Which were united states’ real reasons for entering the vietnam war?

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Which were United States’ real reasons for entering the Vietnam War?

Table of Contents

Table of Contents……………………………………………………… 2

A. Plan of Investigation ……………………………………………….. 3

B. Summary of Evidence………………………………………………. 3-5

C. Evaluation of Sources………………………………………………. 5-6

D. Analysis……………………………………………………………….. 6-8

E. Conclusion……………………………………………………………..8-9

F. List ofSources…………………………………………………………10

Which were United States’ real reasons for entering the Vietnam War?

A. Plan of Investigation

The objective of this work is to identify if the United States entered the war as their official aims stated, for helping Vietnam’s independence, or for other purposes. As this war was one of US major defeats, an analysis of the motives that made them take part in this conflict,will help to view the effectiveness of US decision-taking and their real intentions.

In this investigation, the public speeches of the American presidents Eisenhower and Johnson, which justified publicly the American intervention in Vietnam, will be contrasted with the actions taken by the US at the beginning of war. An analysis of the contradictions found about US’ real aims in Vietnam willbe presented. The sources evaluated in their origins, purpose, values and limitations will be Fire in the Lake, the Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam by Frances Fitzgerald and The Global Cold War by Odd Arne Westad.

B. Summary of Evidence

After World War II, the Cold War was focused on developing countries and colonies in process of independence, using them to expand their politicalideology and market. In Asia, the conflict started in the 1950’s. The United States had a previous war in Korea in which they established their anticommunist position (Arne, 2007, p. 180). China was also a threat for the Americans as they had an influential communist ideology that could spread in Asia.
Since 1859, Vietnam as a French colony pursued their independence and became profoundlynationalists. After conflicts between the French (supported by the US), and the Viet Minh, the division of Vietnam was declared in the Geneva Conference (July 21st, 1954) in: North Vietnam, conducted by Ho Chi Minh, and South Vietnam, led by Ngo Dinh Diem. After two years, national elections would define the adoption of one system in all the country. However, these elections were obstructed by Americanintervention (Arne, 2007, p. 180). Despite their actions against the elections, the United States publicly supported the Geneva Conference, hoping “that the agreements will permit…Vietnam to play their part, in full independence and sovereignty” (Eisenhower, 1954, pp. 52-53).

Since 1956, Viet Cong, a guerrilla movement interfered with American intervention in South Vietnam. The US supportedDiem and “created a Vietnamese state that became progressively more dependent on US aid” (Sewell, 2006, p. 69). Khrushchev declared in January 1961, his “support for wars of national liberation” (Sewell, 2006, p. 70) as well as China. This preoccupied the Americans. Ho Chi Minh later expressed worry about US presence, stating that Americans wanted to transform the nation into a military base, tothreaten Asian countries (Minh, 1973, p. 293).
Despite American actions, the US president, Dwight Eisenhower stated publicly: “the purpose of this offer is to assist the Government of Vietnam… that will contribute effectively toward an independent Vietnam” (Eisenhower, 1954, pp. 735-736). In spite of the public speeches, Eisenhower stated the domino theory, that preoccupied and forcedthe US to have an active role in Vietnam as they were threatened by Communist expansion of influence in all Asia.

In 1963, American naval ships faced an attack in the Tonkin Gulf. “The first reality is that North Vietnam has attacked… Its object is total conquest” (Johnson, 1965). The US enters to the war formally and the Tonkin Gulf Resolution authorized the president to send...
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