moving through or establishing bases in these territories.

Though the Paris Peace Accord didn’t end the conflict in Vietnam, it did mark the conclusion of United States involvement. By August of 1973, just 5% of U.S. forces and U.S. allies remained in Vietnam. 

Sources

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/paris-peace-accords-signed

https://www.history.com/topics/vietnam-war/vietnam-war-timeline

https://www.history.com/topics/vietnam-war/vietnam-war-history

Posted on January 27 2020 in Blog

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