Why Did The U.S Get Involved In The Vietnam War?
|Short & Quick Answer:
1. First Reason: The U.S And Its Western Allies Feared The Domino Theory. They Wanted To Stop The Expansion of Communism Under Any Circumstances.
2. Second Reason: North Vietnam Attacked In A Naval Ship of The U.S. It Is Still Controversial, Whether They Really Attacked On The US Ship or It Was Just A Conspiracy Theory By The United States Government.
3. Third Reason: It Was An Era of Cold War. The United States And Its Allies Did Not Want Communist Soviet Union’s Dominance In That Region.
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Vietnam War was one of the most brutal events in human history that ever happened after the Second World War.
More than 2.9 million Vietnamese and 58,000 US soldiers lost lives in that disaster.
But, what were the reasons for the United States’ involvement in it?
Why did our country, the U.S get involved in the Vietnam War?
Here in this post, we are going to discuss this answer.
So, stay tuned.
You are going to learn the three core reasons throughout this answer.
1. The U.S Feared About The Domino Theory
In 1954, Vietnam was temporarily got divided into two parts. One part became North Vietnam and the other part became South Vietnam.
According to the Geneva treaty, North Vietnam became a communist nation and South Vietnam became a pro-west nation (A friendly nation to the US, UK, and other western countries).
But gradually, in South Vietnam also, the influence of the communists started growing, which made the USA and other western powers a little worried.
They didn’t want South Vietnam to become a communist nation.
Especially, the United States and its western allies feared the Domino Theory.
But what was it?
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As per the theory, if communists get able to control a nation’s ruling power then they would start capturing other neighboring nations’ ruling power also.
Communalists’ influence would start bringing down neighboring nations’ democratic governments.
The USA feared that it would end up its influence in the entire South-East Asian politics.
They didn’t want India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines to become Communist nations.
Therefore, they were always finding a keyhole to stop North Vietnam somehow.
The fear of ‘Domino theory’ or preventing communism expansion was the first and most significant factor for the United States’ entry into the war of Vietnam.
2. North Vietnam Attacked In A Navy Ship of The U.S
On August 2nd, 1964, North Vietnam attacked a navy ship of the USA, named ‘USS Maddox, DD-731’ at the Gulf of Tonkin.
But here, they made a major mistake.
The mistake was that they attacked the US navy ship in the international water boundary.
The American government used it as a big opportunity.
After this incident, the USA officially entered the war against North Vietnam.
In history, this incident is known as the Gulf of Tonkin incident or the USS Maddox incident.
However, this incident remained controversial for many decades.
Because, Although the original American report blamed North Vietnam for that incident, some other reports like ‘Pentagon Papers’ proved in 2005 that it was a conspiracy theory created by the United States government.
They did it because they wanted a strong reason for entering the war and showing the public the war’s legitimacy.
In later years, this war frenzy of the United States government faced a lot of criticism on the international stage. Even, the US public started protesting against the government.
3. The US And Its Allies Did Not Want Soviet Union’s Dominance
Many experts agree with one fact, that the war of Vietnam was one of the worst results of the Cold War between the Communist Soviet Union and the United States of America.
The country just became a ground for these two giants’ proxy war.
According to them, these two superpowers were mainly responsible for the deaths of millions of innocents (primarily Vietnamese).
The US and their Western allies believed that if they did not interfere in Vietnam, then the Soviet Union would increase its domination. And this will either increase the impact of communism in the entire South-Eastern part of the Asia continent.
The United States never wanted the Soviets to become powerful here and hence when they entered, it ultimately became a ground for a proxy war.
Because the Soviet Union and China also came further to help North Vietnam.
Although, the Soviet Union didn’t directly fight the war; but by providing money, arms, and other necessary equipment, they helped North Vietnam a lot.
Did The United States Succeed In Their Intention?
No, with the help of China and the USSR, the small country almost defeated the United States of America.
Even, America had to lose its 58,000 soldiers. This was, of course, a massive disaster for the powerful nation’s dignity.