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Vietnam Essay

704 words - 3 pages

The French colony of Vietnam was over taken by the Japanese in World War 2. The reaction of the Vietnamese nationalists was to form a league for Vietnamese independence. This was also known as the Vietminh. Ho chi Minh, a communist led this organisation. Ho chi Minh declared independence from French colonial rule. This was resisted by the French because Vietnam was rich in minerals.In 1950 the French realised they needed financial support from the U.S. Truman gave $20million in 1950 and a further $2.6billion between 1950-1954. The Americans were concerned that Chinese communism would spread into Vietnam and other parts of Indo-China. This was known as the domino theory, were if one country falls to communism others surrounding it will. The French forces concentrated themselves around Dien Bien Phu, hoping the Vietminh would enter open conflict. After several weeks, the French were forced to ...view middle of the document...

President Kennedy saw the threat of communism ''a threat to the free world''. He restated that to prevent the further spread of communism he would ''pay any price, bear any the defence of liberty.'' The U.S sent money and military advisers. Kennedy was committed to helping South Vietnam against the invasion from the north o Vietnam. This was the Strategic Hamlet Programme.Johnson was a firm believer in the 'domino theory' and hates communism and also felt unable to withdraw American military advisers from South Vietnam. He wished to secure South Vietnam and could only do this by increasing American aid, which he needed congress' support. He won this support. Some of the North Vietnamese gunboats attacked two US destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. Johnson claimed that this was unprovoked and that America had been the victim and wished to prevent any further aggression. In February 1965 'Operation Rolling Thunder' took place and started to bomb the north of Vietnam over three years. They bombed the Ho Chi Minh railway; this was the main route of the Vietcong's supply from the north to the south. By the end of 1967 there were more than 180,000 American troops fighting in the South. It was estimated this was costing the US $28billion per year.The Vietcong used guerrilla tactics to fight of the Americans. These tactics included the Vietcong dressing up in peasant's clothes as a disguise. they didn't have a base camp so they would move around all the time, this wasn't just to confuse the Americans, but also so they couldn't find them. they also used tunnels underground as they couldn't be found so easily. the main tactics they used were also a chemical called Agent Orange, this was dropped on top of trees and dissolved all the leaves so they could then spot the peasants. The Americans gave medical, financial and general aid but this still couldn't get the peasants on their side. President Johnson had to reconsider his position as president because there was rising casualties, the TET offensive, demonstrations at home, increasing costs and a fall in popularity.

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