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Why did the USA send combat troops to Vietnam in 1965?

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Introduction

Why did the USA send combat troops to Vietnam in 1965? America became increasingly involved in the affairs of Vietnam from 1945 up to 1969. This was due to the American fear and hatred of communism and their policy of "Containment". America did not have to become involved in the affairs of Vietnam but the possibility of Vietnam falling under communism and falling under Russian influence was something the most powerful capitalist country in the world could not face. America felt it was in their interest to prevent further spread of Communism around the world and that included South Vietnam so from as early as 1945 America started to become involved in Vietnam. The more heavily involved America became the more they were sucked into the conflict and the harder it became for them to pull out. In 1965 Combat troops were sent to Vietnam as a last resort since other measures to keep Vietnam free of communism had failed. To understand further more, why USA sent combat troops to Vietnam in 1965 the history of Vietnam must first be acknowledged. During the nineteenth century the French had a colony in South East Asia that consisted of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam; this was called Indo-China. There was always opposition to the French government in Indo-China as people felt they were not being treated fairly, nevertheless the French remained in control of Indo-China until the Second World War. ...read more.

Middle

Since the government would have needed people's support if it were to stand any chance against the Vietcong, the unpopularity of the South Vietnamese government was not particularly in USA's favour, because USA did not want the communist North to conquer the South, as this would have meant their "Domino theory" was overcoming their "Containment" policy. So to try and stabilise the government in the South, president Eisenhower decided to send American advisers -to help Diem maintain his post and stabilise the government- from as early as 1955. American advisers were sent to Vietnam also for the reason that USA wanted to keep a close eye on what was going on in Vietnam. By 1963 situation in South Vietnam had gotten even worse, the government -despite the attempts of US plans- didn't get anymore popular than it was. America was fed up with the way Diem was controlling the country and losing the support of people day by day and refusing to listen to American advice about negotiations. America believed the war could not be won with Diem's government in power. So president Kennedy encouraged a coup against Diem, which was organised by the leading generals of the Saigon army. Diem was assassinated-against the wish of president Kennedy- on 1 November 1963. After Diem's murder president Kennedy was himself assassinated and a new president, Lyndon Johnson was in charge. ...read more.

Conclusion

After the French defeat America tried to carry out their policy of containment under the South Vietnamese government. This proved to be a big mistake as Diem's government was weak militarily, economically and did not have the support of it's public, this lead to them being more and more dependant on the USA and consequently this dragged the US further and further into the war. As the US became more involved it tried many methods to contain communism within the North and prevent the speared of it to the South. America tried to contain communism by threat of dropping an atom bomb. They tried restraining communism by sending military advisors to help South Vietnamese army defeat the Vietminh. They also tried to use chemical agents to intimidate and kill people to scare them to stop the activities of the Vietminh. The USA also started a bombing campaign to break the will of Vietcong to carry on with the fight. They tried to control what went in and out by patrolling the Golf Of Tonkin but that failed as well as the other measures. What America realised from all their mistakes was that they couldn't fight gorilla fighters unless they deploy ground troops. America would definitely have lost South Vietnam if they did not use ground troops, because nothing else had worked America sent in ground troops to try and keep South Vietnam free of communism. Shahrooz Mohammadi Vietnam coursework Mr Smith 1 ...read more.

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