• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why did the U.S.A become involved in the war in Vietnam- what was the effect of their use of force and was it justified?

Extracts from this document...


Why did the U.S.A become involved in the war in Vietnam- what was the effect of their use of force and was it justified? Before 1939 Vietnam was a French colony but Vietnam was divided into three areas Tongking in the north, Annam and Cochin China in the south. During World War two the Japanese took control of Vietnam. But a very strong anti-Japanese movement called the Viet Mihn emerged whose leader was called Ho Chi Mihn. The Viet Mihn took over the North of the country. But in 1945 the French arrived back in Vietnam wanting their Colony back. The Vietminh started a guerrilla campaign against the French in 1946. The Americans were actually sympathetic to the Viet Mihn but that all changed when the communists took over in China and started giving help to Ho Chi Mihn. They now saw Vietnam as a puppet of China and feared communists ruling the whole of South- East Asia. This was a big turning point in the war because even though the Americans did not agree with the French, they gave the French $500 million a year towards the war effort to stop the communists taking control of North Vietnam. ...read more.


In 1966 the Americans began search and destroy missions. This is where American troops would go into villages which they believed were protecting or sympathizers with the Vietcong. They would round up all Vietcong suspects an interrogate them. After this the village would be burned to the ground. Many innocent people were killed in these operations. The Americans realized they were loosing the trust of the people, so they decided to introduce the 'pacification policy'. This policy meant that all refugees would be rehoused, the us would provide clinics and schools and build roads, bridges, canals and drainage ditches. But this was seen as too little too late and had very limited success. The My Lai village was witness to the biggest massacre in the Vietnam War. American soldiers who were part of a search and destroy mission murdered 400 men women and children. It was believed that My Lai was full of Vietcong or Vietcong sympathizers. This is how they justified their actions but they did not find any Vietcong or weapons. The Americans started using chemical weapons in 1968. They saw it as a justified way to defeat the enemy. ...read more.


They destroyed many North Vietnamese targets. Over Christmas a huge bombing campaign took place by the Americans against the North Vietnamese. In January 1973peace talks were renewed in Paris. Nixon believed that the war was now over and withdrew all American troops. North Vietnam took advantage of this and invaded South Vietnam. American involvement in Vietnam was initially to train the ARVN by sending in advisors and had no intention of going to fight a war. However when American soldiers came under fire from the NVA so they had to protect the South Vietnamese. This Justified America going in to Vietnam. The tactics used by the Americans like the search and destroy missions were said to be very brutal however the Vietcong and the NVA used similar brutality if not worse when they captured American troops. So the tactics used by the Americans could be seen as a acceptable response. The chemical weapons used by the Americans caused people to have birth defects and contaminated the environment however the Americans were trying to win a war and without the use of chemical weapons they could not see their enemy. So the Americans can be justified in using chemical weapons because they were in a war and they were trying to win it. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Describe the military tactics and weapons used by both the USA and the Vietcong ...

    It was so heavily bombed that the people living their had made the desperate descision to go underground in order to avoid the bombing. Thus The Cu Chi Tunnels were made. It was here where the villagers of Cu Chi would stay for the next 10 years, and at the

  2. Was the My Lai Massacre a failure in the Rules of Engagement or a ...

    George Latimer, Calley's Lawyer argued that Medina was lying. He said that Medina did give the order to kill civilians, and knew the whole time was going on in My Lai, and as a result the army was using Calley as a scapegoat. Col. Clifford Ford pronounced Calley's Sentence: "To be confined at hard labor for the length of

  1. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    for this and numerous other recent acts of terror against the civilians of East Beirut. Phalangists set up a roadblock on the ring road and killed the first 40 Muslims they caught. When news of this action reached west Beirut, Muslim militias along with their Palestinian allies set up road blocks and began killing Christians.

  2. America In Vietnam, 1953-73

    A Pentagon analyst, Daniel Ellsberg leaked these top secret government documents on the Vietnam War which represented two years of research by the Pentagon and exposed the lies about the war and the complete lack of any plan to win in Vietnam.

  1. Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam?

    in Vietnam, as this would allow communism to expand to the whole of Vietnam. President Eisenhower later said "I have never talked or corresponded with a person knowledgeable in Indochinese affairs who did not agree hat had elections been held at the time of fighting, possibly 80% of the population would have voted for the communist Ho Chi Minh".

  2. Why did the USA send troops into Vietnam

    Following the defeat the French suffered at Diem Bien Phu in 1954 by the Vietnamese the Geneva conference was called. The foreign ministers were called to the Geneva Convention to solve this on-going problem, after much negotiation they came to a conclusion that 1)

  1. WWII Atomic Weapons Were Justified

    to continue with Japan would prove to be costly by much higher means. The top solution economically for a country tired from fighting, would be to end the war as fast as possible. Without an unconditional surrender by Japan the next fastest solution was to put the atomic bombs to use.

  2. Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam?

    Furthermore, this is a long term cause as containment was introduced even before the Domino Theory. A third reason why the USA became involved in Vietnam was when Eisenhower supported Diem's corrupt government in the South. Until this point it was a civil war between the communist north and the capitalist south.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work