The United Statesfirst got involved in Vietnam when President Harry Truman extended official international recognition of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia on Feb. 7, 1950 (according to Professor Sandra Whittman, Oakton Community College, Des Plaines Illinois). This recognition by Truman was by way of taking sides with the south, as the north’s communist-led aggression led American presidents to fear the “Domino Theory”: when one country falls to the communists, such as Korea, others will fall like dominos, too; and if Vietnam was to fall, Truman, and later Eisenhower believed, all of Truman set up a group of “advisors” known as the Military Assistance and Advisory Group (MAAG), to advise the French, as they fought communist- led insurgents (Viet Minh) in the north of Vietnam.
Truman initiated the training of “unconventional warfare operations and forces.” And when the French were defeated by the Viet Minh at the battle of Dien Bien Phu, President Dwight D. Eisenhower established a CIA military mission in In July, 1959, thefirst American military deaths occurred as two “advisors” (soldiers) were killed. By 1961, under President John Kennedy, there were 1,500 Americans in South Vietnam.
In August, 1964, President Johnson responds to an alleged attack on the U.S. Navy (in the Gulf of Tonkin) by getting Congress to approve the bombing of North Vietnam and later (in 1965), Johnson sends ground troops. Up to a half a million troops are engaged by the late 1960s. Question: What was the common link between all four U.
S. presidents’ Answer: Communism and the “Domino Theory.” What caused the U.
S. to commit to the war’ The goal was stopping the communists…