Between 1955 and 1964, the internal conflict in Vietnam opened its doors to an increasingly strong intervention by the US, which would end up launching its own war against the communist government of North Vietnam.
In our previous article we have delved into the Origins of the political conflict in Vietnam. The situation as it was presented in 1955 showed the territory of vietnam divided into two states with opposing policies. One of them was of a communist nature (North Vietnam) and the other capitalist (South Vietnam). The latter would soon open its doors to US “help” in the fight against communism.
The beginning of the American intervention
Just as it had happened just a short while ago during the Korean war, this was precisely the kind of scenario where USA came to fight their battles against the “threat communist”, which we know as the “Cold War”.
Let us remember that during the Cold Warthe USA hardened their policy against the allies of the Soviet Union. It was in this context that -in 1955- Dwight D Eisenhower (President of USA.) had pledged his strong support to South Vietnam through an alliance with Ngo Dinh Diembe the president of the Republic of Vietnam.
- That support materialized through the equipment and training that the US military provided to the South Vietnamese security forces. This allowed diem crack down on supporters of the Viet Minh who lived in the south, whom he contemptuously called Viet Cong (vietnam communist).
- A vast persecution began, in which an estimated 100,000 people were arrested, many of whom were tortured and executed. In response, around 1957, the Viet Cong and other opponents of the repressive regime of diem They began to fight again. They carried out attacks on government officials and other targets,
- Somewhat later, in December 1960, the various South Vietnamese groups opposed to diem (so much communists as non-communists) formed the National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam (FNL) to organize resistance to the regime. Although the National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam claimed to be autonomous and even though most of its members were not communists, Many in Washington they felt that the FNL would be a puppet North Vietnam.
- A team sent by the president John F. Kennedy in 1961 to report on the situation in South Vietnam he advised the increase of US aid, economic, technical and, of course, military. The goal was once again to help deal with the threat of Viet Cong. kennedy increased support from USA., although he stopped short of committing to a large-scale military intervention.
- In fact, the intervention was already irrefutable. In 1962, the military presence of USA in South Vietnam it had reached about 9,000 soldiers, up from less than 800 during the 1950s.
The beginning of the war
On November 22, 1963, kennedy was killed in Dallas. three weeks earlier in Vietnam from the south a coup d’etat took place, sharpening the political crisis. This complex panorama of instability convinced Lyndon B Johnson -a successor of kennedy as president of USA.-, to increase even more the military support of USA. a South Vietnam.
Finally, as happens sooner or later, that incident occurred which would be enough to definitively trigger the war. In August of the following year, two destroyers of USA. were attacked in Gulf of Tonkin. in retaliation, Johnson ordered the bombing of military targets in North Vietnam.
The US Congress soon approved the so-called Gulf of Tonkin Resolutionwho gave to Johnson broad powers to do war. American planes began to carry out regular aerial bombardments, within the framework of the Operation Rolling Thunderstarting in February 1965. Thus, without a formal declaration of war, the Vietnam Warwhich we will talk about in our next article.
The Cold War
The first round of the Cold War
The Division of Germany, the prelude to the Wall of berlin
The People’s Republic of China
To read more about the Cold War we recommend the following items:
1. Meeting in Washington of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ngo Dinh Diem, on wikipedia
2. An FNL soldier. on wikipedia
3. American bombers on wikipedia