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Explain why the United Stated became increasingly involved in the war in Vietnam

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Introduction

EXPLAIN WHY THE UNITED STATED BECAME INCREASINGLY INVOLVED IN THE WAR IN VIETNAM In 1945 the Second World War ended. Japan was forced to surrender and withdraw from all countries in Southeast Asia which they had invaded during the war. This included Indo-China, an area previously controlled by the French, consisting of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. The Japanese had taken control of this area in 1941, and so in 1945 the French wanted to reclaim this land. The Vietminh was on organised group with military status, set up in 1941 by Ho Chi Minh and his brother Nguyen Vo Giap, and although they were communists, the main aim of the Vietminh was essentially a nationalist one. This aim was to establish a free, independent Vietnam without foreign rule or domination. When the Japanese left in 1945, an opportunity came about for the Vietminh to accomplish their objective. The US didn't have any major problems with the Vietminh, as they had not yet showed any communist tendencies. They did not like seeing colonial powers like France regain their empires as domination was against their policies. The US believed that local powers had a right to rule themselves. Also, The Cold War was not yet that much of an issue in 1945 so the US were not yet that opposed to communism. ...read more.

Middle

Asia, due to heavy influences from neighbouring nations. In an attempt to solve this Eisenhower created the '17th parallel' this split Vietnam into a communist north run by the Vietminh, and the republic south, run by Diem, assisted by the US. President Eisenhower stated that communism would stop at the 17th parallel. Diem, a Christian, was "elected" president of the republic of Vietnam in 1955. The US had to support him and aid the south with supplies and money to keep his army, the ARVN (Army for the Republic of Vietnam), going. This is evidence for the USA steadily getting involved in Vietnam. Also, by the mid fifties the Cold War was intensifying and the US had suffered to Chinese forces in Korea and so Eisenhowers attitude towards communism and the Vietminh became more serious and stricter The Vietminh, now named Vietcong were very successful in their means of warfare. They had destroyed the French and were now targeting US officials who were training the ARVN in the south. This meant that the US needed to give more help, and so he increased the amount of officials he sent over, he equipped 20,000 more ARVN troops and spent almost $270million in military support for Diem, in 1961. The NLF was a very successful group in the north of Vietnam, who had a lot of communist aims. ...read more.

Conclusion

The US could no longer sit back and let them defeat the French, and gain control of their nation. This lead to Eisenhower's domino theory on the spread of communist rule through Asia. The US was pressured into getting involved in Vietnam in order to reduce the spread of communism. I would say that the other major reason for the USA's involvement was the inability of Diem, and the ARVN to defeat The Vietcong and the NLF. Diem made himself very unpopular with the people of South Vietnam, especially the Buddhists, and the peasants because of the failure of some of his policies, i.e. the strategic hamlet policy. He was no match for the communist parties who were very popular. The ARVN had no morale. The Vietcong were much stronger than the ARVN as they were fighting for their beliefs and freedom. The USA was again drawn into Vietnam to help undermine the popularity of communism and help Diem's popularity. Also, they had to assist the ARVN for them to even have a chance of defeating the Vietcong. If America did not help out, the spread of communism throughout the eastern world would have been inevitable. And also, if the ARVN and Diem had a chance of success, there would have been less need for the involvement of the US. ...read more.

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