US and Nation Building in Vietnam

US and Nation Building in Vietnam - James Rigney Tom Keyser...

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James Rigney Tom Keyser Vietnam and the 20 th century Experience. U.S. and Nation-Building in Vietnam During the Vietnam War, the United States attempted to help South Vietnam develop a stable government in order for it to become a nation. As we know from the history, we had lost the war, pulled our troops and any remaining American people out of South Vietnam, and watched as our nation-building experiment fell into Communist hands. So the big question is: Why did nation-building fail in South Vietnam? In order to understand why it failed, we must know how it started, what happened while we carried out our nation-building project, and what were the causes that lead to it all failing apart. The following pages will be broken up into five sections: 1. The development of both North and South Vietnam 2. U.S. Aid for nation-building in South Vietnam 3. What occurred during the nation-building era 4. How nation-building ultimately failed 5. Conclusion There are a few questions that have been asked about South Vietnam’s failure to become a successful nation, such as: What aspects lead up to South Vietnam’s fall? Who were responsible for it, the U.S., the Vietcong, or was it South Vietnam’s fault? There are numerous
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reasons why nation-building in South Vietnam had failed, and the key points will be discussed in the following pages. The Development of North and South Vietnam The Geneva Conference in 1954 had two tasks, one was to reunify Korea and the other to bring peace to French Indochina. The conference was unable to find any proposals to reunify Korea, but was able to reach a decision on Vietnam, by creating two separate zones, North and South Vietnam. The North would be governed by the Vietminh while the South governed by the State of Vietnam. The overall goal for Vietnam was to have general elections in the hopes of reunifying North and South Vietnam in 1956. Of course, both South Vietnam and the United States did not accept this agreement, the reason probably being that neither one wanted to see Communism grow. During this time, more than 450,000 North Vietnamese moved south, mostly were Catholic, while 52,000 from the south moved north, many who were Communist supporters. Many of them were asked to stay in South Vietnam to vote in the elections about reunifying North and South Vietnam. Of course, the U.S. had an arterial motive in South Vietnam, to deter the spread of Communism. During the time Eisenhower was in office, he and his administration, “approached nation building in South Vietnam in the classic terms of Cold War confrontation. An international alliance – the South East Asia Treaty Organization in the case of South Vietnam — was supposed to deter Communist forces from conventional aggression by threatening belligerent Communist regimes with conventional warfare, backed by a possible nuclear strike by the United States if the fighting got out of hand.” (HistoryNet Staff, June 12, 2006, para. 3)
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This note was uploaded on 12/09/2010 for the course HUM 115 taught by Professor Keyser during the Spring '10 term at DeVry Ft. Washington.

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US and Nation Building in Vietnam - James Rigney Tom Keyser...

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