The United States of America initially got involved in the Vietnam War after the Second World War when a Vietnamese capitalist named Ho Chi Minh called on to them for support to resist the Japanese and the French and struggle for independence. The Japanese had reportedly granted the Vietnamese nationalism which prompted nominal independence. The United States was in a bid to stop the spread of communism within the Middle East Asia and also the South American states that were not affected. In simple it marked the beginning of cold war between the capitalist’s communists which comprised of the U.S and its allies against the Soviets who were in the communist category.
The United States primarily were involved in the war due to the fear of and I quote “the domino theory.” This stated and I quote that, “when one state was occupied by communist nations then, it would expand its communist territory to the neighbouring states.”
United States forces offered military support to the Vietnamese on their fight against the French in 1954 at Bien Phu leading to its splitting into North and South. Elections were held to unite both parts of Vietnam so as to establish the capitalization of the whole nation but this attempt was only futile. The South Vietnam government asked for assistance from United States military advisors to train its army. At this instance, U.S forces started occupying several areas of Vietnam particularly the Southern area but it was not until the invasion of the U.S intelligence Maddox destroyer that it became fully involved in the Vietnam War. The Vietnamese between 1945 and 1954 with this crucial support waged war on anti-colonialism against the French and the American government donated almost 3 billion dollars and loads of ammunition to the army (James, 2010).
2,000 military advisors were sent to the Southern Vietnam Government especially after communist guerilla referred to as the Viet Cong begun to battle them. The number of advisors grew steadily but the South Vietnamese military was overpowered and it deteriorated. In 963 South Vietnam lost its most fertile delta the Mekong and this also turned many Americans against the war as innocent Vietnamese families had a cut to their food supplies (James, 2010). This was only the beginning of the United States involvement on the war but the main course came a little after which prompted full involvement of the Super power capitalist nation in Vietnam
The United States became involved in the combat in mid 1964 when an American form of a destroyer was attacked in the Tonkin Gulf by three torpedo boats from North Vietnam while on Intelligence or a spy mission. Arguably, a second attack occurred two days later and of course this was not fathomed by the then president Johnson. Air strikes against the North Vietnam symbolized the incorporation of military involvement (James, 2010). The passage of Southeast Asia was also destroyed in the attacks congress hurriedly passed the Tonkin’s resolution. This allowed the president to employ military invasion upon the region further heightening the conflict.
Operation Rolling Thunder
In 1965 President Johnson ordered the bombing of North Vietnam and its most vulnerable sectors were targeted; industrial grounds, air defense sites and road infrastructure. American bombs lasted a period of three years and a minimum of 800 tons worth of bombs were dropped in the North Vietnamese area alone. U.S marines were deployed in that particular month to save and protect the air bases and they became the first ground in the conflict.
The conflict became a full military engagement Johnson sent more than 500,000 American militia to Vietnam to attack the Viet Cong, Chu lai and the Drang Valley in April 1965 in Northern Vietnam (James, 2010). This campaign championed for the use of helicopters and modified ground artillery for higher speed on the battlefield.
The Viet Cong engaged the Americans in less head to head battles and more of hit and run attacks and guerilla ambushes. The American forces were hard on the ground but these queer attacks posed a major threat to its stability as more soldiers were killed. The fighting became intense when they attacked the Viet Cong forces that were operating in the South Vietnam area. Large amounts of ammunition and supplies were captured and the Vietnamese continued to engage in small formation and hit and run attacks.
Initially the government of U.S viewed the involvement in the Vietnam as a sure way to inhibit communist forces from taking over the Southern Vietnam after it had fully occupied the North Vietnam. The Northerners viewed the south as puppet state of the United States and they regarded the war as a colonial one and they shifted their anger towards the supposed capitalist masters (James, 2010). The attack on their intelligence destroyer meant full invasion against the rebellious Vietnamese nation and they rallied a great force to counter the attack.
The involvement of the United States in the Vietnamese war was in stages as it first started with a mere call of help to aid South Vietnam forces in terms of military advice. Fear of communism spreading in the Asian countries from the Soviet infested communist North Vietnam motivated the Americans to deploy its forces in a bid to emerge victorious in the then spread cold war. Attack of its military destroyer at the Tonkin Gulf prompted full invasion and involvement of United States.