Many people ask the question, “Why did the U.S. even care about the Vietnam conflict, let alone fight a war there?” One Reason for U.S. involvement in the Vietnam conflict was that the U.S. feared the Domino Theory. The Domino Theory is where if one state falls to communism, then all the other states around it will fall into communism too. Because the U.S. feared this, they responded with containment. Containment means to keep communism from spreading to other countries. Another reason for U.S. involvement is imperialism, which was left over from WWI and WWII.
But one of the hardest battle’s for the US was to keep their own countries support. In this essay I will be exploring the main factors of the Vietnam war between 1960-1975, looking at how they changed before, during and after ORT. Before ORT took place the aims of the US Government were to stop communist taking over South Vietnam (SV). As they feared that the Domino Theory would affect countries who were still capitalist. The rise in communist countries was increasing as other countries close to each other would follow the same route as nearby countries.
The conflicts between the North and the South Vietnam increased along with the Viet Cong rebels. The North Vietnam threatened South Vietnam that they will take over and make the communist. Even with the help of the United States, the South Vietnam wasn’t able to win. For both wars, the main reason for U.S. involvement was to follow the policy of United States that they will stop communist from spreading. There are many differences between the two wars.
Because the American government openly supported the Christian Diem, the South Vietnamese were almost as against American involvement as the North Vietnamese by the time of the Tet Offensive. The Americans’ failure to keep the North Vietnamese at bay only added further tension between the United States and the people they were trying to help. Back in the U.S., protest was growing to the point that full engagement in Vietnam was becoming difficult. Opposition to the draft was an extremely crucial form of protest. Literally, “tens of thousands fled to Canada or Europe to avoid the draft” (Wills 29).
In many ways Kennedy did increase US involvement in Vietnam to benefit and protect the south, one of the reasons being Kennedy’s awareness of the limitations and weaknesses of the South Vietnamese Army. The instability of a demoralised army would lead to further political problems and make it very difficult for the south to defend its self from the north. However the USA still needed to protect its own vital national interests. The spread of communism was still a growing concern and a massive threat to the USA which argues that the reason USA became involved with the south was to protect USA from the spread of communism rather than to help the people of South Vietnam. Kennedy and the USA was committed to containment meaning the US foreign policy was predicated by the commitment to protect freedom wherever it was under threat which was applied perfectly to South Vietnams situation.
The key reason was fear of communism, especially since the ‘Domino Theory,’ supported the threat of communism reaching Australia. Australia also had a responsibility to help America in the Vietnam War due to the SEATO and ANZUS treaties. Finally, by following the government’s defence policy of ‘Forward Defence,’ Australia needed to be involved in the Vietnam War to contain communism away from Australia’s
Mao criticised Khrushchev for his policies such as de-Stalinisation and his secret speech. He was also very critical of the policy of Peaceful Coexistence as he believed it was a way of being friendly with the United States (the enemy) and also Mao saw it abandoning millions of comrades struggling to free themselves of capitalist and imperialist oppression. This, therefore, made the USSR an ‘enemy’. How could two countries work together if they had such differing beliefs about how to run their countries? This problem had a big contribution to the split as they couldn’t agree on anything, and if they did, it was because their national interests were at risk.
Another reason to why America is to blame is after the success of the atomic bomb the members of the Grand Alliance began to see changes in Truman’s behaviour as he started to control the meetings they had and Stalin refused to be bossed around so arguments between Stalin and Truman started, they started. The USSR is to blame for the breakdown of the Grand Alliance for many reasons. One reason is that the USSR wanted to impose big respirations on Germany but America and Great Britain refused as they knew how it would affect Germany and could cause another war. A second reason is that Stalin wanted most of Europe to become communist, Roosevelt and Churchill didn’t agree. After Truman became Americas new President there was a lot of tension at the Potsdam Conference.
President James K. Polk and President George W. Bush had both wanted to go to war with countries that they believed had been a threat to the United States. They both had believed that these two countries that they had wanted to go to war with had been terrorizing American citizens. Both presidents had honestly believed that the only way to settle this dispute was to go to war. These two presidents had manipulated the government and Americans into thinking that that the only option they had left was to go to war. They both made citizens feel that their lives were going to be, if not already, in danger.
The Cold War is a war without guns and bombs amongst the Allies during 1945 to 1991, after World War Two. As the common enemy Germany and Japan were defeated, the balance between allies was no longer be there and a high level of tension was brought by the end of the war. USA and the USSR were the major two parties in the Cold War, their arguments were based on their different political opinions, which is capitalism and communism and it was the disagreement with each other caused the high level of tension between the Allies by the end of World War Two. The main difference between USA and the USSR is that they have a different point of view of politics. The USSR was a communist country and the USA is a capitalist country, just like China and USA now.