Who initiated the Vietnam War and how did it begin?

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The Vietnam War began when North Vietnam, led by Ho Chi Minh, declared a communist regime after expelling the French. Fearful of communism spreading to South Vietnam and beyond (a concern known as the "Domino Theory"), the U.S., under President John F. Kennedy, sent advisers to assist the South. The war escalated after North Vietnamese warships attacked two American naval vessels in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964, which led to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, effectively granting President Lyndon Johnson the power to wage war without a formal declaration.

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The war in Viet Nam originated when North Vietnam, under Ho Chi Minh, expelled the French and declared the Peoples Republic of Viet Nam. The regime was communist and received support from both the Soviet and Chinese governments. In an attempt to prevent North Vietnam from unifying the entire country by taking South Vietnam, President John F. Kennedy sent "advisers" to Vietnam to assist the South in resisting "communist aggression." This was pursuant to the previously announced U.S. policy of containment: to prevent the spread of communism into areas where it did not then exist. The U.S. and Soviets both supplied arms and other supplies to opposite sides of the conflict, however each broke its word.

In August, 1964, two American naval vessels, the USS Maddox and USS C. Turner Joy were fired upon by North Vietnamese warships in the Gulf of Tonkin. President Lyndon Johnson said the attack was unprovoked, and Americans were outraged. On August 7, 1964, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which gave the President authority to:

take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression.

The resolution in effect gave the President the ability to wage war without a Congressional declaration of war. Johnson then escalated troop deployments to Vietnam and the war was soon in full swing.

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What started the Vietnam war?

Long before the Vietnam War broke out, the country had been in conflict and chronic political instability. Vietnam was divided in two between North Vietnam, a communist state backed mainly by the People's Republic of China, and South Vietnam, whose staunchly anti-communist regime was supported by the United States. After the French evacuated Vietnam, the country became a theater of conflict in the developing Cold War between East and West, with both sides offering support to their own Vietnamese proxies.

Over time, North Vietnamese communist guerrillas—the Viet Cong—became increasingly bold in their attacks upon the South. Under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh, they were able to carry out their operations using a 1,000 mile long trail—the Ho Chi Minh trail, as it became known—which stretched along the border with Laos and was protected by thick jungle cover. The Viet Cong's skill at jungle warfare would be a major feature of their war against the Americans.

In the United States, policy-makers were increasingly concerned with the in-roads the Communist insurgents were making into South Vietnam. It was widely believed that, if the whole of Vietnam fell to communism, then other countries in South-East Asia would quickly follow suit. This theory, the so-called "Domino Theory," led the Eisenhower Administration to step up support for the South Vietnamese dictator President Diem. To this end, several thousand military advisers were sent by the United States to train the South Vietnamese army to fight the Viet Cong.

Although the level of US support increased year by year, the Viet Cong continued to make substantial territorial gains at the expense of South Vietnam. It came as little surprise when South Vietnamese generals staged a coup against the corrupt, unpopular Diem and had him killed. Once more, opinion in Washington became concerned at the stealthy communist takeover of Vietnam. President Johnson ordered his generals to devise a contingency plan in the event of a full-scale civil war. He was prepared to send American troops to Vietnam, but only if it was seen that the United States was the victim, not the aggressor.

The Gulf of Tonkin incident provided Johnson with the opportunity to escalate American involvement in Vietnam. In August 1964, two American destroyers were attacked by North Vietnamese gunboats. In response, the US Senate passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which authorized the president to render armed assistance to any country requesting help in defense of its freedom. In March 1965, just seven months after the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the first American troops landed in Vietnam. By the end of the year, there would be 150,000 of them stationed in the country. The Vietnam War was now well and truly under way.

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How did the NAM start?How did the war in Vietnam start?

I agree that the instability in the war after World War II and the spread of Communism contributed to what we know as NAM (not the NAM, just NAM is the nickname). This is because we invaded in order to stop the continued spread of Communism.
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How did the NAM start?How did the war in Vietnam start?

As mentioned above NAM was founded in Belgrade in 1962. It was the idea of Indonesia's first president Nehru of India, Nasser of Egypt and Tito of Yugoslavia. The organization still exists today with  118 members.

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How did the NAM start?How did the war in Vietnam start?

Do you mean the Vietnam War?  If so, you could say it started with World War II.

During WWII, the Vietminh, led by Ho Chi Minh, fought to free Vietnam from the Japanese.  The Japanese had taken control of Vietnam from France in 1941.  After the war, Ho believed that Vietnam would be given independence.

However, the French wanted to have Vietnam back as a colony.  The United States agreed to allow this.  At that point, the Vietminh started to fight France.  After France pulled out, the US came in and eventually North Vietnam (as it was by then) and the South Vietnamese communists started to fight the US too.

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