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Was the Vietnam War a necessary extension of the broader Cold War tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union?

Was the Vietnam War a necessary extension of the broader Cold War tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union?
The Vietnam War broke out in 1955, it is also known as the American War. The cold war involved Northern Vietnam who were considered to be communists, supported by countries such as China and Soviet Union, and Southern Vietnam who were anti-communist supported by United States of America (Gettleman, Frankline, Frankline & Young, 1995). Viet Cong, a communist front from the northern parts which was lightly armed, fought the guerilla war against the southern in the region. The North Vietnamese Army engaged mostly in controversial was committing large units to battle. The United States and the South Vietnamese Forces combined forces and strike back with air superiority and heavy fire power involving artillery and ground forces to conduct destroy and search operation (Young, 1991).
As the United States Government are Capitalist, their involvement was a way of preventing the communist from taking over Southern Vietnam and part of their strategy to try prevent and put to an end to communism. The Northern Vietnamese Government together with the Viet Cong engaged heavily in battle against the southern as they viewed it as colonial rule and also to regain the Communism rule to the whole of Vietnam and not just the North. The United States government involvement in the war finally ended on 15th Aug 1973 after numerous demonstrations by its citizens leading to the Case-Church Amendment being passed by Congress and the war ended later in 1975 with reunion of the two countries in 1976 (O’Brien, 2009).
The Cold war tensions between United States and Soviet Union were mainly due to power and the difference and rivalry between communists and capitalist (Gettleman, Frankline, Frankline & Young, 1995). The United States Government is Capitalist while the Soviet Union is communist.
Communism is a world-shattering socialist movement to create a moneyless, stateless and classless social order based upon communal ownership of means of production and ideologies of economic, political and social pillars that are aimed to the establishment of this order (Young, 1991). The movement was introduced by the interpretations of Marxist-Leninist which further fueled the intense rivalry between the Western Countries with Capitalist economies and the Socialist Countries governed by Communist Parties.
Capitalism is a system of economics based on private ownership of capital goods and means of production and the market economy where goods and services are produced to be sold for profit. Capitalism is seen to be promoting individualism which has its good impacts such as driving the economy as people are able to reap their fruits and discouraging of laziness as compared to communism (O’Brien, 2009).
Soviet Union liaised with China to help fight America in the Cold War. They had ships placed on the Sea South of China which detected air ambush by the United States and notified the Northern Vietnamese of this impending attack hence keeping them abreast of any impending attack by the United States. The Soviet Union also supplied the Northerners with military equipment, anti-aircraft missiles, artillery, helicopters, planes, tank, and arms. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian officials revealed that the Soviet had deployed almost 3, 000 troops to the Vietnam War and also sent their generals and commanders to the ground to view the operation (Young, 1991). It was also noted that military schools governed by the Soviet Union trained more than 10, 000 Vietnamese soldiers to increase their chances of winning the Cold war against the United States and the Southern Vietnamese. In short, Soviet Union majorly participated in the Cold War by funding nearly all the operations indirectly and directly as it was estimated that the Soviet Union spent almost 1. 5-2 million dollar per day in the funding of the Northern Vietnamese
As the Soviet Union and the United States of America are both considered the super powers of the world, there was already a rift between them as none wanted to be below the other. Fueling things up, the communist and capitalist were rivals since the 1700s, making it impossible for the Soviet Union and The United States of America to come into terms.
The Vietnamese cold war marked its peak as both were majorly involved. It was a broader extension of the rivalry between the two states as it involved the communist and the capitalist. The Soviet Union funded the Communist and supported them all through indirectly and directly while the United States with its mission of eradicating communism was actively involved in the defending of Southern Vietnam (Hayslip & Wurts, 2003). This marked its peak as both countries used the Vietnam people as puppets to show their strengths in military resulting in millions of deaths of both civilians and servicemen.
The war which lasted nearly two decades from 1955 to 1975 showed the rivalry that existed between the Soviet Union and the United States Government. The Soviet Union fought the American directly and directly in the Vietnamese soil, killing several Americans in battle (O’Brien, 2009). They also aided in the killings of the American soldiers by funding the wars and provision of lethal equipment to give the Northerners the capability to withstand the American troops.
The Russian government to date has been refusing their involvement in the Vietnamese war, creating a second thought as to whether they were really involved in the war or not, the evidence given placing them in the war may just be claims by their enemies to increase the rift between them and the United States of America. There has been no documentation found linking them to the Vietnam wars, but just speculations by the former Soviet Union Army officials linking them to the cold war.
With all these in context and writing, relevant evidence and facts stipulated above, Russia can be linked to the Vietnam Cold War, directly and indirectly, this involvement raised tension between the United States and the Soviet Union as it led to the death of its nationals through direct killings and also as an accessory to the killings. The Soviet Union being a communist makes it a target by the United States as the United States was focusing on eradication of the communist ideologies in countries in the 1940s and 1950s (Hayslip & Wurts, 2003). This created tension between the two countries its climax being reached during the involvement of both countries in the Vietnamese Cold War.
All in all, the Vietnamese war was a necessary extension of the broader cold war between the two nations as both had principle to maintain and objectives to achieve. Soviet Union was to maintain its belief while the United States was to maintain its objectivity of eradication of communism as they found it unfit for trade and development. Both have reason and intent to involve themselves in the war though the consequences were adverse and are felt to date.


Gettleman, M., Frankline, B., Frankline, J., & Young, M. (1995). Vietnam and America: A Documented History. New York: Grove Press.
Hayslip, L., & Wurts, J. (2003). When Heaven and Earth Changed Places: A Vietnamese Woman’s Journey from War to Peace. New York: Doubleday.
O’Brien, T. (2009). The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Young, M. (1991). The Vietnam Wars, 1945-1990. New York: HarperCollins.