Vietnam War Essay

Submitted By Jason-Rodgers
Words: 783
Pages: 4

From 1955 to 1975, The United States was involved in The Vietnam War, the longest ever fought by the United States. This war was a struggle of power between North Vietnam, which was supported by its communist allies, and South Vietnam, which was backed by the United States. To this day, the involvement of the United States in Vietnam remains a topic of great debate. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact origin and reason for the US intervention in Vietnam. Vietnam was previously a French Colony. However, France signed a document at the Geneva Accords in 1954 that made Vietnam an independent nation. This is where the trouble seems to have begun. North Vietnam had plans to unite Vietnam as a Communist government. The American government financed the creation of a pro-American government in South Vietnam. This violated the Geneva Accords which promised to unify Vietnam through elections (Foner). North Vietnam was backed by the Soviet Union and China, as well as other communist allies. The United states was already engaged in Conflict with the soviet union at this time. During this stage in our history, many of the US government’s decision were supported by the principle of “containment.” There was a great fear held by US presidents during this time that the public would not forgive them if Vietnam was lost to communism (Foner). This made the situation impossible to ignore. Despite US aid, South Vietnam leader, Ngo Dihn Diem, continuously lost battles to the Communist led Viet-Cong. Once Lynden B Johnson became president, involvment increased. He is quoted as saying “ I don’t see how we can ever hope to get out of there once we are committed.” But he also stated “I am not going to be the president who saw Southeast Asia go the way China went.” However the general public did not share his interest. While stopping the spread of communism was important to much of America, many felt that the United States had no business fighting in someone else’s war. In 1964 there were reports, which years later proved to be falsified by President Johnson, that American ships in Vietnam were attacked in the Gulf Of Tonkin. He asked Congress for the right to take “all necessary measures to repel armed attacks” in Vietnam. The government implemented a draft. Through the draft, Thousands of Americans were forced to fight in this. Many lost their lives. With the true motivations behind our involvement up in the air, and the American public not in support, the foundation of Vietnam War was already unstable. The fundamental problem with the Vietnam War was that our government underestimated the enemy. North Vietnam had a strong will. The largest example of this is what became known as the Tet Offensive. In the late 60’s, the Johnson administration was attempting to increase the moral of the public regarding the war. He claimed victory was “just around the corner.” (Foner). However, around this time in North Vietnam, the military command was working on a plan to