How did a succession of US administrations become stuck in Vietnam?
How did Diem's policies create the conditions for insurgency?
What did the early activities of the NLF look like?
Time Period Covered 1954 - 1961
In part two of our exploration of the path to the Second Indochina War, we focus on early American efforts to create a stable regime in South Vietnam. The activities of the CIA and Edward Lansdale in the aftermath of Geneva are used to introduce this relationship, as well as the growing realisation in some quarters that perhaps Diem was not the best person for the job of leading the country. We look at the 'paradox' of Vietnam, why escalation slowly continued in the face of private doubts. NLF operations in the Mekong Delta are discussed from the point of view of those staging these actions, as well as those civilians who were effected by the authoritarianism of Diem and the intimidating tactics of those that wished to overthrow him.
Christopher Goscha Vietnam: A New History
Fredrick Logevall The Embers of War
Edward Miller The Vietnam War
Neil Sheehan The Pentagon Papers
Geoffrey Warner The United States and Vietnam 1945-1965 (International Affairs October 1972)