Truman as a long-term cause of Vietnam War

  • Created by: Alasdair
  • Created on: 20-06-17 19:21
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  • Truman as a long-term cause of Vietnam War
    • Started initial US involvement in Indochina
    • Despite 8 friendly telegrams from Ho Chi Minh between October 1945 and Feb 1946, saw him as dangerous Communist
      • US did not reply to Ho leading him to being cynical about Americans and believing they were only  'interested in replacing the French'
    • Despite fact Ho saw himself as fighting for nationalistic ideas in Vietnam rather than purely Communist ones, Truman Admin saw him as part of wider Cold War rather than isolated incident
    • Truman felt need to get involved due to:
      • Attack from Republicans for 'losing' China and the Red Scare of McCarthy
    • Would only recognise Associated State of Vietnam
      • Set up by Fr in 1949
      • Under nominal leadership of Emperor Bao Dai
    • American Aid
      • Initially $10 million to support Fr military effort to maintain control in May 1950
      • Established fifteen-strong US Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) in Saigon
      • In December 1950, US gave $100 million to Franch and patrol boats, napalm bombs as well as combat machinery
      • By end of Truman's presidency in 1953, US footing nearly 80% of bill for French in their quest to keep control of Indochina
      • Between 1950 to 1953, Truman gave over $2 billion to French war effort compared to $50 million used for technical and economic support of Vt people
    • A Defence Department official warned (Nov 1950):
      • 'we are gradually increasing our stake in the outcome of the struggle...we are dangerously close to the point of being so deeply committed even to direct intervention. These situations, unfortunately, have a way of ***********."


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