Explain Why the United States of America Became
Increasingly Involved in Vietnam Between 1945 & 1966.

2871 Words Oct 4th, 2008 12 Pages
In this coursework essay, I am aiming to explain why the United States of America became increasingly involved in the Vietnam conflict between the years 1945 and 1966. During this time, America had five different presidents: Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon.

Until the First Indochina War, the region was a colony of France, known as Indochina, part of the French Union – in the war, troops were drawn from elsewhere in the French Union to fight in the war against the Viêt Minh (lead by Hô Chí Minh). Later, between the years 1955 & 1965 – the Americans were supporting Ngô Đình Diêm, a puppet President they had helped install. However, the Americans didn’t realise what a problem he would become. He ran his authoritarian and
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The People’s Republic of China was in its infancy and communism was spreading to North Korea – later, Dwight D. Eisenhower would call this Domino Theory.

The United States, along with Britain and support from 19 other nations under a UN resolution, were busy in Korea, indirectly fighting the USSR and the PRC, as well as Kim Il-Sung. Therefore, the US, who had since decided that fighting communism was more important than fighting colonialism, effectively paid the French to fight the Viêt Minh, by giving them 15 million USD at once.
The US attitude had already changed once – the Viêt Minh were now no longer a revolutionary faction to be supported by tax dollars; it was now the contrary, as the French Foreign Legion were effectively employed as expensive mercenaries to fight a difficult and costly war in the jungle. This meant that soon, by the early 50s, the US attitudes towards the political and social situation of Vietnam were going to change, and just by paying the French to fight this war, they had moved themselves a step closer to full involvement.
The French weren’t really prepared or trained for the guerilla warfare tactics that the Viêt Minh were to force on them, and as such they suffered disproportionate losses from the start. In late 1953, the French hoped to draw the Viêt Minh into conventional battle – they settled on a village called Điên Biên Phủ.
However, the French hadn’t bargained for the tactics the Viêt Minh would use. Coupled with the fact

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