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Explain why the United States became increasingly involved in the war in Vietnam.

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Introduction

Laura Binsale ASSIGNMENT: MODEL B: VIETNAM Target: Causation (AO 6.1) Explain why the United States became increasingly involved in the war in Vietnam. America's first signs of involvement in Vietnam was not though combat but through the input of supplies and funding. Throughout 1950-54 America sent the French troops $15 million worth of supplies. America did this as the French were fighting Ho Chi Minh (leader of Vietcong) and due to the Cold War against the Soviet Union this meant that America would assist any country opposing the spread of communism. The domino theory was also prominent the idea that the countries of South East Asia were closely linked together and if one fell to communism then others would also fall, like a row of dominoes. In 1954 the Geneva conference took place, the French asked for American troops to be sent into Vietnam but President Eisenhower declined this request on the grounds that the Korean War has just come to a close and as a consequence 40,000 Americans had died, America could therefore not risk loosing further troops. ...read more.

Middle

The peasant's anger was further fuelled by the fact that they had been taken away from their ancestors. As Buddhists they believed that once people died their sprit lived on and when they were moved they were moved away from the graves were their ancestors still lived. What Diem did not realise was that the communist influence was already strong within the peasants and his actions only made them stronger as they thought 'what could possibly be worse than this?' Between 1961-1964 there was a dramatic increase in the amount of US troops, this enlarged the South Vietnamese army to 170,000 men which cost America $270 million. This increase is shown in the amount of advisers as well as troops. In 1961 there were 700 advisers in Vietnam but by 1963 there were 16,000. The amount of troops shows the biggest increase with there being no troops in 1961 to there being 20,000 in 1963. ...read more.

Conclusion

USA air bases where attacked by the NLF this progressed in February 1965 when NLF guerrillas destroyed 8 USA helicopters, killed 8 servicemen and wounded over 100 men. A week later on the 13th of February the President approved the "operation rolling thunder" which consisted of continuous bombing of North Vietnam on a regular bases. On March 1965 a further 3,500 USA combat troops arrived in Vietnam to protect air bases used to bombs North Vietnam. By the end of 1965 200,000 US troops would be in Vietnam the American war had begun. By 1968 the American influence had risen once again and there were now 536,000 US troops within Vietnam. This increase was a necessary progression for America as they had tried avoiding the involvement of their own men by paying for and training South Vietnamese troops, however, this failed as the advisers could not give the army a will to fight. The Vietcong showed the exact opposite by having tremendous morale they had managed to capture 200,000 American guns and therefore did not rely on the North anymore. ...read more.

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