The USA was so committed to the containment of Communism that direct conflict was inevitable

Essay by smoking_alcoHigh School, 12th grade August 2004

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American intervention in the conflict in Vietnam started on its inevitable path ever since the closing months of the Second World War. The fate of Indochina was discussed (but not a high priority) at the Potsdam Conference, which began on 17 July 1945. The settlement called for the division of the country at the 16th Parallel in which the Allies (mainly the British) were to occupy the South and to have Chiang-Kai-Shek's Nationalist forces occupy the North to disarm the Japanese. A few months later, Ho Chi Minh declared the independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) on 2 September 1945.

Ho Chi Minh along with General Giap and the Vietminh were able to win Allied confidence through their operations against the Japanese during the war. Ho appealed for international aid. He first had trouble with the Chinese Nationalists who had set up the Vietnam Revolutionary League (Dong Minh Hoi) and was against Ho's Communist movement.

But he was able to sway them and gain control of the Dong Minh Hoi by saying he was a Nationalist foremost, and a Communist second. This made the Vietminh a mixture of both Communists and Nationalists. He was able to advance the Vietminh cause with help from Chinese Communists, Nationalists, Americans and British.1

After the war, Ho sought for the recognition of an independent DRV. The Allies ignored him because they were more concerned with maintaining good ties with France than supporting his idea of Vietnamese self-determination.2 By 1946, communication between the DRV and the USA ceased which made Ho suspicious of their motives. US President Harry Truman feared Communism and refused to deal with Ho because of his Communist beliefs, despite also being a Nationalist and Democratic.

With Ho's allies failing him, he sought recognition instead from fellow Communist countries USSR...