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The main reason to why United States of America got involved into Vietnam War which was between the non-communist South Vietnam and communist North Vietnam whereby communists Northern wanted to take over the non communist Southern Vietnam was containment of Communism and the spreading of communism into the non communist democracies which was a threat to the international capital and development interests.
Communism had spread at a first rate in the region after the World War II affecting countries like China, Korea and Vietnam. Communist China had supported Vietminh which was a communist group in the North Vietnam in their fight against French rule which gave Vietminh victory over the French rule who at the time were United States government was supporting French with military aid as well as financial aid.
Communism was from Soviet Union states which always envisioned communism and counter attacked United States foreign policy which envisioned capitalism and development. These two superpowers started campaigning for other countries in the world to embracing their ideologies thus creating two competing superpowers in the world. Communism had dominated the northern part of the world leaving United States and other noncommunist in the south. The trials by these superpowers towards convincing other states to embrace their respective ideologies resulted into cold war.
After the World War II, Premier Stalin of the Soviet Union had send pledges to the United States and Britain saying that countries of Eastern Europe who had earlier liberated into communism would be allowed to hold free and fair elections but long time passed without Stalin living up his pledge but rather continued to use these nations as colonies of the Soviet Union. This action led the United States into viewing communist Soviet Union states as aggressive and was bent on world domination.
United States had to come up with foreign policies which were to be used as tools of counter attacking the spread of communism after Premier Stalin of the Soviet Union failed to give in to his pledge. A major policy is the containment doctrine which enacted by George Kennan and later had to become a major used policy by President Harry S. Truman and many who succeeded him(Williams, 1985).
The policy of containment was made so as to create a strong hindrance situation around the Soviet Union to contain communist power within the existing boundaries. United States later continued to campaign for other countries into forming treaties which were to help into further containment of communism within its boundaries. These treaties include: Central Treaty Organization (Cento), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), and other treaties with different nations of the world.
With the development of the policy of containment was the enactment of the Truman Doctrine. Truman doctrine stated that the United States would help any nation in resisting any subjugation whether internal or external by a communist ideology. This basically meant that the U.S. would however not allow communist takeover in other countries as a major act of containing communism within its boundaries.
The two doctrines were applied for the first time in Greece and Turkey when communist believed to have been under the direction of the Soviets invaded these two countries with intention of taking them over. United States offered military aid to these countries and they defeated the communists. To the United States this was a great and the first success and victory for the two policies and hence they proved applicable.
Just near the end of World War II Korea was a divided nation whereby there were two occupied zones, an American zone in the south and a communist zone in the north division. In June, 1950 the communist North Korea invaded the non-communist South Korea determined to take it over. The United States under the urge of the United Nations to the defense of the South Korea. Communist Chinese joined the war supporting the North Korean side in 1951. This convinced the United States that it was an international communism by the Soviet Union and the Chinese. The war ended up dividing Korea into two nations. United States was happy because containment and the Truman Doctrine had succeeded in Korea by stopping communist expansion.
The two policies containment and the Truman Doctrine had succeeded in Greece, Turkey and Korea. In Western Europe borders communism was totally under control and in West Berlin, which was in the communist East Germany, remained linked to democratic West Germany. This showed that the spread communist had been halted and it United States had confidence that these policies would be successive wherever a free country was invaded by a communist aggression (Etzold, 1945).
Later the policies were used in Indochina where France was a colonial ruler. During the World War II Indochina was taken by Japanese and became part of the Japanese Empire, and French power was defeated. Japanese were defeated during the war after which France reemployed the colonial control. The Vietnamese became resistant against the French rule and formed Vietminh the resistance party. United States was by then reluctant into assisting French imposing colonial rule but the cold war which was still in existence and the truth that China had became a communist nation in1949 made French capable of convincing the United States that this resistance was communist enabled. United States offered military aid to French who then raided Vietminh.
French rule was defeated by the Vietminh at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and had to lose colonial power over Vietnam. Later conference was held in Geneva Switzerland in which it was decided that it was necessary to divide Vietnam into two parts which were to be temporary, communist North Korea and non-communist South Korea after which reunification elections were to be held in 1956. South Vietnam which was then led by Ngo Dinh Diem did not to these elections claiming that there was no possibility of free elections being held without supervision of the United Nations and the elections were never held.
United States supported their stand. The North Vietnam which was led by Ho Chi Minh rejected their idea. United States then took the position that they were to remain divided into two countries, that is communist North and non communist South and United States committed itself to the survival and military assistance to the government of South Korea if need be. Each division became independent.
In early1960's there were found to be communist militia in the southern Vietnam called Viet Cong. The sect began a campaign to overthrow Ngo Dinh Diem's government. By the mid 60's United States viewed this insurgency as something perpetrated by communist North Vietnam who in then were aided and supported by Communist nations that is China and Soviet Union. In 1965 the North Vietnamese had joined the militia Viet Cong in an attempt to take over South Vietnam (Summers, 1985).
The fact that the United States had the policy of containment that was to contain and end the spread of communism and also adopted Truman Doctrine which was to help in protecting sovereign countries in resisting subjugation by communists, it was permissive for the United States to send its military men as a way to defend the sovereignty of South Vietnam as it was appealed by its government. This was done in early 1965. The militarily move by North Vietnam and the Viet Cong against South Vietnam was viewed as a contradiction to the Truman Doctrine (Griffiths, 2000).
United States viewed this attack as an attempt to spread international communism which may have been sponsored by the communists' nations. United States previous successes with the policy of containment and the Truman Doctrine made its military support commitment to the defense of South Vietnam a logical step since United States foreign policies had evolved after The World War II.