Q:

Why did the Vietnam War start?

A:

Quick Answer

The Vietnam War began as a civil conflict that pitted the North Vietnamese Communist government and the South Vietnamese Communist rebels known as the Viet Cong against the non-Communist South Vietnamese government. The plan was to overthrow the South Vietnamese government and unite Vietnam as a communist state.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

The United States first became involved in military combat against the North Vietnamese in 1965, although military advisers from the United States were sent there beginning in 1950. As part of a larger strategy to contain communism, the U.S. objective in Vietnam was to prevent a Communist takeover of South Vietnam. The objectives of the U.S. were never achieved, and the American public was disillusioned with what became the longest war in American history, as of 2014.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, 8.7 million U.S. troops served worldwide during the Vietnam conflict, with 3,403,000 serving in Southeast Asia and 2,594,000 serving in South Vietnam. The U.S. lost 47,434 men in battle and 10,786 in non-battle situations for a total loss of 58,220 personnel in the conflict. All told, the total military deaths for all countries involved in the Vietnam War totaled 1.3 million, with an additional 1 million civilian deaths. In addition, there are 1,642 U.S. military personnel listed as prisoners of war or missing in action as of 2014. Direct U.S. military involvement in the war ended in August of 1973 with the passage of the Case-Church Amendment.

Learn more about Vietnam War

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What were the protests against the Vietnam War?

    A:

    The protests against the Vietnam War were a series of demonstrations against American involvement in the conflict between North and South Vietnam. Protests were initially peaceful and included sit-ins or teach-ins or marches, but they eventually erupted into violence.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why could the U.S. not win the Vietnam War?

    A:

    There are many reasons why the United States was unable to win the Vietnam War, but the most pressing issue at the time that caused its end was public opinion, which turned overwhelmingly against the war after the Vietcong launched the Tet Offensive in 1968. Although President Nixon began bombing Cambodia in what seemed like an escalation, by 1969, the government had already decided to move towards withdrawal.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why was the Vietnam War fought?

    A:

    The Vietnam War was fought because South Vietnam intended to reclaim North Vietnam. At the end of World War II, the originally French-colonized Vietnam was split into two, and the southern part was given back to France.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What was the purpose of the Vietnam War?

    A:

    The Vietnam War was fought to determine which political regime would gain control of the country and reunify it after French occupation. France backed Emperor Bao Dai in South Vietnam, while the majority of Vietnamese citizens supported Ho Chi Minh in the northern Democratic Republic of Vietnam. After the French defeat of 1954, the resultant treaty proposed a 1956 nationwide election to unify Vietnam. Instead, President Ngo Dinh Diem enlisted U.S. support to oppose Ho Chi Minh’s Communist agenda.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore