Why did the USA become increasingly involved in Vietnam between 1964-1968?

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Question B – Why did the USA become increasingly involved in Vietnam between 1964 and 1968?

The USA became increasingly involved in the Vietnam War between 1964 and 1968 for a number of different reasons. After Kennedys reign of presidency, Lyndon Johnson took hold of a difficult situation in Vietnam. The South Vietnamese government was very corrupt, the Viet Cong were making large gains in rural areas of South Vietnam and guerilla tactics were proving very hard to combat. One key reason why the US became progressively involved in Vietnam was the fear of the Domino theory. The Domino theory was arguably the most significant cause for the escalation of US support in the Vietnam War. The Americans feared that if they left the corrupt South Vietnamese government alone, the whole country would collapse to communism and ultimately spread to neighboring countries such as Laos and Cambodia.

The most important reason as to why the United States became increasingly involved in Vietnam was the long-term effect of the Domino Theory. The Domino Theory was the belief that once one country had fallen to communism, its neighbors would do the same. The Domino Theory was very important for the Americans if they were to win the Cold War, as they had to keep as few countries from going communist as possible. If South Vietnam were to fall communist, its neighbors in South East Asia may do the same including India, Laos and Cambodia. As much of South Asia was swamped in poverty, communism looked an attractive prospect for the peasants who owned very little wealth. The idea of shared wealth and land seemed very appealing for the population and were extremely important reasons as to why the United States became increasingly involved in the war in Vietnam.

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The Gulf of Tonkin incident was a very important reason for the escalation of U.S support. Johnson maintained a moderately calm policy until August 1964, however his policy’s soon changed dramatically. In 1964, two U.S. Navy destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin reported that North Vietnamese gunboats had attacked them unprovoked. The American public were enraged, and Johnson requested to Congress for the authority to take “all necessary steps” to protect the U.S forces. Soon after Congress passed the resolution, a debate emerged in whether the attacks on the U.S. ships were indeed ‘Unprovoked’. The U.S. were likely involved in ...

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