What did the Nixon Doctrine do?
The Nixon Doctine (sometimes called the Guam Doctrine) was the formal announcement by President Nixon of his plan for “Vietnamization” of the Vietnam War. The plan would entail American forces being slowly withdrawn from South Vietnam and their replacement in combat roles by South Vietnamese forces.
The police was first announced by President Nixon on 25th July 1969 during a press conference in Guam .
Officially it was a policy statement amounting to a pledge to assist the free nations of the world and provide a nuclear umbrella to friendly nations. Importantly however, it was also a statement that each nation would be responsible for their own defence. Overall it was policy of peace through partnerships between the United States and it’s allies.
Nixon stated “the United States would assist in the defence and developments of allies and friends” but would not “undertake all the defence of the free nations of the world”.
In 1969 the United States had been involved in the Vietnam War for nearly four years and suffered 30,000 Americans killed. By this point, public opinion had turned decisively against American involvement in the War and Nixon had campaigned for the presidency under the banner of “Peace with Honor” relating to Vietnam.
Nixon clarified his views in November 1969, during a speech in the Oval Office. He said: “First, the United States will keep all of its treaty commitments”. “Second, we shall provide a shield if nuclear power threatens the freedom of a national allied with us or of a nation whose survival we consider vital to our security”. “Third, in cases involving other types of aggression, we shall furnish military and economic assistance when requested and in accordance with our treaty commitments. But we shall look to the nation directly threatened to assume primary responsibility of providing the manpower for its defence” .
In Vietnam, the policy of Vietnamization that the Nixon Doctrine was to instigate, ultimately failed to prevent the fall of South Vietnam .
The withdrawal of American forces and reduction in military and financial support lead to the degradation of the morale and capabilities of the Army of the Republic of Viet Nam or ‘ARVN’ as it was known.
Politically, the South Vietnamese elites were increasingly powerless to counter the cultural and military power of the Communists and, lacking a coherent alternative cause to rally around, Saigon was to fall in 1975 .
 Peters, Gerhard; Woolley John T: ‘Richard Nixon: “Informal Remarks in Guam with Newsmen,” July 25. 1969‘
 Nixon, Richard ‘President Nixon’s Speech on “Vietnamisation,” November 3, 1969‘
 Hastings, Max: ‘Vietnam: An Epic History of a Tragic War‘