Describe the actions taken by the United States after World War II to halt what was seen as the threat of Soviet Communism. What was the US attitude toward France's initial efforts to reassert its control over Indochina after World War II? Explain why and how the US's attitudes toward the French colonial war in Indochina changed in 1950. In what sense were the United States and France "uneasy allies" from June 1950 to July 1954? Why were the US proposals to intervene in Indochina in 1954 during the siege of Dien Bien Phu never carried out? Explain why the United States was reluctant to attend the Geneva Conference.

Actions taken by the United States after World War II to halt what was seen as the threat of Soviet Communism included the US's refusal to sign the Geneva Agreements, which it feared would lead to Communist expansion.

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Communist expansionism was feared by Washington after World War II. Cooperation between the West, led by the the United States, and the Soviet Union broke down as the two sides disagreed over the future of postwar Europe. For instance, the two sides could not agree on a united government for...

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Communist expansionism was feared by Washington after World War II. Cooperation between the West, led by the the United States, and the Soviet Union broke down as the two sides disagreed over the future of postwar Europe. For instance, the two sides could not agree on a united government for Germany.

Europe was of paramount importance to Washington. Asia in general, Indochina in particular, were secondary. Washington buttressed its position in Europe with the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

France, humiliated in WWII, was determined to restore her national honor by reestablishing the French empire. Vietnam was a part of that empire. In order to placate France, Washington somewhat reluctantly went along with its plan to reassert its authority in Vietnam. The Vietminh, led by Ho Chi Minh, fought the French.

By 1950, Washington's attitude toward Indochina had changed. Communists had conquered China in 1949, and the Korean War broke out in 1950. Because of their bipolar view of the world, Washington's policymakers believed these two events were centrally directed from Moscow. The US then enhanced its support for France by paying eighty percent of the war's cost in Indochina. In 1954, as France faced defeat at Dien Bien Phu, Washington even considered direct military intervention. But the British were not interested, and Washington was loath to intervene unilaterally. The US did not sign the Geneva Agreements that ended the war in 1954, because it feared the accord would lead to further Communist expansion. Washington then decided to prop up South Vietnam, denying it to the victorious Vietminh forces.

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