Why Did the Americans Fight in Vietnam?

Why Did the Americans Fight in Vietnam?

They got involved in Vietnam because they wanted to stop the spread of communism (domino theory) and after France left Vietnam the US felt they needed to take matters into their own hands when communist rebels had overthrown Frances control of Vietnam. The leaders of the USA feared that communist governments would gain control of Vietnam and that would lead to nation after nation falling for communism.

President Truman agreed to help France against the Communist Vietnamese; America decided to send out money to help the French fight against the Vietnamese in a full scale war. The USA shared a view with France that the Minh was a plot by the communists. The USA prevented elections taking place in Vietnam because they thought the communists would win in 1954. The USA began to support Diem; Diem set up South Vietnam. They backed Diem because he was fiercely anti-communist. The USA supported Diem’s regime with around $1. billion in the early 1950s, this was a sign of political and financial involvement from the USA. After fighting a war to gain independence from France when, French forces withdrew, Vietnamese Communists gained control of North Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh was the leader of the North Vietnamese Communists. South Vietnam had a non-Communist government. This government was weak. But the United States supported it in order to keep the Communists from taking control of all of Vietnam.

At first, the United States supported South Vietnam with only money and military advisers. The number of advisers in Vietnam jumped from 800 to nearly 17,000 during the early 1960s while John F. Kennedy was U. S. president. In 1964, U. S. president Lyndon B. Johnson reported that North Vietnam had attacked U. S. Navy ships along Vietnam’s coast. Nearly 80,000 U. S. troops were in South Vietnam by the end of 1965. . The United States conducted a brutal air war against North Vietnam. In one year, the air force flew 150,000 bombing missions.

By 1967, the United States had dropped more bombs on North Vietnam than it dropped on its enemies during World War II (1939-1945). By 1969, at the height of the war, the United States had about 543,000 troops in Vietnam. Many of them were teenagers. The average age of Americans fighting in Vietnam was 19. The USA finally began to support France in 1949 when china became a communist country. They feared that a communist plan to dominate the whole of south East Asia. They gave 4500 million per year to the French war effort to stop communism spreading.

But in 1954 the French had been soundly defeated by the Viet Minh’s guerrilla tactics; these tactics made it impossible for them to be beaten so the USA decided they were the only force to stop Ho Chi Minh and North Vietnam Overall USA decided to fight in Vietnam because they felt the need to stop communism spreading after the French defeat from the Viet Minh’s. They based their theory on the ‘domino theory’: if they did not stop South Vietnam being taken over by the communists, other countries would fall to communism like a row of dominos, so Vietnam became a part of USA’s cold war policy.