The Disillusionment Of The Vietnam War

1076 words - 4 pages

President Dwight Eisenhower conditionally pledged to support South Vietnam’s new nation in 1955. In the time period between 1955-1961 the United States pumped seven billion dollars in aid so that Vietnam would not “go over quickly” like a “row of dominoes” (McNamara 31). In the next 6 years Vietnam would cost America billions of dollars, thousands of lives, and the disaffection of much of the United States public. Yet in the end, South Vietnam would fall to the North less than 2 years after the United States military involvement ceased.
From the year 1955 when the United States vowed to help support the South Vietnamese fight off the Northern communist, a total of about 60,000 soldiers dead and 300,000 wounded. The soldiers who offered their lives were on average the age of 23 meaning many gave up education and a family to fight for the lives in the bloody massacre we call the Vietnam War. At the beginning the United States only gave minor assistance to South Vietnam, but as the years continued and the Northern Communist began crippling the South, the United States offered more military aid. In 1961 after President John F. Kennedy sent a group of officials to assess the progress of preventing the spread of communism. It became evident that more military support was needed. “Working under the "domino theory," which held that if one Southeast Asian country fell to communism, many would follow, Kennedy increased U.S. aid, though he stopped short of committing to a large-scale military intervention”(History 1). After a group of generals over threw Ngo Dinh Diem the president of the government of the public of Vietnam the South Vietnam government become very unstable. Three weeks later President John F. Kennedy was assassinated before his planned de-escalation of the American war effort. Lyndon Johnson then took control of the United States and gave the South Vietnamese the more military aid they were seeking. “In August of 1964, in response to the American and GVN espionage along its coast, the DRV launched a local and controlled attack against C. Turner Joy and the U.S.S. Maddox , two American ships on call in the Gulf of Tonkin” (Brigham 2). This resulted in the United States government giving Lyndon Johnson the ability to make war under the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. President Johnson then gave orders to perform air raids on Northern Vietnam pushing the United States further into the war. Compared to 1962 when only 9,000 soldiers supported the South Vietnamese, by June 1965 82,000 soldiers occupied the country. The number only continued to rise exponentially, and by 1966 370,000 soldiers had been sent in to prop their South Vietnam allies. President Richard Nixon withdrew American soldiers from Vietnam and as part of the “vietnamization” of the war. Over and 60,000 American soldiers had been lost in a war to preserve the status quo, not to win.
The United States spent more than 120 billion dollars on the Vietnam War in efforts to stop the...

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