Why the US went to Vietnam and not Europe?

Reply Sat 13 May, 2017 06:08 pm
There's one thing that always bothered me about war in Vietnam. The official reason was to prevent of spreading the Communism.. that US didn't want USSR influence in South Vietnam.

If that's true, the thing that bothers me is.. a few years earlier when WWII was ending, United States had no problem with basically giving eastern half of Europe to Stalin? Including their allies like Poland - the very first victim of Germany and one of the winners of this war. Why did US cared so much about south Vietnam and didn't care about half of Europe? This just doesn't make sense. It looks like US didn't care about spreading communism - so why did they go to Vietnam?
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Reply Sat 13 May, 2017 08:00 pm
At the end of WWII, Russian troops were already installed in Eastern Europe, they had been there for years. Exhausted from having to fight Germany AND Japan, the US was in no military position to spend the next several years of WWII level combat with an armed foe who has a massive army. And we didn't want to have to drop another atomic bomb.

Instead, the Western Allies put together NATO which prevented further Russian expansion, and waited for Russia to either evolve into a modern democratic state or collapse economically. The latter happened.
Reply Thu 25 May, 2017 10:22 pm
Hmm.. you didn't answer my question. I agree with you that attacking USRR after WWII wouldn't make sense. The US was exhausted after WWII. BUT, even so, they did go to Vietnam. Why? The very first answer is - "they wanted to prevent expansion of communism".

So my question was, IF this is true that the US was so afraid about Communism, why did they cared so much about half of some country in Asia? Super difficult territory, close to Soviets, with almost no allies. At the same time, Europe is loaded with allies (specially in countries occupied by Russia) and in case of winning we're talking about gaining half of Europe continent - not half of the country.

Why Vietnam was so important?
Reply Fri 26 May, 2017 09:50 am
I believe I did answer your question. The difference between Vietnam and Eastern Europe was that in Eastern Europe, the Russian military was already in there. For the United States to keep going toward Russia, we and the Western Allies would have had to face well-entrenched Russian and Soviet troops who were all set up in Eastern Europe already, just waiting for us to arrive. That is a far more difficult task than going to a country and fighting a native foe who might be supplied with arms by Russia, but not actual Russian manpower in there.

I don't personally believe that going into Vietnam was a very good idea, we should have not have done it. The people of Vietnam were getting ready to elect the leader who threw the colonial French out, Ho Chi Minh, and while the US didn't like him the fact is that it was the Vietnamese' country and their right to elect any leader they wanted. But to answer you question, the reason we went into Vietnam was that with the Soviet Union's brutal domination of Eastern Europe, the US felt it was compelled to stop the spread of Communism-even if the Vietnamese wanted to freely elect a Communist leader.
Reply Fri 26 May, 2017 07:01 pm
thanks, that makes sense. I did some more reading and you're right.. I think you also forgot to add that at this point Soviets had at least a few atomic bombs and there was no defense agains those weapons yet. Btw. probably because of that Stalin said to Roosevelt and Churchill (more or less) "F you guys, I'm taking half of the Europe and you can't do anything about it"Razz

Vietnam to me looks like a message, which US tried to deliver but kinda failed. That was a very weird war. So many facts are just.. they don't add up:)
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