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Eisenhower and U.S. Policy in Southeast Asia - Essay Example

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Eisenhower and U.S. Policy in Southeast Asia

Vietnam policy under Eisenhower can be summed up with two headings. First, a reluctance to actively go to war in Vietnam using the full power of the American military attack force, in spite of the fact that Eisenhower acknowledged the Communist threat from China in Southeast Asia. This reluctance created domestic political friction within the Republican Party and cause a split between those who fiercely opposed Communism and favored full-scale war with Vietnam and Eisenhower, who held back for both external and internal reasons.Secondly, Eisenhower’s precedence led future Administrations to the focus on air attacks rather than directing the attack on land forces. Once the U.S. finally invaded militarily, this policy created initial setbacks in the war as the Vietnamese showed their superior land power that later led to the defeat and withdrawal of American forces. Because the Vietnamese were able to hide in the jungles and sustain minimal damage, air attacks were ineffective and the policy to send in limited land forces – a policy rooted in the Eisenhower era -- proved unwise because the strength of the Vietnamese was in their guerilla land forces and they would very clearly demonstrate to the Americans – just as they had to the French – that the Vietnamese would not be defeated on land.Eisenhower’s policy on Vietnam is best revealed by two significant events. The first event established the political framework for his policy and that was Eisenhower’s famous domino theory....
Secondly, Eisenhower's precedence led future Administrations to the focus on air attacks rather than directing the strength of the attack on land forces. Once the U.S. finally invaded militarily, this policy created initial setbacks in the war as the Vietnamese showed their superior land power that later led to the defeat and withdrawal of American forces. Because the Vietnamese were able to hide in the jungles and sustain minimal damage, air attacks were ineffective and the policy to send in limited land forces - a policy rooted in the Eisenhower era -- proved unwise because the strength of the Vietnamese was in their guerilla land forces and they would very clearly demonstrate to the Americans - just as they had to the French - that the Vietnamese would not be defeated on land.
Eisenhower's policy on Vietnam is best revealed by two significant events. The first event established the political framework for his policy and that was Eisenhower's famous domino theory. The second event that revealed how his policy would be carried out is revealed in the domestic and international debate over U.S. intervention as the French were being defeated at Dienbienphu in 1954.
On April 7, 1954, President Eisenhower held a press conference during which he was asked to comment "on the strategic importance of Indochina to the free world" (Williams, et al: 156). The President responded with the analogy of a "falling domino." He said, "You have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly. So you could have a beginning of disintegration that would have the most profound influences." He went on to say, "But when we come to the possible sequence of events, the ...Show more

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The writer of the present study "Eisenhower and U.S. Policy in Southeast Asia" will conduct a detailed research regarding the purpose and implementation of Eisenhower policy in Southeast Asia by the United States and how it reflected on the world history…
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Eisenhower and U.S. Policy in Southeast Asia essay example
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