The Vietnam War
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- What was your interest in Vietnam? Did you have family there? Were you studying that part of the world? Were you in the military?
- To gain control of all Vietnam, North Vietnamese leaders wanted to dismantle South Vietnamese non-Communist governments. The U.S., fearing the spread of Communism, supported South Vietnam. What did you think of initial U.S. involvement? Did you fear the U.S. would commit troops to the war?
- Did you think that the U.S. should involve itself in other countries' conflicts? Why or why not? Did you agree with the American policy of trying to contain Communism in other regions?
- The domino theory said if Communists took over Vietnam, many surrounding countries would follow. Therefore, President Johnson decided to step up U.S. military presence in Vietnam by sending more troops. Did you think that this was necessary? Did you fear the spread of Communism?
- U.S. leaders often seemed uncertain about what would end the war, alternately adding and withdrawing troops in Vietnam. At the time, how did this affect your opinion about the war? Did it seem that the U.S. military was serving a purpose?
- Did you ever feel that the U.S. should pull out of Vietnam? When? Why? Did you feel that this would hurt the United State's image as a superpower? Did you believe that the war wasn't the United State's responsibility?
- Did you support the war at first, and then later change your mind? Why or why not? What influenced your ideas? The amount of casualties? The effects that it was having on the U.S. economy?
- A treaty was finally signed in January of 1973 and the remainder of the troops came home. The war cost over $100 billion and more than 58,000 American lives. Many people had mixed feelings about the war. What did you feel had been accomplished? Was it worth the price?