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Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam?

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Vietnam Coursework Assignment - Part One Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam? Before the Second World War, the region between India and China which now includes Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos was part of the French Empire. During the Second World War, however, Japan controlled Vietnam. After the war, the French tried to take over again but a communist group, the Vietminh wanted independence. During this war of independence the USA became involved as well. This essay will look at the reasons of why they did. The first reason why the USA became involved in Vietnam was the Domino theory. President Eisenhower first used the term in 1954 to justify US involvement in South East Asia, particularly Vietnam. The Domino theory was first evident in Eastern Europe when Stalin was taking over the Eastern European countries one by one with communism. However, it grew more serious when China fell to communism in 1949, closely followed by North Korea in 1950. ...read more.


This is a short term cause because unlike the other causes, it did not happen a long time before the event. The fourth reason why the USA became involved in Vietnam was Kennedy's foreign policy. In this he wanted to protect the free world from communism,' The USA stands for freedom and God while communism stands for ruthless godless tyranny'. Due to this he had sent 16 500 US troops and advisors to Vietnam by 1962. Moreover, he increased the budget of anti-communism activities around the world. The U2 incident, Berlin Wall, and the Cuban Missile crisis all increased tension between communism and capitalism and all these on top of Vietnam helped to increase determination to fight communism. Kennedy's foreign policy could be linked to containment as he increased the budget of anti communist activity to try and stop communism spreading. This is a short term cause because his foreign policy did not happen a long time before he sent his troops/advisors to Vietnam. ...read more.


This is once again linked to the policy of containment as like Kennedy, his foreign policy aims to try and stop communism from spreading any further. This is a short term cause because his decision to escalate the war happened during the war in Vietnam was going on. After considering all the the reasons for why the USA became involved in Vietnam I think the most important reason was the policy of containment. I think this because containment is linked to most of the reasons above and is the backbone of US foreign policy, for example, Kennedy and Johnson's foreign policies are both linked with containment as they both take all necessary steps to try and stop the spread of communism. The USA could not make the already existing communist countries to change but it could stop communism from spreading and stop it in its tracks. It did not want to be the country that allowed communism to win, therefore, using its policy of containment it took every possible route to weaken and demolish it, which is why USA became so involved in fighting communism in Vietnam. ...read more.

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