Why Did the USA Become Increasingly Involved in Vietnam?
The Vietnam War- one of the bloodiest, grimmest, and most trying times of the Cold War. A war that many believed was fought in vain and without purpose and that “…produced no famous victories, no national heroes and no patriotic songs…” A war that threw the USA into public disdain for intervening where intervention was not needed; for causing bloodshed when none was called for- and all in the name of a failed policy of Containment and the miscalculated Domino Theory. However, in order to explain why the USA became increasingly involved in Vietnam, it is necessary to go into background detail as to why it became involved in Vietnam in the first place. Before the Second World War, Vietnam had been a French colony along with Laos and Cambodia, collectively known as French Indochina; French rule was unchallenged until 1940, when France was defeated in the war by German forces. This led to a take-over by Germany’s ally, Japan, which took over most of Vietnam’s resources. During the war, a strong anti-Japanese movement, known as the Viet-Minh and led by Communist Ho Chi Minh, rose up and encouraged the Vietnamese to fight for an independent Vietnam; following the end of the war, the Viet Minh fought the Japanese and took control of the North of Vietnam, determined to take control of the South as well. They entered Hanoi in 1945 and declared independence. The problem arose when the French returned after WW2 ended to reclaim Vietnam as their colony. Viet Minh had not fought the Japanese only to hand power back to the French. He stoutly refused and this led to a brutal war breaking out between the two in 1946 that lasted until 1954. Viet Minh, not wanting to draw attention to the fact that he was Communist, remained quiet. He knew the democratic USA would sympathize with his cause if he was portrayed as a victim struggling against colonial rule; less than five years later however, the USA switched sides abruptly...
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