Myth: The US had no reason to be involved in Viet Nam.

Fact: The Manila Pact authorized American assistance to any IndoChinese nation facing communist aggression. Furthermore, the US had signed multiple support agreements throughout the years and was committed, first to the French and then to the South Vietnamese, to fulfill those agreements.

  • Fearing communist aggression in Asia, the United States reluctantly supported the French in their efforts to reclaim Indochina as a colony, albeit somewhat independent.
  • After the Geneva Accords ended the war between France and Vietnamese communists, President Eisenhower ordered Secretary of State John Foster Dulles to establish an alliance to combat communist aggression in IndoChina.
  • The US, Great Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand and Pakistan were signatories in 1954.
  • Troops from the US, Great Britain, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, Thailand, the Philippines and Taiwan fought for South Vietnam.
  • The South Vietnamese Premier, Ngo Diem, repeatedly requested, and received, American help in defending his country from communist aggression.

Confirming Evidence

Extension of Military and Economic Aid: Statement by the Secretary of State, May 8, 1950

Economic Aid Program: Note From the American Charge d'Affaires at Saigon (1) to the Chiefs of State of Viet-Nam, Laos, and Cambodia, May 24, 1950

The Military Aid Program: Statement by the Departments of State and Defense, September 23, 1951

Support by NATO of the French Union Defense Efforts in Indochina: Resolution Adopted by the North Atlantic Council, December 17, 1952

United States Emergency Aid to Laos and Thailand in the Face of Viet Minh Aggression: Statement by the Secretary of State at a News Conference, May 9, 1953

Letter from Eisenhower to Ngo Dinh Dien, 1954

Letter from Kennedy to Ngo Dinh Diem, 1961

America`s Vietnam War in Indochina

The Formative Years, 1950-1959

Vietnam Commitments, 1961