Reasons For America's Involvement In The Vietnam War

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America 's entry to the Vietnam war was slow, but it soon became one of the bloodiest wars the country had ever seen. Troops were being deployed and lives were lost for reasons many found unclear. The war 's roots first started to develop in 1950 when the French, who were fighting for control of Indochina, began to deny the Vietnamese the privileges they were promised in exchange for French intervention. The Viet Minh, a communist group that fought control by the French and Japanese, were engaged in the First Indochina War against the French until 1954 when the French were defeated (Hillstorm, 1-2). Ho Chi Minh and his forces saw this as an opportunity to enforce communist rule throughout the entire country. However, the United States refused …show more content…
The South was heavily backed by America, who provided military advisors who were intended to train Southern

fighters, as well as financial support. America 's involvement grew and the country slowly slipped into full engagement in the Vietnamese war, even through it was a civil war at its core. In 1961, President Kennedy sent 400 Green Beret soldiers to South Vietnam to teach the citizens how to fight counterinsurgency against the communists (Rotter).

In 1964, the Tonkin Gulf Resolution was passed under President Johnson. It stated that the president had supreme power and could do whatever he thought was necessary in the war. The resolution was used to justify and actions that otherwise would have little support. For example, shortly after the resolution was passed, Johnson authorized bombings of targets north of the 17th parallel, and on March 8th, 3,500 marines were sent into South Vietnam (Rotter). The majority of Americans approved of the war when it first took root, but support started to fade as it dragged on. However, despite the growing disapproval toward the war, people still believed that continuing the war would be a better option than being defeated and allowing the communists to win, which meant furthering military involvement in order to achieve victory. The average American did not agree with the antiwar movement, but as time passed, the fighting both at home and overseas grew tiresome and the
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The United States was using a defoliant known as Agent Orange that was used to eliminate tree cover and crops that were beneficial to the North Vietnamese. Agent Orange was an extremely powerful herbicide that later proved to cause serious health problems, such as tumors, rashes, birth defects, and cancer among both troops and Vietnamese citizens. From 1961 to 1972, four-and-a-half million gallons of the defoliant were poured over nineteen million acres of Vietnamese land. In addition to the irreparable harm done to the Vietnamese environment, around 400,000 citizens were killed or seriously injured by the defoliant, and to this day, people suffer side effects linked to it (Agent Orange). MORE ON

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