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Debating the Past: the Vietnam Commitment

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Debating the Past: The Vietnam Commitment
Rene Nodal
HIS 145
August 26, 2015
Nancy Fraleigh
Debating the Past: The Vietnam Commitment

The conflict in Vietnam was controversial to say the least for many reasons. Many did not agree with the U.S. becoming involved with politics in southeast. As America went through the cold war it developed policies regarding communism and strategies to contain it that would later fuel interests in many other countries around the world including Vietnam. Choices would shape how the commitment in Vietnam would change from aid into a costly all-out war exacerbated by the lack of clarity in regards to the overall goal of the U.S. in Vietnam. In the aftermath of the cold war with the U.S.S.R, America engaged in many small conflicts around the globe for various official reasons and for one real reason: The Containment theory. There were many instances in which American military had a direct involvement with another country that dabbled in communism or had communist ties. Both Venezuela and Cuba, for example had dealt with America because of its ties to communism. Vietnam was to be no different. The French had left and where they occupied the United States would support it with military equipment and financial aid. The American presence in South Vietnam initially was mostly military advisors and its cadre. It was very challenging in many ways. The government initially supported a man named Ngo Dinh Diem who seemed to be a strong character capable of being the face of the anti-communist south; Lyndon Johnson once called him the Churchill of South East Asia. For a while Diem was successful and the north responded by allowing the Viet Cong to instigate and destabilize the south by murdering village elders and leaders or destroying livestock and farmland in typical guerrilla warfare tactics. It worked and Diem began losing popularity…...

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