Canadian Involvement Vietnam War Analysis
After the French defeat, the 1954 Geneva Convention split Vietnam in half, with the Communists ruling the North and Ngo Dinh Diem ruling the south. With the Cold War lingering over the world, Vietnam entered a new conflict. This conflict was between the Communist country in the North, supported …show more content…
However government documents reveal that Canada was a willing ally of the United States. Canadian aid went only to South Vietnam and totalled $29 million. It went through the Colomobo Plan and the Canadian Red Cross, and although humanitarian in appearance, Canadian assistance was an essential piece of the Free World Assistance Program (Karnow, 1983).
Canada also benefitted economically; Canadian firms sold approximately $15 billion worth of nickel, lead, brass, oil, copper, wiring, military transport equipment and parts, clothing, food, ammunition and explosives to the United States. Canadian unemployment dropped to 3.9 percent – a record low – and GDP rose by 6% annually during the war (Victor, 2011). Also, the infamous “Agent Orange”, a defoliant whose purpose was to destroy forested land in order to rob the Communists of food sources and cover, was tested at Canadian Bases in New Brunswick (Canadian Press, 2007). American pilots also practiced bombing and spraying runs in Alberta and Saskatchewan. The herbicide drastically increases the risk of Hodgkin 's lymphoma and non-Hodgkin 's lymphoma, prostate cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, leukemia, and other skin, digestive, nerve, and respiratory conditions (Victor, 2011). The end of the conflict saw thousands of refugees flee out of South Vietnam, with Canada admitting over 50,000 people from 1975 to 1979 (Canadian Press,