Eisenhower Vietnam War

Eisenhower Vietnam War – Photo: Eisenhower with Ngo Dinh Diem, autocratic leader of South Vietnam, at Washington National Airport, May 1957

Appendix C of this 1954 report recommended that the US “reassess our national security with regard to India, taking advantage of the combined forces available in South Asia as a whole against the spread of communism and in Southeast Asia as a unit take advantage of it.” “Whenever India is considered in the context of a regional association and not as a country in isolation, it is a step in the right direction.”

Eisenhower Vietnam War

In the 1950s, American strategists considered Asia as the most dangerous and unstable theater of conflict with the communist bloc. In Korea, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia, Americans saw dire threats to the “free world.” And nowhere do they look higher than in India.

The Vietnam War: Presidents Eisenhower And Kennedy Leadership Roles

India had been France’s jewel in Asia since the 1880s. Not only did it produce rice, rubber, tea and coffee, coal and zinc, but the colony reflected France’s great power status. During the Second World War, the Japanese conquered India, but in 1945, the French government immediately began to recover its colonial possessions. It wasn’t that easy. France’s plans were thwarted by a strong Vietnamese anti-colonial movement, which had grown stronger during the war and was led by the educated and secular communist Ho Chi Minh. In 1945, France began a military campaign to suppress the rebellion, which began a bitter thirty-year war in Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh, then known as Nguyen ai Quac, wrote to US Secretary of State Robert Lansing in 1919, asking for support in liberating Vietnam from French colonial rule.

At first, American leaders were wary of a French return to India, but with the victory of Mao’s communist revolution in China in 1949 and the outbreak of war in Korea just eight months later, the Truman administration saw French India as a front in mother. world war against communism. By 1952, the United States was paying at least half the cost of France’s war there. President Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles believed, as Dulles said in his inaugural address in 1953, that the Soviets wanted “Indochina, Siam, Burma, Malaya … the so-called rice bowl of Asia.” check” said. Ike recognized that preventing India from falling into Communist hands remained vital to America’s national security.

But how? In mid-1953, Eisenhower managed to secure an armistice in Korea, ending a heavy, expensive and unpopular war there. He did not want another Korea and was determined to keep America out of France’s war in Vietnam. His solution: give France more money and weapons to fight the communists so that American troops don’t have to. In a speech on August 4, 1953 in Seattle, he told his audience why he was so worried about India. “If India leaves, a lot of things happen immediately,” he said. India will be “chosen”; “Burma will not be in a position to defend” and “how will the free world defend the rich empire of Indonesia? … So you see,” he concluded, “somewhere along the line, this has to be stopped.” and it has to be stopped now, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

How Americans Lost Faith In The Presidency

Taken from Eisenhower’s remarks at the 1953 Governors’ Conference in Seattle. The US Army had already done the math and concluded that it would take seven army divisions and one marine division to defeat the Viet Minh [communist guerrilla forces in South Vietnam]. Along with support and logistics personnel, this meant that 275,000 men were sent to India. Just months after the end of the most unpopular war in Korea, Eisenhower was in no mood for such a dramatic move. “The Eisenhower Era”, Chapter 8

But when French forces found themselves locked in a battle with Communist forces at a northern outpost called Dien Bien Phu in the spring of 1954, Eisenhower faced a terrible dilemma. Should they send the Americans to help the French and stop a Communist victory in Vietnam? In early 1954, Eisenhower told his advisers that “he simply could not imagine the United States deploying ground forces anywhere in South Asia. . . . They are replacing the French in India. If we did this, the Vietnamese might be expected to transfer their hatred of the French to us. The president said strongly, I can’t tell you how strongly I am against such an act. This war in India will cover our soldiers with parts!”

But it was not an easy call. The French begged the Americans for more help and the use of aircraft to bomb the Communist positions at Dien Bien Phu. Most of Ike’s advisers, from Vice President Nixon to Admiral Arthur Radford, wanted to intervene militarily. John Foster Dulles pushed Eisenhower to be more aggressive. Some of Ike’s critics at home felt he was bowing to Communist threats. Eisenhower chose to stay out of the conflict in 1954.

Only a few months ago we had both [General] Chiang [Kai-shek, president of the Republic of China, who was] and a strong and good French army to support the position of the free world in South Asia. The French are out – showing more clearly than ever that we can’t lose Chiang unless we all get out of that corner of the world completely. This is not a dream for us – I feel it should be for you too. Eisenhower to Winston Churchill, February 19, 1955

Korean War Weekend At Eisenhower National Historic Site

Nevertheless, Eisenhower did not want to appear indifferent to the communist threat in Asia. Just one day after telling the NSC that there was “no possibility of unilateral US intervention in India,” Eisenhower stepped into the Indian Convention Room in the executive office building on April 7, 1954, for his regular weekly press conference. an old In some of his most famous quotes, he demonstrated the validity of the domino theory. In Vietnam, he said, “you have broader ideas that may be based on what you call the ‘domino-falling’ principle.” You’ve set up a line of dominoes, you run over the first one, and with the last one it’s sure to go over very quickly. So you can have the beginning of a breakup that will have the most profound effects.” He went on to say that “the loss of India, Burma, Thailand, the Peninsula and Indonesia for … now you’re really talking about millions and millions and millions of people. .” He concluded darkly, “The possible consequences of a loss to the free world cannot be easily calculated.”

What did this mean for US policy in Asia? Eisenhower avoided direct military intervention in India in 1954, and the French descended to defeat communist forces in North Vietnam. But Ike was determined not to allow another fiasco. After dividing Vietnam into a Communist North and a pro-Western South, Eisenhower chose to invest enormous amounts of money and prestige in turning South Vietnam into a showcase for a new “Free Asia.” Spending billions of dollars, sending military advisers, supporting the brutal tactics of the South Vietnamese regime of Ngo Dinh Diem – all these efforts would help create a pro-American atmosphere in Southeast Asia and stop communism. However, he also left a dire decision for his successors as South Vietnam faced a new war with communist forces.

Ike managed to avoid an American war in Vietnam in his two terms. But he invested so much American prestige and effort in the success of South Vietnam that by the late 1950s, America was deeply invested in its own destiny. Eisenhower created an American Vietnam, and his successors fought a hard – and losing – war to preserve it.

On December 23, 1952, after Eisenhower’s election but before his inauguration, CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow gave his audience an update on the Korean War.

Dwight Eisenhower: Change At Home And Challenge Abroad

In his first State of the Union address to Congress, President Eisenhower discussed the Korean War and Asian Communism, referring to Taiwan, the home of Chinese nationalist leader Chaing Kai-shek, as Formosa.

After French forces fell at Dien Bien Phu, the Geneva Conference of 1954 divided Vietnam. On this day in 1953, President Dwight Eisenhower, before the US Governors’ Conference in Seattle, warned that the political and military situation in Asia “has become very bad for the United States.” He spoke of the need to protect French-dominated India at a time when the French army was fighting Vietnamese communist revolutionaries for control of the country.

A week earlier, on July 27, a ceasefire was signed between US-led UN forces and China-backed North Korea, ending the Korean War after more than three years of fighting. (While the ceasefire continues, no peace agreement has yet been signed.)

The president said that American interests in South Asia are under threat. He defended his decision to ask Congress for a $400 million aid package

Obama’s National Security Policy Resembles Eisenhower’s

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