In 1961, after Kennedy was elected he recognized the problem. “Now we have a problem in making our power credible, and Vietnam is the place” (Nalty 76). America did not want Russia to have the ability to aid the Communist North without a defense brought by South Vietnam. It was not as much about the U.S. stopping North Vietnam per say, but rather America stopping the spread of Communism around the World. This was called by the U.S. as “The Domino Effect.” As former American President Eisenhower said, “You have a row of dominoes set up; you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is that it will go over very quickly” (Nalty 314).
It has hurt our credibility across the world and caused a loss of faith in government by its citizens. Although the necessity of the war is argued by many, it is only done in an analysis of its occurrence. Had it not happened and the world possibly fell under Communism, then we would be arguing the exact opposite. The United States did what it felt it had to do at the time, given the information it had. To go to war in Vietnam was a risk the US felt it had to take in order to contain Communism, thus securing its economic prosperity and worldwide dominance.
(b) How far was President Kennedy determined to use military forces in South Vietnam in order to stop the spread of communism in Southeast Asia? There is two sides to each argument in this answer one side will show how determined Kennedy was to using military force and the other side would be to show how he tried to use other options. Firstly I am going to describe how I think that Kennedy was determined or willing to use military force. Firstly he started out by carrying on Eisenhower’s plans for guerrilla warfare by training the South Vietnamese army and giving them supplies and equipment to try and fight the war like that instead of using American troops even though he criticised Eisenhower’s soft defence against communism but still carried on with some of his plans. After the failure of that he introduced things such as the strategic hamlets (Agrovilles) which were villages that were surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by troops, to isolate National Liberation Front (NFL) guerrillas from political recruits and other responses.
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.
Washington and Monroe believed that the United States should not become involved in European affairs because of the weakness of the US. They didn’t want to get involved in foreign affairs because they did not have the muscle to deal with war if war should come. They figured that it was better to not get involved than to get involved and work themselves into a corner. It is possible to follow the Monroe Doctrine today, if one is referring to political affairs, and not to trade. Just because its possible doesn’t mean we should or are doing it.
Our founding fathers fought for a separation of powers between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches to avoid conflict and rise of power in one or more branches. In that aspect I believe the government works in a constructive manner to ensure equality between the branches, however, in the matter of working in a constructive manner for the good of the people is less certain. This country is facing an economic crisis and there are members of both parties that would tell the general public they would like the war in Afghanistan and Iraq to come to an end when in reality an economic recovery is the last thing they want to happen in a foreign country. The Republican Party, for example, would have liked to see a higher unemployment rate towards the end of 2012 in hopes of decreasing the chances of the President’s re-election. Higher unemployment rates lead to a more devastating economic crisis resulting in the failure to re-elect a democratic President or more precisely, our current President.
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.
In the early 30’s US due to President Hoover’s views on Foreign Policy believing that the US should not go into “firm commitments” where they would have to promise security to other countries. He did however believe in treaties but opposed using economic sanctions against dissentients, saying it would only cause military involvement. This almost detached was the US was going is looked back at was our stage of isolationism. We started severely isolationist in the start of the 30’s as time progressed towards the late 30’s and early 40’s America does a 180 and starts to interfere sneakily with the World’s problems. As the economy started to fail America seemed to have stepped back from foregin affairs and focused on problems within their own
President Nixon's Watergate scandal only seemed to fortify this distrust. Congress, in an effort to prevent another conflict like Vietnam in the future, passed the War Powers Act. This stated that Congress had to be informed that troops would be into possible combat situations, and had to take action of those troops within 60 days (Schulzinger, 1999). It would seem as though the Vietnam War and all of the battles our nation had to endure at this fragile moment in history would help define our nation. The United States was torn in many factions at that time period, Civil Rights Movement being a major one.