After WW2, in South East Asia there was a high risk of spread of communism. In America's opinion, South East Asia countries were like dominoes: if one of them turned communism, others would follow its example. This is why in 1954 President Eisenhower decided to support South Vietnam in order to stop the spread of communism. By 1963 there were 17000 US advisors in South Vietnam. At that time the president of Vietnam was Diem, disliked by the most of the population, especially Buddhists which were persecuted because of their religion (Diem was catholic). In protest, Buddhist monks marched the streets and set themselves on fire. The same year the coup against Diem was planned and it was supported by the US government. In one year's time, President Johnson had gained the support of the congress to send troops to Vietnam. He claimed that those troops were meant to stop the spread of communism. By the year 1965 more than 200000 US troops were in Vietnam. This essay will look at why three US presidents decided that the only way to stop communism from spreading was to send in the troops. In May 1954 the heads of strongest countries USSR, Britain, China, USA, Vietnam and France held a meeting in Geneva, on the same day Dien Bien Phu fell. They argued about elections in Vietnam. Finally they agreed on the following parts:
Vietnam would be divided temporarily in two along the 17th parallel the North under Ho Chi Minh and South under Ngo Dinh Diem
The Vietminh forces would withdraw from the South and the French would pull out of the North
A date for the elections was fixed: July 1956
Later this meeting was referred to as the Geneva Agreement.
The president Diem was not the ideal person to be in charge of South Vietnam. He was, as one American official said, "a puppet who pulled his own strings and ours (American) as well." He put people in prison camps, he was harsh on peasants, he refused to allow an election in the South, and he persecuted Buddhists and...
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