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Q&A: What was the foreign policy of the Vietnam War?

Question by sly_2314: What was the foreign policy of the Vietnam War?
Was isolationism, collective security, internationalism, or imperialism?
The US’s prospective.

Best answer:

Answer by K
From whose perceptive?

Though the foreign policies decisions that were instrumental in the Vietnam War were different from the policies that supported other international actions during the 20th century, including World War II and the Korean War, a number of the elements that led to these policies were present in governmental perspectives for decades. One of the most significant influencing factors in the policy developments of the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations was the perceived threat of communism and the necessity of action to prevent its spread. This factor had been present in the development of foreign policy since before the First World War, and led to the perception of the necessity of force to stomp out its proliferation.

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3 comments on “Q&A: What was the foreign policy of the Vietnam War?

  • America’s foreign policy at that time was the containment of Soviet style Communism (the Truman Doctrine) through collective security agreements.

  • For Vietnamese it was to win – for US it was to stop the spread of Communism – the so-called Domino Theory.

  • From my memory, I could say that some of each of these four were involved. In hindsight it’s easy to conclude that there was no clear need to either defend the critical interests of the United States, or to attempt to stop communism from spreading throughout Southeast Asia. The most compelling dynamic at the time was to stand up to the USSR which was backing Ho Chi Minh in his effort to overthrow the South Vietnamese, essentially military government. In the wake of the French withdrawal, JFK felt we could not let Soviet military might continue toppling the little states we were propping up in the name of democracy and freedom. In actuality they were kissing our asses to see what they could get from us. We didn’t really care about them, nor did they about us. I will say that once Johnson got in there, the Gulf of Tonkin resolution showed clearly that he was interested in pressing for more presidential power, and in that process, dominating congress. Which he was able to do. For a while.

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