"Lyndon Johnson's War" By Hunt Cold War Through Vietnam (Focuses Mainly On Vietnam And Its Causes & Effects

1489 words - 6 pages

As we moved into yet another turbulent decade characterized by perilous and uncertain foreign affairs, we embarked on a profuse battle against the Communists and their quest for dominance in the vulnerable areas of Southeast Asia. United States involvement in Southeast Asia will forever be reflected upon as being highly controversial, as it made us question both our own military might, and also the ability of our government to make crucial decisions. The Vietnam War drove two presidents from the Oval office, destroyed the U.S. foreign policy consensus, and shattered an entire generation's outlook on America's function in the world. "Lyndon Johnson's War," a book written by Michael H. Hunt ...view middle of the document...

The United States government feared that "premature [Vietnamese] independence would result in either chaos or a one-party, totalitarian police state."(Hunt p.9)Concurrent to the American Cause of Containment was the acknowledgement of the presence of a great risk that we were taking. We were emerging ourselves in a deep dark area of the world that was at best hope that there incomprehensible to the American mind. Americans had a false was some kind of cohesion of interests between Vietnam and the United States; that is that Vietnam was awaiting and even welcoming an American answer to its problems, and that American's needed to occupy Vietnam to secure the ideals of Freedom. In Retrospect, there was "In short, A Vietnamese World which Americans, immersed in their own Cold War World, Ill Understood."(Hunt p. 18)In 1954, Dwight Eisenhower established the "Falling Domino Principle" regarding the dangers of communism, that is, if Vietnam shall fall to Communism, the entire war waged against the Soviet Cause of promoting revolution around the world, destroying the ideals of freedom, and communizing the entire world, would be lost. This theory would be echoed by Kennedy, strengthened by Johnson, and would prove to be a re-occurring motif in the epic story of Vietnam, and the nature of U.S. Foreign Policy.Though containing communism was a key goal of the initiatives that led to the Vietnam War, there was a series of events that took place within the confines of Vietnam that directly led to United States involvement. As the French were being excavated from the region, it became more and more clear that there must be an effort to counter Ho Chi Minh and Northern Vietnam's attempt at reunifying Vietnam under communism. To the Americans, Ho Chi Minh represented communism, nationalism, and totalitarian authority.The 1954 Geneva Convention was an agreement made between the French and the Viet Minh to end the hostilities in Vietnam. In addition to this, a line of demarcation was drawn at the seventeenth parallel, to be held in place until the 1956 election, which would serve to unify the torn nation. In 1955, Diem assumed the role of president in South Vietnam, where real American occupation took place. 1957 saw the insurgence of communism into South Vietnam, as guerilla warriors assassinated hundreds of South Vietnamese Officials. In 1961, Ho introduced the National Liberation Front in South Vietnam, which activated many additional U.S. Forces. As tensions increased, and the NLF received increasingly more aid from the Soviets and Chinese, it became clear that the war was nowhere near its conclusion.As the war dragged on, it became increasingly evident that U.S. Withdrawal from the war was simply becoming less of an option. It had crossed the mind of President Kennedy as early as 1961, as he made many crucial decisions that concluded with the deployment In 1954, we took off from where the French left off, and in a conflict that was already being fought. With...

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