Explain Why America Became Increasingly Involved With The Vietnam War

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Emma Elliston 11P                                          -  -                                                13/05/2008

Explain why the United States became increasingly involved

 In the war in Vietnam.

        Ironically the first USA involvement in Vietnam was to assist the Viet Minh, a communist led organization, with military equipment in their struggle against the common enemy, Japan during the Second World War. However after the Japanese had surrendered in August 1945, the USA’s subsequent involvement in Vietnam was most importantly directed to the long term containment of the spread of communism.

        The post war American foreign policy of resisting the spread of communism was reflected in the Truman Doctrine in 1947. This promised USA support to peoples resisting ‘armed minorities’ and ‘outside pressures’. America saw Vietnam as the gateway to the spread of communism from the USSR and China through South East Asia including Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. This became known in the early 1950’s as the Domino Theory, such that if the first country fell to communism the rest would be quick to follow just like a row of dominos when the end one is knocked down.

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After the end of the Second World War, the Allies wished for France to be a major world power. The immediate reason for USA switching sides therefore was to re-establish French influence in its former colony as a means of containing communism in the region. This policy ran into problems following the declaration of Vietnamese Independence by Ho Chi Minh, the leader of the Viet Minh in September 1945.

        The reimposition of French rule in Vietnam was bound to lead to conflict with the Viet Minh and France soon became embroiled in a guerrilla war. Despite being provided with substantial ...

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