Why did Australia become involved in the Vietnam War?
Australia first came involved in the Vietnam conflict in 1962 when the Australian Government sent a team of thirty army advisers to help train the South Vietnamese Army for its fight against the NLF guerrillas. At the same time a squadron of Royal Australian Air Force fighters were sent to nearby Thailand. While the alliance with the USA was becoming increasingly important, Australia still had strong ties with Britian. In January 1965, Australia sent an army of battalion to help Britain denfend newly independent Malaysia against border raids by Indonesia. Only three months later the Australian Prime Minister Menzies announced the commitment of another battalion to help the USA in…show more content… What was the impact of the war on Australia and neighbouring countries?
Over two million Vietnamese died on both sides during the war and many more suffered horrifying injuries. Approximately half of all Vietnamese casualties were civilians and the major cause of their deaths was massive US bombing and shelling of villages in NLF- controlled areas. Many Vietnamese suffered terrible burns from the napalm, super- naplam and phosphorous bombs that were dropped by US planes.
The Combodian people also suffered terribly after the war spread into their country. It is probable than half a million people died during the civil war in Cambodia between pro- and anti-US factions from 1970 to 1975. The US carpet bombing contributed enormously to this death toll. Estimates of the number of people who died between 1975 and 1979 under the murderous Khmer Rouge regime that came to power in 1975 run up to one million--out of a total population of just over seven million.
Vietnam suffered enormous environmental damage from the war, manliy from US bombing and use of defoliants such as Agent Orange. Bombing destroyed many rice-growing areas in South Vietnam and severely damaged the ecomony of North Vietnam. US government s denied Vietnam any foreign aid after the war.
There have been approximately a million refugees from the conflict. The NLF's strongest supporters had