Q:

Why did the Vietnam War start?

A:

The Vietnam War began as a civil conflict that pitted the North Vietnamese Communist government and the South Vietnamese Communist rebels known as the Viet Cong against the non-Communist South Vietnamese government. The plan was to overthrow the South Vietnamese government and unite Vietnam as a communist state.

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The United States first became involved in military combat against the North Vietnamese in 1965, although military advisers from the United States were sent there beginning in 1950. As part of a larger strategy to contain communism, the U.S. objective in Vietnam was to prevent a Communist takeover of South Vietnam. The objectives of the U.S. were never achieved, and the American public was disillusioned with what became the longest war in American history, as of 2014.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, 8.7 million U.S. troops served worldwide during the Vietnam conflict, with 3,403,000 serving in Southeast Asia and 2,594,000 serving in South Vietnam. The U.S. lost 47,434 men in battle and 10,786 in non-battle situations for a total loss of 58,220 personnel in the conflict. All told, the total military deaths for all countries involved in the Vietnam War totaled 1.3 million, with an additional 1 million civilian deaths. In addition, there are 1,642 U.S. military personnel listed as prisoners of war or missing in action as of 2014. Direct U.S. military involvement in the war ended in August of 1973 with the passage of the Case-Church Amendment.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    When was the Vietnam War?

    A:

    The commonly accepted dates for the Vietnam conflict are 1954 to 1975. Most of the military fighting occurred between 1957 and 1973. Because Congress never officially passed a vote to declare a war, the United States was never technically at war with North Vietnam.

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  • Q:

    How long was the Vietnam War?

    A:

    The Vietnam War lasted 19 years and 180 days. The war lasted from Nov. 1, 1955 to April 30, 1975, according to the dates finalized by the Department of Defense in 1998. There was no formal declaration of war to start the Vietnam conflict.

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  • Q:

    When did Vietnam start?

    A:

    Following years of unrest in the region, the Vietnam War started in 1954. The conflict began with the communist North Vietnamese aiding South Vietnamese rebels, the 'Viet Cong,' in battle against South Vietnamese troops.

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  • Q:

    What is an estimate of Vietnam War casualties?

    A:

    Approximately 58,000 U.S. casualties, along with over 3 million deaths among the people of Indochina, occurred during the American phase of the Vietnam War, which lasted from roughly 1955 to 1975. Many deaths were a direct result of military action in Vietnam, while others were suffered in Cambodia and Laos.

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