The Vietnam War

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What made the Vietnam war different from others in US history?

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The U. S. failed to recognize that the Vietnam was a civil war, and most of the wars in which we engaged--most notably WWI and WWII--were wars based on one country's domination over another.

Ostensibly, we fought the Vietnam War to keep the southern part of the country--tenuously democratic (but with rigged elections)--from becoming part of the communist north.  At the time, the U. S. had a treaty obligation under SEATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organization) to help the South Vietnamese, and our assistance was "requested" under SEATO.  In addition, when we believed that the North Vietnamese fired on U. S. ships in internation waters, we believed we had justification for increased military involvement.

As our experience in Vietnam unfolded,...

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