American incompetancy as a Cause of Southern Vietnamese downfall

Essay by dickeUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, April 2004

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The American presence in Vietnam had steadily increased from the Truman administration to Kennedy's decision to initiate greater American involvement in the early 1960's. The US policy since the beginning of the Cold War had been containment of Communist aggression and advances. However, since the ill-advised escalation of American involvement into the Vietnamese civil war, the circumstances of Vietnam continually intensified and a lack of unity and structure prevailed within American foreign policy. The fatal downfall of the United States government's involvement in the Vietnam War up to 1969 was its lack of this cohesion and direction in American foreign policy towards the South Vietnamese and their state. The American policy's demise can be attributed to failed efforts to gain military and political stability and direction in South Vietnam, as well as the opposition to pro-war policy amongst the American government and population.

After the partition of Vietnam at the seventeenth parallel America's main concern for South Vietnam, in the defence against a Communist takeover, was to lend its support to a properly appointed and U.S.

approved leader that would provide a solid and stable opposition to Ho Chi Minh in the north. A strong government to unite the people of the south was needed and America, the new 'liberators' of the South Vietnamese, believed that Ngo Dinh Diem was the solution. The American government admired Diem's administrative experience and devoted patriotism and in addition his anti-Communist sentiment appealed to the American president Eisenhower. Diem with heavy American support was guided into the leading position of The Republic of Vietnam. The southern Vietnamese initially accepted Diem mainly because viable alternatives where somewhat limited. Diem promised a number of reforms that would aid the south in a rebuilding process. However, Diem immediately struggled to connect with and unite the various political...