It is difficult to pinpoint the exact reasons why the U.S. became involved in the Vietnam Conflict. Perhaps one of the more convincing reasons can be attributed to the strong disdain most Americans had for Communism. The U.S. government feared that Communism, if not prevented, would spread throughout the nations. The federal government used President Eisenhower’s “domino theory,” which stated, “if one country in Southeast Asia collapsed to Communism then surrounding countries would soon fall” to rally support for their intentions to save Vietnam from Communism (Davidson, 2011, p. 839). The true reasons for U.S. involvement in the Vietnam Conflict is debatable, however one thing is clear, the war caused further division in a country already suffering from its own social issues.
There had been conflict in the Vietnam long before the U.S. became involved in the conflict. Vietnam had been occupied by foreign countries for many years, and by 1940, Vietnam was under both French and Japanese rule. Ho Chi Minh, a Communist Vietnamese revolutionary leader, vowed to create a Vietnam that was independent of foreign rule (Davidson, 2011, p. 839). Ho Chi Minh established the Viet Minh whose main purpose was to liberate Vietnam from French and Japanese control. Northern Vietnam supported the Viet Minh efforts to create an independent Vietnam and joined forces with southern communist Vietcong to overthrow South Vietnam and unite Vietnam under one Communist government.
The French were unwilling to relinquish control of Vietnam and decided to fight back. The U.S., in an effort to uphold its Cold War foreign policy of containment, which basically meant preventing the spread of Communism, decided to support the French by providing military aid. However, in 1954, the French decided to withdraw after a defeat at Dien Bein Phu. The Geneva...