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Essentially, what guided the American policy position at Geneva was a form of the principle of containment. The Americans concieved of communism as a growing, malignant, expansionary force, and thought that the United States must maintain a firm stance against it. The agreement at the conference was that Indochina should be temporarily divided into North and South Vietnam, and that elections should be held within two years, after which the peninsula would be unified under a single government. The United States feared that elections would lead to communist victory, and the unification of the peninsula under communist rule with Ho Chi Minh as leader. They thus opposed the Geneva Accords and sought to protect South Vietnam as a sovereign nation under the rule of Ngo Dinh Diem.
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