The War in Vietnam will dominate US policies with regard to the containment of communism for more than 20 years. Read the following background notes to appreciate the escalation of the conflict in the 1960's and how the Americans found fighting this type of 'gorilla warfare' impossible to win.
Lesson 1: Background to the Vietnam War
The War in Vietnam
The Cold War includes the war in Vietnam because of the roles played by both the Soviet Union and China, when helping the Vietcong to fight what they regard as a civil war with the South Vietnamese Army, aided by the United States.

Why did the USA get involved in Vietnam?
a. The Truman Doctrine and the 'Policy of Containment'
b. The Domino Theory
The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution allowed President Johnson 'to take all necessary measures to prevent further aggression and achieve peace and security'. Basically, this meant that he could take the USA into a full scale war if he felt it was necessary, and by March, 1965 3500 combat troops landed on the beaches of Da Nang, in Vietnam. America was at war in Vietnam. The Vietnam War would be America's longest war:

Homework: 3 is the Magic Number
Give 3 reasons why the US feared the spread of Communism.
Give 3 reasons why US presidents supported the war.
Give 3 reasons why the US thought it would be an easy victory against the Vietminh/Vietcong.
Give 3 reasons why many veterans and politicians opposed peace campaigners.

Case Study 3: The Vietnam War
Fill in the chart (word document) to determine why the US Army could not win the war in Vietnam.
Escalating Protest
As the war progressed, with no real end in sight, musicians began to write songs detailing the reasons for ending American involvement in a war where, ultimately, between 3 to 4 million Vietnamese, on both sides of the conflict would die.
Vietnam War Essay Assignment : IB Essay Rubric
Protest Songs against the war in Vietnam:


Protest Song from Woodstock
The USA provided promotional film to explain why 'America was fighting in Vietnam'.