Why USA Became Involved in Vietnam
Before the Second World War, the region between India and China which
now includes Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos was part of the French Empire.
During the Second World War, however, Japan controlled Vietnam. After
the war, the French tried to take over again but a communist group,
the Vietminh wanted independence. During this war of independence the
USA became involved as well. This essay will look at the reasons of
why they did.
The first reason why the USAbecame involved in Vietnam was the Domino
theory. President Eisenhower first used the term in 1954 to justify US
involvement in South East Asia, particularly Vietnam. The Domino
theory was first evident in Eastern Europe when Stalin was taking over
the Eastern European countries one by one with communism. However, it
grew more serious when China fell to communism in 1949, closely
followed by North Korea in 1950. There was a fear that communism would
spread all over the world. The Domino Theory was a long term cause of
why the USA became involved in Vietnam because the term was invented
long before the Vietnam war.
A second reason why the USAbecame involved in Vietnam was the US
policy of containment which is why Truman supported the French in
Vietnam even though he did not believe in colonisation. Also, he did
this as soon as China fell to communism in 1949. Containment was the
backbone of US foreign policy to stop the spread of communism to other
regions of the world and give economic help to any country resisting
communism. Containment was put to practice in Europe due to communism
in Eastern Europe by Marshall Aid and Truman Doctrine. The doctrine
helped launch containment and Marshall Aid strengthened Western Europe
against the threat of communism. This reason is linked to the Domino
Theory as Truman supported the French in the hope that communism would
not spread into Vietnam and hence preventing it from spreading to the
rest of the world. Furthermore, this is a long term cause as
containment was introduced even before the Domino Theory.
A third reason why the USAbecame involved in Vietnam was when
Eisenhower supported Diem's corrupt government in the South. Until
this point it was a civil war between the communist north and the
capitalist south. Again, he did this because of the Domino Theory and
so that communism would not spread. Diem used US troops to stay in
power and did not have any elections for fear of a communist win. This
is a short term cause because unlike the other causes, it did not
happen a long time before the event.
The fourth reason why the USA became involved in Vietnam was Kennedy's
foreign policy. In this he wanted to protect the free world from
communism,' The USA stands for freedom and God while communism stands
for ruthless godless tyranny'. Due to this...