Myth: The USA paid 80% of all the costs of the French war against the Viet Minh.

Fact: The US paid 78% of the costs of the French war in 1954 (1.063 billion). In 1950, the US contributed only $10 million (0.7%). In 1953 the US spent $385 million (28%). The cumulative sum of all US support to France in Indochina amounted to approximately 8-11% of the French war effort.

    • US support for the French must be understood in the context of post-WWII
    • European reconstruction, communist expansion, and US involvement in the Korean War.
    • The US and all its allies were concerned about aggressive communist expansion after WWII.

Confirming evidence

The Tangled Web: America, France and Indochina 1947-50

The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Volume 1, Chapter 4, "U.S. and France in Indochina, 1950-56"

US Foreign Policy in Perspective: France (location: Indochina) 1950-54

French Indochina

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

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

The Defense of Indochina: Communiqué Regarding Discussions Between Representatives of the United States, France, Viet-Nam, and Cambodia, June 18, 1952

United States Support of Laos Against the Viet Minh Invasion: Statement by the Department of State, April 17, 1953

Additional United States Aid for France and Indochina: Joint Franco-American Communiqué, September 30, 1953

The Threat of Direct Chinese Communist Intervention in Indochina: Address by the Secretary of State, June 11, 1954 (Excerpt)

The Cease-Fire Agreements in Indochina: Statement by the President, July 21, 1954