Research papers on the United States entering Vietnam focus on the reasons the US was involved in the conflict. Have Paper Masters clarify this murky issue in US history with a custom research paper.
During World War II, the Japanese invaded what was known as French Indochina. The Vietnamese, under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh, resisted the Japanese occupation with the help of the American government and the OSS (forerunner to the CIA).
After the defeat of Japan, this region was returned to French control. Almost immediately, however, the Vietnamese people revolted under the direction of the communist Viet Minh, led by Ho Chi Minh.On the very same day that the Japanese surrendered, Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnamese independence.
Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh wrote several letters to the President Truman, and several OSS officers who had worked with the Viet Minh recommended that the US recognize this new independent Vietnam. But under the President's "Truman Doctrine" for containing communism, as well as his need for stable alliances against the Soviet Union, the United States supported French efforts to retake their former colony.
In 1949, communists took control of China.The following year both China and the Soviet Union officially recognized Ho Chi Minh's Vietnam.Critics in the United States charged President Truman with being "soft" on communism, and the President decided to take a harder line against communist regimes in Southeast Asia.The United States moved quickly to intervene in Korea, and American support for the French was strengthened. Cold War politics dictated that the US had to recognize the French puppet emperor, Bao Dai.
US Presidents and Vietnam
By mid-1954, Presidents Truman and Eisenhower had provided more than $2 billion in military assistance to the French in what would prove to be a losing effort.President Eisenhower argued that such support was necessary to prevent a domino effect in Southeast Asia.He said, "You have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly." What President Eisenhower meant was that if Vietnam "fell" to the communists, then Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Burma would soon "fall" as well.
In summary, the U.S. entered Vietnam for the following reasons:
- The threat of communism became a serious concern for the nations of the free world.
- China had a huge population and potential power became a communist country.
- North Korea invaded South Korea with the intent to engulf the entire Korean population as a communist state. The United States and the United Nations took action to stop the establishment of this threat in South Korea.
- The United States government hoped to stop the spread of this threat with a policy of containment.
- The French involvement in Vietnam as a colonial power in Southeast Asia was not a perfect solution to the containment of communism in this area, but this presence in Vietnam was a deterrent to the communist powers with visions of the expansion of their power and reach.
- The US foreign policy leaders feared that the fall of one of these countries to communist control, especially Vietnam, would precipitate the fall of the others to communist control.
- The government of the United States viewed support for South Vietnam as essential to the containment of communism in this part of the world.