Communism In Vietnam

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the government of North Vietnam, led by Ho Chi Minh, representatives of communism. At first, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent military advisers to train a South Vietnamese army with the hope of preventing communism from being established. (“Origins of Cold War”, 4) Eventually the US sent over 2.7 million military personnel to fight in Vietnam demonstrating its firm belief that communism must be stopped at all costs. Even as the number of American soldiers killed and wounded in Vietnam grew, the US was reluctant to withdraw its forces from this deadly conflict. Approximately 58,000 Americans died in the Vietnam war and many more were wounded. (Roush, 3) Yet the US obsession with preventing the spread of communism interfered with an…show more content…
There were additional factors contributing to the US continued involvement in the Vietnam war, including a mistaken belief that the US army and its allies could quickly win the war and an unwillingness to withdraw and signal defeat. These miscalculations led to increased casualties for US troops and a drawn out conflict which prevented a decision to end US participation in what many historians and US leaders considered a mistaken war. (Cook, 1) The US priority to prevent the spread of communism in that part of the world interfered with rational thinking. (Vietnam War, 3) As Robert McNamara, US defense secretary during the Vietnam war, stated: “We . . . acted according to what we thought were the principles and traditions of our country. But we were wrong. We were terribly wrong.” (Cook, 1) This obsession to avoid the spread of communism at all costs was quite understandable. As stated earlier, the Cold War instilled in the US a great fear of the consequences of a communist government and any influence by the Soviet Union. One vivid example of this fear was the nuclear threat and the terrible consequences of a nuclear attack. The famous Cuban Missile Crisis demonstrated the scary reality of this threat. In 1962, the US discovered that the Soviet Union had put nuclear weapons on the island of Cuba capable of reaching major US cities. American president John F. Kennedy and Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev eventually reached a deal to resolve the crisis.…show more content…
In conclusion, the Cold War created a great tension between the US and Soviet Union in forming competing ideologies of capitalism and communism. These opposite ideals were the driving force behind many major decisions by the US in its foreign policy in terms of containing the spread of communism. The US engaged in proxy wars where it supported allies which held similar beliefs. In the Vietnam conflict, the US not only supported an ally but even fought side by side to stop the adoption of communism in that country. Although looking back, the US may question its involvement in the Vietnam war, at that time, based on its position taken in the Cold War conflict this high cost seemed well worth it. As President Lyndon B. Johnson, a president during the Vietnam War,
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