The Vietnam conflict took thousands of American and Vietnamese lives.Twenty five years after taking second place in this conflict it is easy to say what we should or should not have done, but hind sight is based on the results of history and the decisions made at the moment of living it.The leaders at this time only had two choices in dealing with Vietnam – one, to support the American dream and ideals through pursuing democracy, imperialist economics, capitalism and Christianity; or two, to support Ho Chi Ming, leaving the future to the unknown and uncontrollable influences of those feared by their constituents.When seen in the fear, hype and affluency of the times, it is obvious that options were narrowed to one for decision makers.
To understand these decisions, we must understand this period from 1945 to 1955. 1945 was an important year in world history with the defeat of Germany and thefirst atomic test explosions taking place, followed by use of these nuclear bombs on Japan.At the end of World War II the United States did not feel threatened by the Soviet Union because they did not have access to this weapon.Further, the U.S. made threats with this nuclear weaponry every time a crisis arose, such as Azerlicujan Province in 1946 in Iran, Yugoslavia that same year, and later Berlin in 1948.As reporter Dale Kasler stated "Flush with post-war pride and power, affluent to a degree never seen before, America was ready to flex its muscles." This all changed in 1949 when the Soviet Union detonated its'first atomic bomb, and the arms race was on at full speed.
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Jack Cauzza, an employee of Aerojet who worked on the Polaris missile described this time as follows: "There was a sense of urgency, there were deadlines and everything was a race.You really felt you had to make the damned thing work.Your gun had to be bigger than the Soviet Union's." In 1949 several things occurred.