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What differences or similarities existed in US policy towards Cuba and Vietnam with...

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isabel17 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted June 1, 2012 at 11:28 AM via web

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What differences or similarities existed in US policy towards Cuba and Vietnam with respect to the ideas of "containment" and "rollback"?

 In an essay on the "rollback" strategy and how the USA attempted 'rollback" more than they practised containment what type of comment should I make about Cuba and Vietnam?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 1, 2012 at 1:24 PM (Answer #1)

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One of these is a good example of rollback while the other is not.  In Cuba (once containment had failed) the US made some attempts at rollback.  The most overt of these was the attempted invasion at the Bay of Pigs in 1961.  The US was trying to get rid of the Castro regime and replace it with a friendlier government.  By contrast, there was no such attempt at rollback in Vietnam.  The US was waging a purely defensive war there.  It was trying to prevent the communists from gaining more power in the South.  

Depending on what your essay is about, you might want to reflect on why the US tried rollback in the one place and not the other.  One thing to consider is geography.  An aggressive American attempt at rollback in Vietnam might well have caused major conflict with China whereas rollback on America's doorstep in Cuba would not have had any such repercussions in the years immediately following Castro's takeover.

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