From the outset, the Vietnam War manifested itself as a conflict that could only be settled by prolonged engagement. Because the war was fundamentally an ideological struggle between the democratic, capitalist United States and the Communist bloc of the U.S.S.R. and China, the strategy formulated by both democratic and communist advisory forces in North and South Vietnam conformed to accepted Cold War military practices. However, while initially similar to the war in Korea, the war in Vietnam soon outgrew and exceeded the expectations of U.S. strategists, evolving into one the longest and most bitterly contested campaigns in U.S. history. The reasons for this relative loss of control on the part of the American executors of the war were manifold, but perhaps the most influential forces can be attributed, firstly, to the obduracy of the North Vietnamese and their allies in the South in the face of perceived American imperialism and, secondly, to the respective international policies of five successive American presidents in regards to U.S. military action in Vietnam and neighboring Laos and Cambodia. In the following essay I will provide a relatively brief but concise outline of the ways in which these distinct yet interrelated factors contributed to a protracted U.S. military presence in Vietnam.
The war in Vietnam began as a civil war which dated back long into Vietnamese history. Although it was a communist revolution, it was first and foremost a people’s war, in which the people of South Vietnam were revolting against the right-wing dictatorship of their government. The Vietnam War was the second of the two Indochina Wars, where the first was fought and lost by France. American intervention, because of the policy of containing communism, had already begun during the First Indochina War, under President Eisenhower. Although Eisenhower had refused to commit US troops to the war, he supplied military support to the French. And when they lost the war, he continued to supply aid to the anti-communist government in Saigon, the capital of the South Vietnam. The end of the First Indochina War resulted in the Geneva Conference of 1954 between France and the Viet Minh, who decided to split Vietnam in to the communist North and the pro-western South. This therefore recognised North Vietnam, known as the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV), as an independent state. However, an insurgency in the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), led by the National Liberation Front (...
The United States involved themselves in Vietnam for four main reasons: they wanted to contain communism, prevent the domino effect, support a very weak South Vietnam, and get retaliation for being attacked. After seeing China fall to communism in 1949, Lyndon Johnson did not want to watch the same thing happen in Vietnam. He decided that the United States must fight to contain communism in Vietnam and prevent the domino theory. The domino theory simply stated that if one country fell to communism, neighboring countries would soon follow suit, falling like a set of dominos. Essentially, Americans believed that if South Vietnam fell, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand would follow. Also, South Vietnam could not stand against the Vietcong alone because they were too weak and ill-equipped to fight. The United States believed that with good government, a large scale and ...
The French were forced out of Vietnam and Vietnam was divided between communists and anti-communists. The communist regime controlled North Vietnam. Those that supported the French and were against communism controlled South Vietnam. Then trained Communist supporters from the North, the Vietcong, started coming to the South. America decided that they wanted to stop the spread of communism by stopping communism in Vietnam. The United States believed in the Domino Theory. The Domino Theory is the theory that communism will continue to spread around the world unless it is stopped. America sent soldiers over to Vietnam to help the South fight against the North. Then American ships were supposedly attacked of the coast of Vietnam. This is when the United States officially entered the war.
In American History, the nineteen sixties and the nineteen seventies were extremely turbulent and controversial times. Protest rights were being tested and occasionally suppressed, new moral and political values began to develop, and the Vietnam War dominated the twenty-year period. Vietnam invited many young activist people to begin a huge movement of anti-war protesting denouncing the war, the government, and even the soldiers who were picked against their will to fight. Reasons for American entry into the Vietnam War are controversial, and everyone has a different opinion on why we got into the conflict. Multiple reasons contributed to the entry in Vietnam from support of allies who were fighting their battles, to the fact that the American Government felt that they were responsible to stop the spread of communism led America to fight a war that would define an era.
Thus far the Vietnam War has shown to be a highly complex situation. Many of times, I have found myself agreeing with Lyndon B. John’s decisions to escalate the war. First and foremost, the United States had made a promise of freedom and tranquility to the people (whom were not part of Viet-Cong) of Vietnam. As an American, it is my opinion that the United States had to uphold its word, essentially its credibility. Secondly, withdrawing troops from Vietnam when the situation was really out of control would make the United States appear weak. In midst of the Cold War, the one thing that was not going to prove true was that the United States was weak. Although these reasons were and are valid, the anti-war movement in conjunction with the Tet offensive required President Johnson to make a decision that changed the perception of the war; he chose to call a halt on the bombardment in Vietnam. The purpose of this essay is to further analyze how the continuing anti-war movement and the Tet Offensive were the reasons that “America’s fate was effectively sealed by mid-1968.”
This whole fiasco was started with the start of communism spreading from North Vietnam to South Vietnam which started to scare the United States. When we started hearing about all of this, President Eisenhower came up with the Domino Theory, which stated that if South Vietnam and China fell to communism, the rest of Asia would soon follow
Abernathy, Ralph. "The Vietnam War." The Sixties in America. Hackensack, New Jersey: Salem Press, March 1999. 753-755.
By 1968 the Vietnam War was a time by which Americans saw deep divide, disappointment, and tragedy. Their government had let them down, the figures they could trust had been killed, and their loved ones were scared by the effects of war. Rightfully so, the American people were upset and angry. The dynamic I have explored that made Vietnam such a critical piece in America’s history that influenced and entire party and a nation will only magnify in time not just in 1968 and not just for one primary election, but for all who shared a stake in this window.
Tim O’Brien’s book, The Things They Carried, portrays stories of the Vietnam War. Though not one hundred percent accurate, the stories portray important historical events. The Things They Carried recovers Vietnam War history and portrays situations the American soldiers faced. The United States government represents a political power effect during the Vietnam War. The U. S. enters the war to prevent a communist takeover of South Vietnam. The U.S. government felt if communism spreads to South Vietnam, then it will spread elsewhere. Many Americans disapproved of their country’s involvement. Men traveled across the border to avoid the draft. The powerful United States government made the decision to enter the war, despite many Americans’ opposition. O’Brien’s The Things They Carried applies New Historicism elements, including Vietnam history recovery and the political power of the United States that affected history.
In the decades of World War II, development of communist countries in Southeast Asia is to the United States. In times of war, Vietnam was divided into two parts, one ruled communism and one ruled by democracy. If South Vietnam, which ruled democratically, lost the war, due to domino theory, neighboring countries of Vietnam would follow this step and communism will be stronger. Faced with the problem of the development of communist countries in Southeast Asia, the United States tried to prevent its spread by fighting the Vietnam war, but preventing war becoming greater would have been a plausible alternative solution.
The Vietnam War focused on the spreading communism and others trying to stop North Vietnam. The domino theory was the theory that believed if South Vietnam were to become a communist party then it would only spread. John F. Kennedy was against communism and wanted to contain it, so the U.S. joined the war, following former president Dwight D. Eisenhower’s policy to support the Diem government in South Vietnam.
Communism is defined as an economic and political system based on having no private property and the sharing of the means of production for the common good. “The Domino Theory” is the idea that if one nation fell under communist control, its neighbours would fall simultaneously. This idea concerned Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies as the communist movement had spread down from the U.S.S.R and into the Pacific meaning Communism was fast approaching Australian shores. From 1960 The North Vietnamese Communists under the Honoi Government of Ho Chi Minh went to war with South Vietnam in order to reunify Vietnam under communist rule. (1)“In 1961 and 1962 Ngo Dinh Diem, leader of the government in South Vietnam, repeatedly requested security assistance from the US and its allies.” The US responded sending over military advisors to join the war effort in 1961 and as (1)“Australian support for South Vietnam in the early 1960s was in keeping with the policie...