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American Foreign Policy and Its Involvement with Vietnam

  • Date Submitted: 10/07/2012 08:19 PM
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Humanities 253
1 May 2012
American Foreign Policy and its Involvement with Vietnam
American involvement in the Vietnam War is one of the most controversial issues in our history. What many fail to realize is that the United States foreign policies had been dictating our involvement in Vietnam long before the initial deployment of our troops into Vietnam. The fear of communism and developments of the policy of containment and the domino theory were all that were needed to build up to the war that would take many American lives.  
United States' involvement in Vietnam began as early as World War II, when American forces of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) invaded into the mountains in the northern region of Vietnam. Major Allison Thomas led the mission, "Deer." The purpose was to meet with and train a small group of Vietnamese soldiers that were fighting Japanese occupation troops, and were rescuing downed pilots; this group of Vietnamese was known as the Vietminh. The Vietminh would soon be the communist leaders of North Vietnam. At the time, American forces were not concerned that Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap were communists because America was still allied with the Soviet Union, a communist state, at that point during World War II (Westheider 2).
The Vietminh under leadership of Ho Chi Minh and with training from American OSS forces were fighting the Japanese at the same time, while also gaining more political control over the greater area of
Northern Vietnam. Minh and Giap believed that the power vacuum created by the expulsion of the Japanese would give the Vietminh an opportunity to seize control before the return of a French colonial presence in Vietnam. After the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the subsequent Japanese surrender, the Vietminh saw their chance and seized control of Hanoi on August 29, 1945, and formed the independent Democratic Republic of Vietnam with Hanoi as its capital. Americans joined in the celebrations playing...


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