President Nixon's policy of Vietnamization (shifting control to the South Vietnamese) was "doomed to failure" by a culmination of circumstances. The primary reasons for the policy's inevitable failure can be divided into three areas: 1) the politics and perceptions of Vietnam in the United States, 2) the attitude and conduct of the American servicemen stationed in Vietnam, and 3) the capabilities of the South Vietnamese forces.
With the Vietnam conflict still showing no tangible results, the American public was increasingly against the continuation of the war. More and more prominent politicians were calling for the removal of American troops. Nixon realized that no end was near and he was unwilling to accept a compromise "that would amount to a disguised American defeat." (1) So, he began two initiatives, one of withdrawing American troops and one of negotiating with the North Vietnamese. (2) .
The Vietnamization was not designed to produce a victory, but to replace the American lives with South Vietnamese. The Nixon administration was looking for "peace with honor." They were looking for a way out of the war without defaulting the entire nation to the communist North. For Nixon, "The important thing was not to talk about peace, but to get peace and to get the right kind of peace."(3) The Vietnamization policy seemed effective enough to the administration to gain a lasting peace, but South Vietnam was to eventually fall in April of 1975.
America had gotten the treaty but had made key mistakes along the way. By pulling out before negotiations were complete Kissinger was quickly losing all of his "negotiating assets." Also, the reduction of US troops was likely to result in Congress cutting funding to Saigon, thus making them increasingly vulnerable. (4) .
Not only was the troop reduction hurting negotiations and funding prospects; it was also hurting morale. Many of the soldiers disagreed with the war to begin with, but knowing that the US was on their way out made them question further their purpose in Vietnam.