Q:

Why did the Vietnam War start?

A:

Quick Answer

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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Full Answer

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:

    What were the protests against the Vietnam War?

    A:

    The protests against the Vietnam War were a series of demonstrations against American involvement in the conflict between North and South Vietnam. Protests were initially peaceful and included sit-ins or teach-ins or marches, but they eventually erupted into violence.

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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:

    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:

    What started the Vietnam War?

    A:

    The Vietnam War began as a colonial conflict between the Viet Minh of Ho Chi Minh and the French administration that was seeking to regain control of Indochina after World War II. This conflict culminated in the French leaving Vietnam, the dividing of the country into two parts and the United States stepping in and replacing the French first with military advisors and then with active ground troops.

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