The participation of the US in Vietnam steadily escalated from 1945 to 1975. An argument throughout historians got in argues over why America even got involved in Vietnam. However it is often explained by America trusting it should fight in opposition to Vietnam because of what the Southeast Asian state stood for - Communism. Many believe if Vietnam fell to communism it would only be enforcing Eisenhower's domino theory. Kennedy's presidency saw an increased commitment to Vietnam with 12,000 advisors in 1962 and increased equipment. Vietnam had around 200,000 US troops by 1965 .
However in the year 1966 the domestic opposition to American increased involvement in Vietnam and as the war continued further, opposition to it grew. Although to what level the lack of public support was the main factor to America `losing' the war is greatly debated. At the same time as public opinion can be argued to be the most important reason for first troop withdrawal in June 1969 to quieted opposition, other factors remain important. This includes America's military mistakes, North Vietnams strengths as opposed to South Vietnams weaknesses.
While the US's participated in the Vietnam War, opposition existed within the home country. Sanders claim it is in general agreed that opposition to the war from the public and press was probably the main reason to why Johnson finally decided upon retreat. However the extent to which the public in America did oppose the war is greatly debated. Firstly, defining public opinion itself has problems. Polls conducted both by the government and the press found that the wordings of the question had dramatic effect on answers and what respondent states in a hypothetical situation as opposed to a real situation can be very different. However, Mueller's data repeatedly asked the question form 1965 to 1971: "Do you think the US made a mistake sending troops to fight in Vietnam?" The data showed that... [continues]
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