Truman's 1949 Study

2099 Words 9 Pages
While most are familiar with the main reasons that the United States became involved in Vietnam, many are not aware that the beginning of the conflict has roots further back than was generally established. As explained in the investigative reporting by Fox Butterfield contained in the Pentagon Papers, after china fell under the influence of communist forces, Vietnam or Indochina as it was known by then was viewed as a major security interest. Geographically if Indochina fell completely to communism it would open up a gate to surrounding Asian countries for communist influence, giving backbone to the already growing communist regime (7). In spite of President Truman’s 1949 study on Indochina which decided that “particular attention should be …show more content…
Lanning and Cragg stated that any supplies, money, and weaponry entered North Vietnam through the Port of Haiphong. The Port of Haiphong was a sea port that was knowingly used by the Soviets and yet the port had been immune to any United States military action (120). Early on regular munitions and missiles were known to be shipped through Port Haiphong, but as the strategies of the Vietminh evolved, the Soviets responded with multitudes of sophisticated weapons, including Soviet PT-76 tanks that were successfully used against Americans in several battles (121). The extensive damage the United States obtained through the use of these soviet weapons could be eradicated if not for the fact that the USSR and the United States relations were at that time delicately balanced between uneasy peace and disaster. Davidson explains that while deciding whether or not to use ROLLING THUNDER to target areas of Soviet trade, President Johnson had to carefully consider if by targeting these Soviet supply lines he would provoke the USSR into all-out war (433). So instead of using force, the United States would cooperate on negotiations regarding the Middle East if the USSR would discontinue support to North Vietnam. When the request arrived in Moscow it was received with no great urgency and after hardly being considered the Soviets waved the negotiations away and continued sending aid (608). The Soviets blatant disregard of the United States attempt at peace shows how much more was at stake than just the wellbeing of

Related Documents