Us Involvement In Vietnam

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Although the United States did not enter the war on a much larger scale until 1965, the build up to war began many years beforehand. In fact, the United States had involvement in Vietnam dating all the way back to World War II when they had sought to end Japanese occupation in Southeastern Asia, including Vietnam. By aiding the Vietnamese guerilla fighters, also known as the “Viet-Minh”, the United States was able to assist the communist regime within Vietnam. The “Viet-Minh” were led by Ho Chi Minh, a Communist, who greatly admired the United States. When Japan surrendered in World War II, it pulled its troops out of Vietnam. This led to a surge of invigoration by Ho and his group, as he viewed that as his chance to drive out the French from …show more content…
In 1953, Dwight D. Eisenhower became president of the United States. Eisenhower and his advisers worried that if Vietnam turned Communist, the rest of Southeastern Asia would soon follow in a domino effect. This idea, nicknamed the “domino theory,” would soon shape American actions in Vietnam for many years to come. Later, in 1954, then French lost a crucial battle at Dien Bien Phu to the “Viet-Minh.” Afraid of all-out war, they prepared to withdraw from Vietnam. By international agreement, Vietnam was divided in half at the 17th parallel and Ho was allowed to have control over the Northern half while anti-Communist forces controlled the Southern half of the country. The agreement also called for elections in Vietnam, so that it would be untied under one leader. Ho was expected to win, but the United States had no desire for Vietnam to be unified under a Communist leader, and as a result, these elections were never held. The United States began providing economic and military aid to the Southern Vietnamese government that was led by Ngo Dinh Diem. However, Diem was unpopular, and many in Southern Vietnam opposed his …show more content…
Kennedy and the best of his aid viewed South Vietnam as the only hope they had in preventing the spread of Communism throughout Southeast Asia. It was at this point that Kennedy sent 400 military advisers to Vietnam to teach the South Vietnamese Army how to fight the “Viet-Cong” more effectively. North Vietnam began to grow weary of the increasing involvement of the United States in the war. At the same time, Diem’s power was diminishing rapidly due to a range of causes, such as his favoritism towards fellow Catholic people, whereas the country’s population was mostly Buddhist. Diem also cracked down on anyone who opposed his rule, Communist or not. He had his government begin to arrest and even kill those who opposed him. Buddhists began to burn themselves alive in protest to Diem’s regime. The United States had almost begun to view Vietnam as a lost cause. With Diem in power, fighting against the Communists within the country grew exponentially more difficult. To attempt to relieve themselves of this problem, the United States backed a military coup d 'état to replace him. In November of 1963, Diem was removed from power after being

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