The Domino Theory in Relation to the Vietnam War

Essay by kutiepye922University, Bachelor's February 2004

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The struggle for Vietnam in the middle of the twentieth century came from a long rooted nationalist movement that had Vietnam pitted against itself. The North Vietnamese led by Ho Chi Minh, were trying to reunite the country after it was taken over by the Japanese during World War II. This attempt by Ho Chi Minh to unite the country went uncontested, but the fact that he tried to unite the country through military means sparked outside interest from other countries. The other countries would be forced to act militarily to preserve their interests in Vietnam.

To properly understand why American interest was sparked and why the United States felt compelled to go to war in Vietnam, the reader must first understand what happen to the country of Vietnam after World War II. After World War II, Vietnam was occupied by the Chinese for approximately seven months after the war before the French troops took over the occupation.

Fighting broke out between French and Vietnamese troops in November of 1946. "The French launched a war against the "Viet Minh", Ho Chi Minh's forces in the northern part of Vietnam. Ho realized how a small, less industrialized country must fight against a stronger enemy. Ho Chi Minh's forces would attack, harass, and then melt away." This strategy worked very well for Ho's troops as they battered and beat the French army. The French tried to strike quickly with a large amount of force against Ho's troops. The goal of the French throughout the war was to get into a large scale battle with the Vietnamese. The French thinking was that their superior weapons, armor, and military expertise would crush a light armed less advanced army. Ho knew that this was the French wanted and that is why Ho's...