Following the Geneva Conference in Switzerland, the United States had felt it was their responsibility to stop the Communist forces in Vietnam. Although Vietnam was not strategically essential to the United States, the political environment at this stage of the Cold War was such that policymakers did not want to appear soft on Communism. The Vietnam War thus represented an important shift in US Cold War policy- a loss to Communism anywhere was thought of as a loss everywhere, as was stated in the "Domino Theory." Therefore, the United States tried to do all they could to contain the communist invasion.
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