Reasons For Us Involvement In Vietnam

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When a country wants to become independent from its ruling country they most likely go to war, but not many countries go from a war with their ruling country to a war with themselves. This is what happened to Vietnam. Vietnam, a country in Southeast Asia, was ruled by France but then was granted independence in 1954. Vietnam then split into two states, the north being a communist and the south, a democratic republic. During this time, the United States (US), China, and the Soviet Union were engaged in the Cold War. The Soviet Union and China sided with North Vietnam and the United States sided with South Vietnam. Historians disagree about the reasons for the involvement of the United States, the Soviet Union, and China in Vietnam, but ultimately …show more content…
The leader of North Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, originally went to the US for help but they refused, so he went to the Soviet Union who agreed to help. Ho Chi Minh was greatly influenced by the Soviet Union. Ho Chi Minh became interested in Marxism in 1919. He then went to Moscow to train to become a communist leader where he studied communist theories and international activism. The Soviets wanted to support North Vietnam so they could use the Vietnamese to fight against the Americans because they supported France in the First Indochina War (Rohn). This idea is considered a proxy war which is a war instigated by a major power that does not itself become involved (“Proxy War”). Aleksei Kosygin, a Soviet Union statesman, visited North Vietnam, he and the North Vietnam army signed a defense treaty that said that the Soviet Union would provide financial aid and military support to North Vietnam. The Soviets provided tanks, artillery pieces, and the latest air defense systems with surface-to-air missiles into Hanoi (Podhoretz …show more content…
One of the key reasons why the US became involved was to stop communism. President Harry S. Truman wanted to help so the US could stabilize the countries that were developed so they would not fall to communism. President Lyndon Johnson had the same idea as Truman. In early 1965, the US began bombing North Vietnam and sent marines to South Vietnam. Even though President Johnson would do anything to stop the spread of communism, he intended to fight a limited war (Rotter). The US supplied bombers and other aircraft to South Vietnam. The US also used m-60 machine guns to fight North Vietnam (“Weapons of the Vietnam War”). In early 1965, two battalions of about 3,500 men arrived on Red Beach 2 in South Vietnam (Reid). These men were the first men to be deployed to Vietnam. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that allowed President Johnson to use whatever means necessary to stop an attack after the North Vietnamese attacked unprovoked a ship in the Gulf of Tonkin (Majerol). Days after the communist attack on a US base in 1965, Johnson issued a bombing campaign known as Operation Rolling Thunder. By the end of 1965, the US had about 184,000 troops in Vietnam. By the end of the war, the US had spent about 141 billion dollars (“Vietnam

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