The Vietnam War

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The Vietnam War was known for the thousands of lived that were lost and the billions of dollars in debt that destroyed the US economy. To this day, it is debatable as to whether or not US involvement in the war was worth the devastation it caused to the country. In 1954, French involvement in Vietnam ended and led to the Geneva Conference where a ceasefire agreement was negotiated. From the Geneva Accords, Vietnam was divided into two portions, North and South, at the 17th parallel. At the time, North Vietnam was communist and was gaining followers quickly (Rogers). The United States had previously created something called the Truman Doctrine, a policy to counter communism and allowed the US to provide political, military, and economic assistance to democratic nations feeling the pressure of communistic nations. The United States were scared that communism would win the free elections, so they supported the unfavorable option, Ngo Dinh Diem. Despite the fact that he was favorable because he went against communism, Diem misused financial aid, discriminated against Buddhists, and gave leadership positions to his family. The Gulf of Tonkin, the spark that triggered American intervention, occurred on August 2nd, 1964 where North Vietnamese torpedo boats fired on a US ship. Because of this, Johnson issued a call to arms. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution allowed Johnson the ability to preform any actions in Vietnam, as he desired. After the election, Johnson began the American takeover of the war in Vietnam. They deployed American ground troops and intensified bombings against North Vietnam (Rogers). Anti-war sentiments were strong and plentiful. Perhaps the most provoking points were the cost of and the amount of soldiers that were eith... ... middle of paper ... ...plemented to end American involvement in the Vietnam War. They transferred troops to South Vietnam and strengthened South Vietnam’s military ability so they could withdrawal their troops. Eventually they negotiated a treaty with the North and completed the process of Vietnamization (“Vietnamization”). Overall, US involvement in the Vietnam War polarized American citizens into two categories. They either supported involvement in the war against the communists or they disapproved of US intervention in the war. Points against the war included the heavy economic debt, thousands of lives lost and soldiers wounded, and events like the My Lai Massacre. Points for the war included the desire to prevent the spread of communism, avenging the shot fired at the US ship, and evidence in the public opinion wars that showed Americans, overall, supported US involvement in the war.

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