Why did the US get involved and remain in Vietnam?

Brief bullet point notes on why the US got involved and remained in Vietnam, including:

  • The official explanation
  • Idealism, economic self-interest or militarism?
  • The role of the Presidents
  • The Quagmire theory
  • The Stalemate theory
  • The Commitment trap
  • Shared responsibility
  • My person opinion on the most convincing theory and why
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A2 Vietnam 2nd October 2010

Why did the US get involved and remain in Vietnam?

The Official explanation

US was fighting against an aggressive and evil Communist movement
If Vietnam fell to Communism, other South East Asian countries would do too
(domino theory)
American national security and liberty and free…

Page 2

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A2 Vietnam 2nd October 2010

The Commitment trap

Commitment made to Vietnam by the previous president(s) made it harder for
each president's successor(s) to exit without the US and the president(s) losing

Shared Responsibility

Unfair to blame the presidents alone
Responsibility is shared by:
o Presidents advisors
o State…


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