Do you know much about what had been going on during the Vietnam War? As many of you know, there were a lot of people who died from this war. As we have learned that it is difficult to collect the data, it is estimated that the total number of the casualties ranges from 1.3 millions to 3.9 millions people. Though the damages of United States were small if you compare with the ones of Vietnam, it still paid a lot of cost for them, for example the less credibility of United States in the role of international world. In this post, I am briefly going to elaborate on why United States came to involve in the Vietnam War and my evaluation about it.
Even though United States did not seem to have any interest in Vietnam, it persisted in involving in Vietnam War after French retreated from Vietnam. Why did they want to involve the Vietnam War? The answer seems to be easy, because the policy makers in United States was afraid of spreading the Communism. Let’s think about the historical context. In this age, so called the age of “the Cold War”, the international world was a bipolar system, which means that there were two superpowers, United States and Soviet Union, in the world and most countries belonged to each side of polar. Especially, some developing countries seeking the decolonization and the independence from the Western countries, like Vietnam, were divided into 2 groups, people who wanted to adapt Capitalism or Communism, the Republic of Vietnam and Democratic Republic of Vietnam. In terms of the Realist view, United States and Western countries feared the spreading of Communist because they thought their life would have been unsecured if the idea of Communism had spread within the developing countries. If you think from the viewpoint of Realism, it is quite reasonable that United States started the Vietnam War even if they had had to pay a lot of cost.
However, in my opinion, the explanation from Realist is not enough. One of the reasons is that there must have been interactive effects not only of United States to Vietnam, but from Vietnam to United States. For example, it is often stated that Superpowers formed proxy states not to move to another ideology, but it could be said that both groups in Vietnam used the proxy states to topple the other group. In the complexity of the international world, many factors, like their contribution in UN, economies, and the development of technology, should be considered and it is almost impossible to interpret it from one viewpoint.