What Led The United States Into The Vietnam War?

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Reilly Fletcher HUS History Mr. Hlavacek 5/30/16 What Led the United States to Enter the Vietnam War? The United States played a very crucial role in the conflict that occurred in Southeast Asia between the U.S.-backed democratic South Vietnam, and Soviet-backed communist North Vietnam. Following the defeat of its French administration in 1954, North Vietnam, led by Communist leader Ho Chi Minh, wanted to reunify the country with the help of its rebel allies in the south, known as the Viet Cong. Out of this chaos emerged a difficult situation for the United States, as Cold War sentiments were present within this proxy war between the two powerful nations and the third party of Vietnam. The United States wanted to support Ngo Dinh Diem, leader of South Vietnam, in order to ensure his government would not fall into ruins and be taken control by the communists, but President Eisenhower was also hesitant to get his troops involved in this large scale conflict in Southeast Asia. In response to the increased threat of North Vietnam, recently elected President John F. Kennedy increased America’s presence in Vietnam without intervening by increasing the number of economic, military, and political advisers “from 800 in 1961, when [he] took office, to 16,700 in 1963.” However, once Kennedy was assassinated, Lyndon B. Johnson was elected and was accused of not doing enough to prevent this “domino theory” of falling into communism from happening. In August of 1964, an incident
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