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The fact that ideology played a driving force in policymaking epitomizes the notion that Vietnam had more to do with the international context of the cold war than it did the country itself.The symbolism of losing a country to communist rulers via military dictatorship was a paradigm of failure to the US.
Johnson persisted in fighting a war of attrition mainly due to strong international political pressure to support democracy and eliminate communism.
In his book titled “The Vietnam War: A Concise International History,” Mark Lawrence proposed that the broader international context of the cold war along with the openness to influence of Vietnam allowed the war to take place in the first place.
Therefore, we see this issue of reputation and accountability for third world countries present for not only the US, but for the Soviet Union as well.
The general theme of international democratic and/or communist hegemony was largely at stake for both sides.
One such country was Vietnam, an Indochina region that was historically under French control.
During the 1960’s and 70’s, however, there was also influence by China over Vietnam.In essence, the US was trying to stop the overall spread of Communism.One clear example was the Marshal Plan in rebuilding Europe.While this relatively insignificant location was an obscure location for the US to attack, this sample history paper by Ultius explains how it fit perfectly into the context of the cold war.As an ideological battle for supremacy, the US felt that it was integral to offer relentless support to the anti-communist forces in an effort to undermine the influence of both China and the Soviet Union.One such shift in the larger geopolitical environment was the cold war.The Soviet Union was aggressively pursuing their policies of aiding and spreading socialist ideals while simultaneously the US was implementing containment.(Read more about the events of the Vietnam War.) A primary reason for US intervention was the fact that America’s reputation was largely at stake.Early on, efforts to unify the country under one regime was seen by “policymakers…Therefore, it was important for the US to quickly intervene in Vietnam’s affairs.The critical importance of Vietnam was present because of its relative ideological flexibility and the fact that the superpowers were aggressively policing and spreading their ideologies.