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To What Extent Was Does Fear Of Communism Explain The Usa’s Increasing Role In Vietnam During The Years 1954 64?

1742 words - 7 pages

The reason the USA became increasingly involved in Vietnam during the years 1954 -64 is for many reasons, although whether the fear of communism is the main factor is debatable as was it the need to contain communism at any cost due to the fear of the public, creating domestic pressure, political advisors or the weakness of the French armed forces in the conflict that truly enlarged the involvement of the USA in the Vietnam War? Fear of communism in itself had many influences such as previous failure in Korea, Anti – communist presidents and also the impact the media had on the “Red Scare” creating extensive domestic pressure. As during the 1950’s Communism was seen as threat to America’s ...view middle of the document...

The government believed that no compromise could be made in Asia, therefore they saw it as their obligation to become involved in an effort to contain communism in North Vietnam, as they had previously failed to do in Korea. The fear created a pressure for the presidents of the time to produce the desired victory by becoming involved in the war, as if they failed to contain communism to North Vietnam they would be labelled with ‘Truman Syndrome’ and not be re-elected which created a motive for all presidents to make the halt of the communist expansion their main concern whilst in presidency, hence their policies in Vietnam were dictated by what the public wanted, this need was created solely by the ‘Red Scare’, as powers such as the USSR became more militarily powerful with an increase in armed power and nuclear weapons since the end of the Korean war, another country converted to communism was another reason to fear the “Red under your bed” as media had put to the country, in a time of such changing facilities such as television, propaganda was given a national platform to spread and influence the minds of the public to cry out for safety, hence the fear of communism was the main reason the USA became involved initially, and subsequently increasingly, as without the Red Scare, no call would’ve been made to become involved in a war that they did not start, and which was geographically unrelated to them.

The presidents of the USA during the years 1954-64 were all strongly anti communist, therefore jumped at a chance to become involved in a war which the French said was to prevent the expansion of communism in Asia. It was the hate of communism, rather than fear, which caused the presidents during this period to commit to the war in Vietnam. Ike was a strong believer in Truman’s domino theory therefore the Geneva agreements were perceived by the US as a win to communism, hence they refused to sign which in itself as an action showed the countries involved that America had now taken responsibility to support the south financially and militarily as an attempt to stop North Vietnam taking over the country, this increased their involvement in the war substantially as Ike then felt obliged to support them in his future actions, starting with sending billions of dollars in aid and 1,500 “advisors” to support diems government aiming to reform and protect south Vietnam. If he hadn’t been so hard on communism, with the extra desire of wanting to prove Truman weak, as he had lost china and North Korea, Ike could’ve ended the conflict in Vietnam by allowing the previously agreed elections to take place. Although his personal involvement in Vietnam was a flawed choice rather than inevitable duty as the cold war prism of Ike’s administration, which influenced subsequent activity, believed it was the US right and responsibility to intervene in the fates of other nations for the security of itself, by becoming increasingly involved in the Vietnam war, this...

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