Why USA Became Involved in Vietnam
Before the Second World War, the region between India and China which now includes Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos was part of the French Empire. During the Second World War, however, Japan controlled Vietnam. After the war, the French tried to take over again but a communist group, the Vietminh wanted independence. During this war of independence the USA became involved as well. This essay will look at the reasons of why they did.
The first reason why the USAbecame involved in Vietnam was the Domino theory. President Eisenhower first used the term in 1954 to justify US involvement in South East Asia, particularly Vietnam. The Domino theory was first evident in …show more content…
This reason is linked to the Domino Theory as Truman supported the French in the hope that communism would not spread into Vietnam and hence preventing it from spreading to the rest of the world. Furthermore, this is a long term cause as containment was introduced even before the Domino Theory.
A third reason why the USAbecame involved in Vietnam was when Eisenhower supported Diem's corrupt government in the South. Until this point it was a civil war between the communist north and the capitalist south. Again, he did this because of the Domino Theory and so that communism would not spread. Diem used US troops to stay in power and did not have any elections for fear of a communist win. This is a short term cause because unlike the other causes, it did not happen a long time before the event.
The fourth reason why the USA became involved in Vietnam was Kennedy's foreign policy. In this he wanted to protect the free world from communism,' The USA stands for freedom and God while communism stands for ruthless godless tyranny'. Due to this he had sent 16 500 US troops and advisors to Vietnam by 1962. Moreover, he increased the budget of anti-communism activities around the world. The U2 incident, Berlin Wall, and the Cuban Missile crisis all increased tension between communism and capitalism and all these on top of Vietnam helped to increase determination to fight
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The political instability in Vietnam from 1950 to 1975 between the communist North Vietnam and anti-communist South Vietnam during the Cold War era has led to the United States’ inevitable intervention in Vietnam. The main motivators for the United States’ incremental decision to intervene and commitment in Vietnam can be viewed as an accumulation of socio-political, political and economic catalysts. In recognition that there were many other factors that may have contributed to the U.S’s involvement in the conflict in Vietnam, this essay will largely focus on these three factors. As the cold war resonates, the American’s crusade was propelled by the fears of the domino theory and perception of Communist threat and expansion affected the
United States involvement in Vietnam began as early as 1950. Multiple United States presidents authorized the use of U.S. troops in Vietnam and each had their reasons that they believed were appropriate. From Truman to Johnson, efforts were focused on putting an end towards Communism in the country. The United States believed that if one Southeast Asian country fell to Communism, many would follow. This was called the “domino theory”. Every president had a different approach to prevent the uprising of a Communist regime, all making the situation worse than it had previously been.
During the Vietnam War, United States involvement was for personal reasons and fear of communism. Neither the United States or the Soviet Union should have been involved. The War was just used as a cover up for the actual silent, passive aggressive war between the United States and the Soviet. The Vietnam war was started by the North “Viet Cong” and their desire to unify Vietnam under communist rule. The South was against communism, making tensions grow until eventually, a war broke out on November 1, 1955. Five years later in the 1960s, the war was escalated with the involvement of foreign countries. While the North was supported by its communist allies such as China and the Soviet Union. The South was supported by the United States of America. The Americans wanted to halt or prolong the spread of communism. The “domino theory” compelled the U.S. to get involved as soon as possible because if not, the rest of Asia would fall to communism like “dominoes”. The U.S. involvement only started with Eisenhower administration when Vietnam split in half. This action of the United States was only for their own well being and their main goal was not for the good of Vietnam. During this time period the Vietnamese had just united and established the state of Vietnam. The war ended up lasting 9 years with long periods of bitter guerrilla warfare in the rugged jungles of Vietnam which would eventually result in the victory of the North and longed unification of Vietnam
There is no single fixed reason as to why the U.S. entered the Vietnam War. The United States became involved in the war step by step until it was completely committed, which was when Japan took over Indochina. There is, however, multiple reasons as to why stopping communism in Vietnam became a major U.S. priority. Presidents Eisenhower and Truman both advocated doing everything in their power to keep communism, which is a social system where all property is collectively owned instead of by individuals, from spreading throughout the world. Therefore, the domino theory is one of the major reasons it became a U.S. priority to prevent Vietnam from falling to communism. Another major reason for the action taken by the United States towards this dilemma would be that if the United States hadn’t taken part, the non-communist people of South Vietnam would have been persistently victimized and tortured. Lastly, it became a priority to the U.S. because the nation just generally felt responsible in helping Vietnam become independent and to be involved in the global fight against communism.
The Vietnam War was an antagonism war that took place in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia for around 20 years – 1954 to 1975. It was a hostile struggle that not only lasted many years, but also an expensive one. The Vietnam War had radical outcomes for the U.S and the various countries who took part in it. The war was between South Vietnam backed by the United States of America and many other countries that opposed communism ideologies, and North Vietnam backed by China, The Soviet Union and supporters of communism. The reason for the start of the Vietnam War rotates around the notion at that time held by America that communism was extending to all parts of south East Asia. The US government considered American participation in the war as a strategy to preclude a communist seize of South Vietnam. This was a component of a broader restraint strategy, with the declared aim of blocking diffusion of communism and a way to repress nationalist self-determination (Eldridge, 2012, p.18-20).
Another reason for American entry into the Vietnam War was the commitment that had formerly been made by the French and the American's into the fight or the support of the fight in Vietnam for the French colony. The French had been fighting for an Indochina colony after World War Two to benefit them, but at the same time had been struggling with domestic costs and issues. American support to the French in the form of millions of dollars to support the war failed, but officially committed to Americans to a cause in Vietnam in the American government's eyes. In 1954, at Dienbienphu the French military forces came into conflict with the North Vietnamese forces, called the Vietminh after their leader Ho Chi Minh, being defeated and leaving the Communist Vietnamese the victors. The French negotiations left a border at the 17th parallel making North Vietnam the communist half of the country while the Southern half was the democratic portion. An election was set up to decide whether the government was to become communist or democratic. American officials would not stand for this agreement realizing that it would fall to the communist, so they replaced the French in South
As well as taking office in 1969, U.S. President Richard Nixon introduced a new strategy to office called Vietnamization that was aimed towards finally ending American involvement in the Vietnam War (1954-75) by moving all military responsibilities to South Vietnam. This increasingly unpopular war had made deep division in American society, so Nixon believed his Vietnamization strategy, which involved building up South Vietnam’s military strength in order to create a slow building withdrawal of all U.S. troops, would prepare the South Vietnamese government to take responsibility for their own defense. In 1973, the U.S. negotiated a treaty with North Vietnam, withdrew American fighting troops and then declared the Vietnamization process complete.
During the war people could see a possible communist victory. So, the US decided to get involved. Before they were fulling engaged, some US troops were serving as advisers and were sending equipment to South Vietnam. I believe the United States involvement wasn't justified for many reasons.
Fear of communism, otherwise known as the Domino Theory, strengthened the American resolve to intervene in Vietnam. In addition, the US needed to maintain its credibility by coming out on top in the Vietnam conflict, so as to provide bargaining power in other conflicts. Of course, internal politics too played a role in the decision to intervene in Vietnam, with Lyndon Bane Johnson taking action that would directly involve US in Vietnam during his election. Once internal politics took hold, the slippery slope came into effect with Americans having to commit to the conflict in Vietnam without any serious way out.
The Vietnam War was one of the longest conflicts in the Southeast Asia reigon. It started after World War II in 1954 and didn’t end until April 30th, 1975. This war killed over 200,000 Vietnamese and over 58,000 American soldiers in the war; on top of that, the lives of over two million civilians who were innocent people. This war became known as “America’s longest war” – that supposedly helped with the control of communism during the Cold War years. For nineteen years though, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) fought against the American-Supported Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). This war didn’t end until 1973 when the United States withdrew its troops and then two years later after; South Vietnam surrendered to the North.
U.S involvement in Vietnam developed gradually and through a series of steps. Both FDR and Truman took the first step, with Truman providing aid to France in their struggle to retain control in Indochina in 1950, thus; supporting French Colonialism. The U.S had at first, a non-involvement approach, despite claims that they supported self-dependence in countries and having granted independence to the Philippines. Vietnam became the battleground for global powers amidst the Cold War. The decision to provide military power and economic aid to France was dominated primarily by the influence of the consolidation of a communist China, with Mao Zedong becoming China’s ruler. The U.S foreign policy quickly became one of containment. They were determined
The United States became involved in Vietnam to halt the advancement of the Chinese and Soviet Union revolution throughout Asia. America was defending Vietnam from the rest of Asia in hopes to prevent the spread of communism and secure American interests and democracy (p. 714, Brinkley). The U.S. first supported Diem, but soon the South Vietnamese leadership was in turmoil, allowing the communist party in North Vietnam to increase in strength and power. The United States wanted to impose imperialism in an attempt to establish economic and political order, as well as motivate the economy at home with war stimulated production. American destroyers endured attacks in the Gulf of Tonkin, as well as the American military base was at Pleiku, resulting
The way that the United States got involved with Vietnam was in large part due to the way that we usually get involved in conflicts and disputes; out of a need to proactively or reactively respond to a threat to American interests at home or abroad. True to the times, the threat was communism and it came in the form of a North Vietnamese government led by Ho Chi Minh. The United States was convinced that Minh was wording with China and the Soviets in an attempt to unify Vietnam under a banner of communism (Roark, Johnson, Cohen, Stage, & Hartman, 2012, p.
The single most important factor in understanding the United States involvement in Vietnam is fear. In the years leading to the Vietnam Conflict the United States was immersed in paranoia toward Communist Russia and the communist movement as a whole. This paranoia has its roots in the depression of the nineteen thirties and was fueled by the exploits of men like MacCarthy and other politicians who saw this as an opportunity to further their careers or push policies. This paranoia was the most important factor in the entrance of the US into the conflict in Southeast Asia.
In this coursework essay, I am aiming to explain why the United States of America became increasingly involved in the Vietnam conflict between the years 1945 and 1966. During this time, America had five different presidents: Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon.