The Vietnam War was both a civil war and an international war. The fear of Soviet/Chinese intervention had the greatest impact on the American performance. The war was an international conflict involving the United States, China, and the Soviet Union. The situation was aggravated by the Chinese-Soviet hostility between 1964 and 1972 since the United States policy was geared towards making peace with both communist superpowers. Also, foreign intervention resulted in lengthening and increasing the aggressiveness of the war (Westheider 9). The war is the longest war in history that America has engaged and was the first United States’ major military upset, and had huge consequences nationally and globally.
The United States intervention in the Vietnamese war was instigated by the containment and domino theory. During the war, the three American presidents who were in power were driven by certain considerations (BBC). The Democrats were not willing the risk of being perceived as soft on communism. They feared losing more territory to communists. Personnel in charge of drawing strategies in the United States were troubled about international credibility. They felt that communists were demonstrating to the world their power, indicating that those who lacked it were decadent and doomed. President Kennedy administration wanted to prove that the United States was not decadent and doomed while President Johnson did not want to be seen as a coward by political opponents. President Nixon insisted that he and his nation were not to be defeated and humiliated (Westheider 17).
The domino theory suggested that if a communist invaded one nation, the neighbors would automatically intervene by engaging the communist. The Second World War showed democratic countries that they should not appease aggressors….