The Vietnam War was first derived from the gradual oppression of the communist party of the north over the region of South Vietnam. The North Communist party was supported mainly by China and the Soviet Union whiles the Anti-Communist party of South Vietnam was supported by United States and France. The communist party group, as known as the Viet Cong, was recognized for their guerilla war strategies within the region of South Vietnam, intended to fully expand and unify Vietnam under Communist rule. U.S. involvement with the Vietnam War starting in November 1, 1955, develops from the theory of the domino effect, stating that if one country falls into communism, a threat that can develop into the encouragement and spread of communism throughout the world in the future. It is basically viewed as a potential harm to the welfare of the United Sates. Therefore, due to the conflicting forces of the historical, political, economic and cultural nature of the war itself, it is known to be the longest enduring war in United States history that altered many lives of the Vietnamese and American community, leading to suffrage and acts of courage.
In the middle 1960s, every male in America had to register for Selective Service Draft at age 18. He would then be eligible for the draft and could be inducted into the Army for a period of two years. If you were a college student, you could receive a deferment and would be able to finish college without the fear of being drafted. However, once finished with college, a students name would be put to the very top of the draft list and could be deployed at anytime. The anti-war movement was about young men being drafted and then sent into war that most Americans did not believe threatened the security of the US. The Vietnam War was America’s rebellious war, a war without popular support
In 1960s, the US was faced with another crisis of communist expansion in the war between North and South Vietnam. The Kennedy Administration decided to further pursue their containment strategy out of fear being seen by the international community as weak towards communism. During the Johnson Administration, an attack against American vessels that happened in the Gulf of Tonkin led to President Johnson being granted the ability to conduct broad military operations without congressional approval. The American public began to largely oppose American intervention in Vietnam because the optimistic statements made by the government ran contradictory to the reports of the violent fighting by American news outlets. During the Nixon administration, the US switched to a policy, later known as Vietnamization, where the main goal was to strengthen the South Vietnamese forces and provide them with better armaments so they can better defend themselves. Vietnamization proved to be ineffective as the South Vietnamese forces were unable to hold their own against the North without US air support as proven during Operation Lam Son 719 and the Easter Offensive. The signing of the Paris Peace Accords officially ended US involvement in the Vietnam War. The US followed containment policies during beginning of the war due to the underlying fear of the spread of communism and since the policies were inherited from previous
LBJ’s decision to Americanize the war was not wise and well-informed, an accurate answer for U.S. defeat in Vietnam was the decision to Americanize the war. Influencing the belief that Johnson’ decision to escalate appeared to have been predetermined; Johnson consistently appeared to be in favor of increasing military in South Vietnam, and he only needed something to happen in order to validate his reasoning for the increase of U.S. involvement. This something was the Tonkin Gulf incident and this event became Johnson’s basis “to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States…” (Young, 119); that this was a declaration of war (Hunt, 67). However, this incident, as Nicholas Katzenbach said, “was
The Vietnam War started in 1945, resulting in almost 60,000 American deaths and nearly two million Vietnamese deaths, according to Mintze. Years after combat countless Vietnam veterans suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder in every aspect of their lives (Price). Posttraumatic stress disorder is an illness that can happen to anyone who has gone through a horrifying experience. It has been documented in all forms of literature and films the brutality of the war and the side effects it came with. The history of Vietnam is quite long and winding and leaves one to question its purpose (Mintze).
Vietnam was so significant to the United States partly as it would be the first war they would lose. It also had a tremendous financial impact on the country and the casualties were also more in the public eye than ever before due to the media. They learnt that: "a long war for limited objectives, with its steady stream of body bags, will not be supported by the American people" (Martino, 1996, p37). Some suggest that the US should have avoided any involvement in the war.
January 1969, Richard Nixon entered the executive office picking up the pieces Lyndon Johnson who had left while the Vietnam War was still in effect. Many Americans had the expectation that Nixon would be the “peaceful president”, visualizing he would put an end to this war in Southeast Asian and bring back home our troops. A policy Nixon redefined was the American role in the world by suggesting to limit the U.S resources and commitments. Therefore, Nixon’s set his efforts to end the war since the withdrawal from Vietnam was not an immediate option. Also, Nixon had his radar on Moscow and China because according to George C. Herring, they felt that they must release the United States from the war in a way that would uphold United States credibility with their friends and foes alike. During Nixon’s term in office, he tries a number of different strategies in his effort to end the war, but to this day, one can see that Nixon only prolonged the war when it could have ended earlier.
Harvey Dent once said, “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain.” Lyndon B. Johnson has shown to be a very disputable figure in American history. He is seen as a “villain” by many for his involvement in the Gulf of Tonkin, resulting in the damage of three Northern Vietnamese boats, as well as killing four Northern Vietnamese sailors and wounding six, all the while the USS Maddox exited with only one bullet. Many see this as the ultimate reason for the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War. Johnson was also labeled negatively for his high expectations for the American citizens and frivolous planning, such as in his “Great Society” speech, in which he set up high standards for the people in his image of a perfect society, where he
Johnson’s escalation in Vietnam was a defining moment of his presidency. Many things influenced him to escalate, including the cold war context, the advice from the working group, the weakness of the South Vietnamese Government, and protecting the US bases. I think that the main factor which influenced Johnson to escalate US Involvement was the advice given to him by the Working group because these were his closest and most trusted advisors.
On the 7th of April 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave one historic press conference . In that conference, he announced his so called “Domino Theory”. It was a substantial aspect of the US involvement in the Vietnam War, involvement in terms of its military support and methods used in Vietnam. Even though it was greatly enhanced by other factors, such as the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, it was the trigger, and therefore the source of all US involvement in the Vietnam War. The main rationale of the theory was that if one country fell down to communism, all the surrounding countries would do the same, hence why it was called the ‘Domino’ Theory. Eisenhower thought that Vietnam’s fall to communism would lead to consequential communist uprisings in neighboring countries, such as Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. He also that that it could possibly extend as far as India, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Australia and New Zealand -. This gave The US enough motivation, and more importantly, justification as to why they greatly increased military presence in Vietnam. Eisenhower said, “The possible consequences of the loss [of Indochina] are just incalculable to the free world.” . Even though the theory was imprecise, and only Laos and Cambodia joined communism after the US lost the war, it was significant as the foundation of the US involvement in the conflict.
Lyndon B. Johnson became president in 1963, a time period in which the United States was engaged in two battles on both the domestic and the international fronts. At home the President was faced with growing Civil Rights issues and abroad he faced some of the greatest challenges of his political career. Internationally the United States was already undergoing a Cold war with the Soviet Union and the newly adopted policy of containment had become the answer to all of the rising Communist movements all over the world. In Vietnam a massive Civil War was underway as the Pro Communist Regime of the North invaded the Pro American Regime of the South. The North, which was led by Ho Chi Minh, was backed by the Soviet Union, China and other communist allies invaded the South backed by the United States and other anti-communist allies. Minh’s army consisted of North Vietnamese forces and the Viet Cong, a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North. Ngô Đình Diệm, the leader of the South, had forces that consisted of South Vietnamese Soldiers and US Soldiers. Amidst these conflicts Johnson rose and took initiatives that would define American Policy in Vietnam for the rest of his presidency. The Gulf of Tonkin incident was one of the incidents that increased United States influence and intervention in Vietnam. The USS Maddox, was in the Gulf Of Tonkin when it reported to be fired upon by a North Vietnamese motorboat. Following this
Johnson decided to escalate war in Vietnam because of the ‘Gulf of Tonkin’ Incident.A USS Maddox was on patrol in the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of Vietnam.The captain reported that the ship exchanged fire with North Vietnamese Torpedo boats.Two days later,The ships captain reported he was under attack,although it is widely accepted that this was due to faulty radio.Johnson persuaded congress to pass the ‘Gulf of Tonkin’ resolution empowering him to protect American lives in Vietnam.Johnson refused to send ground forces although he did send more military advisors to
Lyndon B. Johnson made the Vietnam War his own by escalation and the involvement of the United States growing. While being president of the United States Johnson had the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution signed by the senators. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was signed because of the earlier attack of an American ship by the Vietnamese. This resolution gave the president the power to do what is necessary to prevent another attack. Even though it was proven that no Vietnamese attack actually happened. This was the first time that America had declared a war against another country. He sent American troops to Vietnam by aircrafts and by ground troops. This action contradicted what he said in his election. In his reelection campaign he specifically said
Johnson took over, he wanted to go into the vietnam war. Later as he saw and made the decision to send voluter men to go and help, because there was a lot of need. He also made the decision of bombing north Vietnam to South Vietnam could gain force and recover. Then later on in March he started sending more troops known as the “hot zones” they would go bomb specific places. So the escalation of forces was the United States sending troops to go give help to South vietnam in the time of
President Kennedy saw the Vietnam situation as America’s fight to stop the spread of communism. Kennedy, who was young and well liked by the American people, did not really see much protest from the American people. He wanted equality in America, and supported open-mindedness in his country; at his assassination in 1963 only 15,000 troops were in Vietnam. His successor, Lyndon B. Johnson greatly increased the number of troops that went to Vietnam, reaching 500,000 in 1966. Television allowed the American public to see what these soldiers were facing and that this was a senseless war. Too many men were coming home in American flag draped coffins, causing many Americans to rebel and move to the new hippie counterculture.