U.S. Involvement in the Vietnam War

explanatory Essay
1139 words
1139 words

U.S. Involvement in the Vietnam War

Although it was called the Vietnam War, the U.S. was primarily involved and participated in most of the warfare to defend democracy. South Vietnam's government and army were not well organized. The U.S. fought most of the war, then when it turned the war over to the South Vietnamese, they couldn't fight the North.

Ngo Dinh Diem, prime minister of South Vietnam, was opposed in South Vietnam. Buddhists grew inpatient since Diem's government had long offered benefits to Catholics, and in May 1963 protests were held in the city of Hue since Diem refused to allow Buddhists to fly Buddha's flag on the anniversary of his birthday (Detzer 69-71). Diem's soldiers opened fire and killed nine people, then some Buddhists began to publicly burn themselves to death as a protest (Detzer 71). Another problem for Diem was his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu. Nhu was in charge of South Vietnam's police and imprisoned or killed virtually anyone who opposed Diem (Detzer 69). Nhu, under the strain, started to take opium, became addicted, and became increasingly dangerous (Detzer 69). Some of Diem's generals began to plot against Diem and Nhu and asked American representatives in Saigon to help them (Detzer 71). Kennedy would continue to support Diem if he would rid himself of Nhu, but Diem refused to even listen to the suggestion so Kennedy turned his back on Diem (Detzer 71). On November 1, 1963, Diem and Nhu were overthrown and murdered by half a dozen frightened generals (Detzer 71). Political events in Saigon became unstable:

When Diem was murdered, his successors, the junta of generals, began to replace his people with their own followers. In Saigon and out in the provinces the result was political turmoil; in the army it was almost as bad. Meanwhile, the members of the junta wrestled with one another. One of them would be ousted and another would take his place. Each time this happened, the man at the top put some of his followers in critical positions. The result, inevitably, was chaos. (Detzer 76)

The U.S. did not fight for Vietnam right away. Instead it sent military advisors and goods to Vietnam. By November 1963 there were 16,000 military advisors in Vietnam and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) was mostly helicopters and armored personnel carriers (Detzer 68-69).

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the u.s. participated in most of the war to defend democracy. south vietnam's government and army were not well organized.
  • Explains that ngo dinh diem, prime minister of south vietnam, was opposed by buddhists in hue, and his brother, nguyen nhu, imprisoned or killed virtually anyone who opposed him.
  • Explains that the u.s. didn't fight for vietnam right away, sending military advisors and goods to vietnam. the army of the republic of vietnam (arvn) was mostly helicopters, and armored personnel carriers.
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