Vietnam War And The Second Indochina War

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1. Describe and assess the US involvement in Vietnam during the Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Your discussion must include (but not be limited to) an analysis of the decisions of 1953-54, 1963, and 1964-65.

To understand the Vietnam War and its role as a proxy war in the escalation of arms and ideological chasm between the United States and the Soviet Union, it is important to consider its beginnings. While many consider the Vietnam War a single, continuous phase of conflict, my essay will attempt to discuss it as two separate ones (the First Indochina War and the Second Indochina War) in order to better understand how the different administrations took upon military and political decisions, often changing the strategy of U.S. involvement. The First Indochina War began during the latter half of the 1940s and continued into the early part of the 1950s, during the Truman administration. The conflict was directed through the Viet Cong, a communist national liberation front aided by the North (which received aid from the Soviet Union and China), interested in ensuring South Vietnam was established under the tenants of communism. Their attacks against the government of South Vietnam triggered a vision of expansionary communism, which forced the United States government to consider the freedom of South Vietnam as important within a larger containment strategy. Containment stemmed from domino theory—largely under Eisenhower—which assumed that if one

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