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Why did the USA Become Increasingly Involved in the Affairs of Vietnam Between 1954 and 1965?

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Introduction

Why did the USA Become Increasingly Involved in the Affairs of Vietnam Between 1954 and 1965? Since WW2 the USA had become increasingly involved in the affairs of Vietnam. During WW2 the French and Japanese had controlled parts of Vietnam until the french were defeated. In 1941 the Vietminh was formed by Ho Chi Minh and it wanted Vietnam to be an independent country and many of it's members wanted it to be communist. During WW2 it fought against the French colonial rulers and the Japanese invaders. This is when the US first became involved. The US supplied the Vietminh with weapons and supplies and in return they attacked the Japanese and rescued US airmen. When the second word war ended the Japanese surrendered and withdrew from French Indo-china, the French were in disarray and could not take back Vietnam so Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam independent. He fully expected US support because he was supported and supplied by the US during WW2 to fight the Japanese but the cold war had now started against communism. ...read more.

Middle

In the Geneva conference an agreement was signed splitting Vietnam into North and South and election would be held two years later electing one ruler for all Vietnam. These elections never took place because Diem and the US believed that Ho Chi Minh and the communists would win. The US was involved at the Geneva conference but refused to sign it. After the French withdrew from Vietnam the US sent military advisers to South Vietnam and gave economic aid and modern weapons to make sure the people of the south stayed Pro-western and Anti-Communist, the advisers were used to train the ARVN. diems rooting out of all former Vietminh members made him unpopular with his people but as an anti-Communist he kept the support of the USA. Even with US support Diem still made mistakes. His strategic hamlets idea made him even more unpopular because the villagers didn't want to leave the land they had farmed for centuries. Diem took little notice of protests including the public suicide of the Buddhist monk Quang Duc who set fire to himself on the street but president Kennedy was deeply affected by it and became increasingly reluctant to support the Diem regime. ...read more.

Conclusion

The number of advisers grew from 685 in 1961 to 16,000 in November 1963. When US ships were attacked twice in the gulf of Tonkin, Johnson was given the right to fight a war in South-east Asia as he saw fit. Later the US was attacked at a base at Pleiku and in it 9 men were killed and 67 Americans were wounded. This led to Operation Rolling Thunder and a huge increase of involvement. Soon after The US sent in more troops and the USA was now fully involved in a war which would involve them for the next 8 years. In 1954 the USA supported the french colonial claims in French Indo-china against the Vietminh and within 11 years the US had become involved in fighting their own war against the Vietcong and NVA. As the situation in Vietnam worsened the US became more and more involved. Events including Diems assassination, the Gulf of Tonkin and Pleiku all increased US involvement but overall the main cause of the USA becoming involved in the first place was the Americans fear, hatred and obsession with stopping the spread of communism. ?? ?? ?? ?? Matthew Wells Assignment 2 Question 1 ...read more.

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