The war first began in 1959, five years after the division of the country by the Geneva Accords. Vietnam had been split into two. The communist government in the north was under Ho Chi Minh and democratic government in the south was under Ngo Dinh Diem. The Vietnam War stated because France tried to make another attempt to takeover Vietnam by having a foreign power to rule.
In Vietnam the target of containment was Ho Chi Minh and the Vietnam front he had created in 1941. Ho and his chief lieutenants were communists with long-standing connections to the Soviet Union. The communists saw the Vietnam War as an extension of their struggle with France, as another attempt by a foreign power to rule Vietnam, and as a war of national liberation. China and the Soviet Union supported the Vietnamese Communists with war materials but not troops. That was when the United States stepped in.
The United States’ involvement in Vietnam began on 1 November 1955, when President Eisenhower deployed the Military Assistance Advisory Group to South Vietnam to help train the Southern Vietnamese army. Though there were already Americans present in the Vietnam conflict, it was not until 1961 when President Kennedy signed the Foreign Assistance Act of 1962 which granted military aid to countries that were “on the rim of the communist world and under direct attack.” The Vietnam War was the longest war in which the Unites States took part in.
The U.S. sent financial aid and military advisors to South Vietnam hoping to thwart a takeover by the communist led by Ho Chi Minh. The American attention was focused primarily on Europe and Asia beyond Vietnam. Their conception of Vietnam was that it was a cold war battleground largely the struggle for social justice and national sovereignty occurring within the country. North Vietnam wanted to end U.S. support of South Vietnam and to unite the north and south into a single nation. The U.S. and South tried their best to stop...
Cited: US Wings, Inc. “Facts, Stats, and Myths”.google.com.2011 http://www.uswings.com/vietnamfacts.asp. Jan 24
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