“‘We have 30 Vietnams’, Robert Kennedy told a journalist. On the face of it he had reason to be confident,” (Harman 571). The United States had always succeeded in war thus far, with guerilla movements being defeated in Latin America and any reoccurrence of the Cuban Revolution being shut down. In the mid-1960s, the CIA pushed generals to destroy the most powerful Communist Party in the Third World in the Congo. America, as Harman describes, was seemingly invincible, until its involvement in the Vietnam War.
After World War II, the Soviet Union had been established as the United States’ main world rival, a rivalry that would become known as the Cold War. This period of harsh tensions would last all the way till the end of the 20th century. Right from the beginning, the United States had been adamant on stopping the spread of Communism through the strategy of Containment. Successful tactics were used through the Marshall plan, Truman Doctrine, and the Korean conflict which actually saw U.S troops in combat trying to stop Communism. The Korean conflict set a precedent for the United States as they were so dedicated to stopping Marxism’s spread, they would physically fight for it.
Also, hundreds and thousands of soldiers were injured. John F. Kennedy believed in a democracy; on the contrary, Ho Chi Minh wanted a communist government. Both wanted what they thought was the best for their country and their beliefs. It was Kennedy’s decision from the beginning to send troops to Vietnam to help the South Vietnamese out. Ho Chi Minh was a nationalist leader for the communist North Vietnam.
One example of Communist aggression by North Korea, was the act of actually invading South Korea unprovoked which subsequently prompted the reaction from the United Nations and the US in particular. Another example of aggression from these two Communist nations, was the armament of North Korea, which was aided considerably by Stalin who supported North Korea as they had mutual Communist beliefs. In February of 1950, Stalin provided equipment for an additional 60,000 North Korean troops, more tanks and other forms of assistance; this was a clear case of Communist aggression. A third case of Communist aggression was after the North Koreans occupied the South, they carried out the brutal slaughtering of approximately 26,000 civilians between July and September 1950. Communist aggression was the most important reason because without the original assault by North Korea there would’ve been no war, merely suspicion on the US’ part regarding Stalin and other Communist nations’ activities.
US wanted to focus on itself and the problems they faced within the country, never mind foreign problems. It would be a citizens surprise that the United States became a world superpower at one point and was becoming involved much more in global events and issues. Some believe that the United States shifted from isolationism to being involved in war for self-defense reasons while other say its a combination of economic reasons and self-defense. It began due to the bombing of Pearl Harbor and ever since then the US has not been for isolationism. The country then feared the spread of communism which lead into more global involvement.
Prior to the war, the tension between the United States and the Soviet Union was extremely volatile despite having been allies in World War II. The Cold War, if thought about too closely, was actually in a comical sense in that it was the United States and the Soviet Union fighting each other without ever actually fighting each other. Instead, each nation used other “client” nations to fight for their beliefs on their “behalf”. In the Korean War this was very evident. The Soviet Union, a communistic nation, supplied the weapons to the North while anti-communist United States supplied the
The focus after the Korean war was the nuclear arms race and to stop the spread of communism mainly. But they also wanted to avoid a nuclear war. The US and NATO forces were placed in countries near Eastern Europe to protect the spread of communism. Each power wanted more nuclear bombs than the other but as long as they were equal no nuclear war would break out. This was the balance of terror.
We have conflicting values protecting our country and the rise of communism. Ideological theorists claim that the Soviets and the Americans so believed in the superiority of their respective values and beliefs that they were willing to fight a cold war to
We joined forces with other nations in that effort, an effort that was mostly successful in Europe. Containment in East/Southeast Asia had one big success in Japan, but the war in Korea, losing China, and losing Vietnam in ’75 were major failures in containing communism. The Cold War was an era of major paranoia over a nuclear war and the spread of “red” throughout the world, and the U.S. leaders over that time period did their best to keep those bad things at
Moreover, USA also sent troops in Vietnam. For non-military interventions, it is possible to explain US policy in Taiwan and Japan. In 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea. From this point, the US sent troops in South Korea in order to ‘contain’ the spread of Communism : thsi intervention is often seen as the first one concerning the containment policy. On the surface, this war can be seen as a success for the United States as Communist forces were maintained on the north of the 38th parallel.