US motive for Vietnam war

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
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It didn't stop? So Thailand, Burma, India, Nepal, Pakistan and so on all immediately went Communist?
The domino effect isn't that it never stops, its that once it starts then it spreads unless someone else comes in and stops it. Proving that the whole world didn't fall to communism doesn't prove the domino effect isn't valid. Look at any country that solidly fell to communists and you can immediately see major state sponsored insurgencies forming in neighboring countries. Not a coincidence, its a design in communism and a stated goal of all of them, to spread communism. Once one country falls, their efforts are to consolidate power in their own country (through mass murder) and then exporting terror through support of neighboring insurgencies, which ends up causing what can be described as dominos falling.

A better example I would use would be dealing with a gangrenous limb. Or a sick cow living in a pen with a herd. But domino works too. But its political concept based on a metaphor, so yeah, its not going to be 100% accurate in describing what actually happened.

"I'm going beat the crap out of you!"
"No you wont, because I just went to the bathroom and successfully evacuated myself!"

"I'm going to knock your block off!"
"No you wont, because I don't have a block on my body!"
 
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Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,208
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Philippines had a major communist insurgency that exists to this day. The US has been deeply involved in helping them fight off the communist threat. The difference between it and Vietnam is that we never gave up on the Philippines.
No, the difference between it and Vietnam is that the Philippines doesn't have a land border through which communist reinforcements, arms and infiltrators could arrive, unlike in Laos, South Vietnam and Cambodia.

Stopped them from what? Killing between 1.4 million and 2.2 million people? No, sorry, the People's Republic of Vietnam was a bit late to stop that. Also, they didn't invade for humanitarian reasons, it was a powerplay over regional communist control, the Cambodian commies wanted autonomy, the Vietnamese commies wanted to control all of SE Asia.
Maybe not, but they overthrew the Khmer Rouge in the end, which is more than the US of A managed. It's not like the US involvement in Indochina was anything more than a powerplay either.
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,738
USA
No, the difference between it and Vietnam is that the Philippines doesn't have a land border through which communist reinforcements, arms and infiltrators could arrive, unlike in Laos, South Vietnam and Cambodia.
I didn't state the differences between Vietnam and Philippines, I stated the reason it didn't fall like a domino. The US tossed a measly $625 million strictly in military aid from 1946-2000, I'm sure that had nothing at all to do with helping defeat the communist insurgency either.

Also, I specifically mentioned borders with Indonesia, the reason I didn't mention them with Philippines is because it still has an ongoing insurgency involving communists, which means they are still being supported. And while they did not receive much in the overt military support from neighboring communist nations, both the Soviet Union and the PRC did fund the insurgency.

Maybe not, but they overthrew the Khmer Rouge in the end, which is more than the US of A managed. It's not like the US involvement in Indochina was anything more than a powerplay either.
Provide sources that the US involvement in Indochina was nothing but a powerplay.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,208
T'Republic of Yorkshire
I didn't state the differences between Vietnam and Philippines, I stated the reason it didn't fall like a domino.
And I dispute your reason. You said it was because of the USA. I say it's because the communist insurgency couldn't get reinforcements, arms and infiltrators to the Philippines easily.

The US tossed a measly $625 million strictly in military aid from 1946-2000, I'm sure that had nothing at all to do with helping defeat the communist insurgency either.
Even if it did, what of it? How much money did the US spend on the Vietnam War, where it failed to stop the insurgency? Sure, it was *a* reason the communists haven't won there. The only reason? Hardly.

Also, I specifically mentioned borders with Indonesia, the reason I didn't mention them with Philippines is because it still has an ongoing insurgency involving communists, which means they are still being supported. And while they did not receive much in the overt military support from neighboring communist nations, both the Soviet Union and the PRC did fund the insurgency.
Funding them is entirely different from sending in troops, as happened in Laos, Cambodia and North Korea.

Provide sources that the US involvement in Indochina was nothing but a powerplay.
Provide sources that the Vietnamese involvement in Cambodia was nothing but a powerplay.

Or perhaps stopping Communism had nothing at all to do with the strategic geopolitical situation in the Cold War and everything to do with the welfare of the poor people of Indochina rather than anything to do with seeking advantage over the Soviet Union as epressed by George F. Kennan and the Truman doctrine?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Containment

Care to counter that?
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,738
USA
And I dispute your reason. You said it was because of the USA. I say it's because the communist insurgency couldn't get reinforcements, arms and infiltrators to the Philippines easily.
Fine, I guess we're at an impasse of convincing others of our opinions. You don't accept mine, I don't accept yours. I guess the readers will have to decide for themselves.

Even if it did, what of it? How much money did the US spend on the Vietnam War, where it failed to stop the insurgency? Sure, it was *a* reason the communists haven't won there. The only reason? Hardly.
What of it? Because people fighting need to feed themselves and their family. They want to buy guns and bullets and bombs and it costs money. That money needs to come from somewhere. For the communist insurgents, it came from the Soviet Union and PRC. For the Philippine govt, it came from the US. We bought everything they needed to fight, we sent military advisers, up until the 90s we had a major permanent military presence in the Philippines.

The US didn't fail the Vietnamese because we didn't spend enough, but because we stopped supporting them at the height the Soviets and Chinese were dumping money and support to North Vietnam. Simple cause and effect. Client A loses support of Patron A while Client B continues getting everything they want from Patron B, B wins.

Funding them is entirely different from sending in troops, as happened in Laos, Cambodia and North Korea.
It is. Which is why I clearly differentiated it with direct military support through intervention. We did that in Korea, it worked because we stayed to help them (and still do). Vietnam, it didn't work because we quit helping them. The North Vietnamese weren't only occupied with overthrowing the South, they were also exporting communist insurgents, paying them, giving them supplies, cadre, etc., for Laos and Cambodia and Thailand, the latter of which was the only one not to fall, again because of US support.

Provide sources that the Vietnamese involvement in Cambodia was nothing but a powerplay.
'"“From the East German files I have seen, from early 1978 on, the Vietnamese were committed to replace him, to get rid of Pol Pot, and to get a sympathetic government in Phnom Penh,” said Schaefer. “In Hanoi’s eyes, a government friendly to Vietnam was absolutely essential to the security of Vietnam.”

Starting in 1977, the Khmer Rouge conducted cross border raids into Vietnam, killing thousands of Vietnamese civilians. Khmer Rouge leaders spoke openly of wanting to conquer historically Khmer lands in what is modern Vietnam.

Holding Vietnam back was fear of a military reaction by China, the primary geopolitical ally of the Khmer Rouge.

“They were afraid that if Vietnam moved into Cambodia, then the Chinese would move into Vietnam, and then you would have a two front war,” said Schaefer, referring to East German diplomatic cables."'

Khmer Times: Why Did Vietnam Overthrow the Khmer Rouge in 1978?

Now your turn. Show me why America's involvement in South Vietnam was purely a powerplay.

"A strategic maneuver, as in politics, diplomacy, or business, based on the use or threatened use of power as a means of coercion."

Who in South Vietnam was the US trying to coerce?


Or perhaps stopping Communism had nothing at all to do with the strategic geopolitical situation in the Cold War and everything to do with the welfare of the poor people of Indochina rather than anything to do with seeking advantage over the Soviet Union as epressed by George F. Kennan and the Truman doctrine?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Containment

Care to counter that?
Containment has nothing to do with welfare of people and everything to do with containing the Soviet Union, which at that point was the only major world power that was communist. Something else happened a couple years after Kennan created the concept, it was the fall of China to the communists, then the Korean War, and then the chaos of eastern Europe and W/E Germany of the 50s and early 60s, the fall of Cuba, etc.

That's my counter. That things happened between 1946 to 1965 to 1975 to 1989 that proved the Domino Theory was correct. That unless stopped by an outsider, specifically the US (it being focused on concepts of classical liberalism and with the strongest economy and military on Earth), then communism will spread. Which is exactly what happened, communism spread and when one nation fell neighbors started falling or threatening to fall.
 
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Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,208
T'Republic of Yorkshire
What of it? Because people fighting need to feed themselves and their family. They want to buy guns and bullets and bombs and it costs money. That money needs to come from somewhere. For the communist insurgents, it came from the Soviet Union and PRC. For the Philippine govt, it came from the US. We bought everything they needed to fight, we sent military advisers, up until the 90s we had a major permanent military presence in the Philippines.
What the money is used for is irrelevant. The assertion you made is that the US was the only reason the communists insurgency didn't succeed. Yet all the aid the US sent to Vietnam failed to stop them, so no, that rather demonstrates that US aid alone was not the only reason.

he US didn't fail the Vietnamese because we didn't spend enough, but because we stopped supporting them at the height the Soviets and Chinese were dumping money and support to North Vietnam. Simple cause and effect. Client A loses support of Patron A while Client B continues getting everything they want from Patron B, B wins.
So communism didn't stop because of the USA then.

It is. Which is why I clearly differentiated it with direct military support through intervention. We did that in Korea, it worked because we stayed to help them (and still do). Vietnam, it didn't work because we quit helping them. The North Vietnamese weren't only occupied with overthrowing the South, they were also exporting communist insurgents, paying them, giving them supplies, cadre, etc., for Laos and Cambodia and Thailand, the latter of which was the only one not to fall, again because of US support.
And yet you didn't defeat the Communists in Korea either. Or Laos, come to that.

'"“From the East German files I have seen, from early 1978 on, the Vietnamese were committed to replace him, to get rid of Pol Pot, and to get a sympathetic government in Phnom Penh,” said Schaefer. “In Hanoi’s eyes, a government friendly to Vietnam was absolutely essential to the security of Vietnam.”

Starting in 1977, the Khmer Rouge conducted cross border raids into Vietnam, killing thousands of Vietnamese civilians. Khmer Rouge leaders spoke openly of wanting to conquer historically Khmer lands in what is modern Vietnam.
Quite. So they were reacting to Khmer Rouge attacks. A "power play"? They were removing an enemy whose stated intention was to conquer parts of Vietnamese territory.

Now your turn. Show me why America's involvement in South Vietnam was purely a powerplay.

"A strategic maneuver, as in politics, diplomacy, or business, based on the use or threatened use of power as a means of coercion."

Who in South Vietnam was the US trying to coerce?
Who were the major communist powers again, remind me?

How is what the US did in Vietnam any fundamentally different to what the Vietnamese were doing anywhere else in the region that makes it not a powerplay?

Containment has nothing to do with welfare of people and everything to do with containing the Soviet Union, which at that point was the only major world power that was communist. Something else happened a couple years after Kennan created the concept, it was the fall of China to the communists, then the Korean War, and then the chaos of eastern Europe and W/E Germany of the 50s and early 60s, the fall of Cuba, etc.
Which makes it a powerplay.

That's my counter. That things happened between 1946 to 1965 to 1975 to 1989 that proved the Domino Theory was correct. That unless stopped by an outsider, specifically the US (it being focused on concepts of classical liberalism and with the strongest economy and military on Earth), then communism will spread. Which is exactly what happened, communism spread and when one nation fell neighbors started falling or threatening to fall.
Which makes it a naked powerplay.
 
Jun 2017
422
USA
Policy of US until recently and british empire before that is stability. Radical changes usually involve a lot of violence and also disruption of trade, and that is not good for business or for the people of the world at large.

There was also no desire to have all of vietnam's resources go to communist block, rubber is one of the big things that used to limit economic and military production.