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There are many critical questions surrounding United States involvement in Vietnam American entry to Vietnam was a series of many choices made by five successive presidents during these years of 1945-1975 The policies of John F Kennedy during the years of 1961-1963 were ones of military action diplomacy and liberalism Each of his decision was on its merits at the time the decision was made The belief that Vietnam was a test of the Americas ability to defeat communists in Vietnam lay at the center of Kennedys policy Kennedy promised in his inaugural address Let every nation knowthat we shall pay any price bear any burden meet any hardship support any friend oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty From the 1880s until World War II France governed Vietnam as part of French Indochina which also included Cambodia and Laos The country was under the formal control of an emperor Bao Dai From 1946 until 1954 the Vietnamese struggled for their independence from France during the first Indochina War At the end of this war the country was temporarily divided into North and South Vietnam North Vietnam came under the control of the Vietnamese Communists who had opposed France and aimed for a unified Vietnam under Communist rule Vietnamese who had collaborated with the French controlled the SouthFor this reason the United States became involved in Vietnam because it believed that if all of the country fell under a Communist government Communism would spread throughout Southeast Asia and further This belief was known as the domino theory The decision to enter Vietnam reflected Americas idea of its global role-US could not recoil from world leadership The US government supported the South Vietnamese government The US government wanted to establish the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization SEATO which extended protection to South Vietnam Cambodia and Laos in case of Communist subversion SEATO which came into force in 1955 became the way which Washington
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