US Support Of The Diem Regime In

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US Support Of The Diem Regime In Vietnam Essay, Research Paper After World War II the United States took on a role of world rebuilding, taking the shattered fragments of countries and governments and turning them into working democratic nations. The U.S., fearful of spreading communism in Eastern Europe, adopted George Kennan?s policy of containment to keep communism confined to its current regions and ensuring nations remain democratic. In Vietnam, communists were taking more and more control of the government and France not being able to hold them off, requested that action be taken. Enter Ngo Dinh Diem. The Diem Regime was the ruling faction in Southern Vietnam during the late 1950?s through the early 1970?s. Its name comes from its prime minister and leading man, Ngo Dinh

Diem. Diem was an eager young nationalist from Vietnam looking to crush the Communist movement that had ignited during its struggle for freedom against its former ruling nation of France. Diem, a Catholic man, was minority of sorts not only in religion (Buddhism being the majority) but his sense of nationalism as well. After being educated in Catholic schools he had a few small political duties, never having any significant roles due to his often radical and anti-French colonialistic ideas. He always tried to muster support for himself but just couldn?t compete with the Vietminh. Not being able to tolerate the Communist hero and leader, Ho Chi Minh, he spent a number of years in exile in the United States, making contacts with important Senators such as Mike Mansfield and John F.

Kennedy. He gained strong support from Cardinal Spellman of New York that eventually led to the U.S. supporting his efforts to combat the Communists of Vietnam, as part of the U.S.?s containment policy, and bring the country into the free world. Bao Dai, head of Vietnam, appointed Diem to the position of Prime Minister where he immediately began to run the country exactly how he wanted to, not taking the advice of U.S. officials, nor crumbling under their pressure. The U.S. was then drug into a period of some of the most violent combat ever seen, never coming out victorious. From very early on the executive branch of the government conceded that Diem was the only man they had for the job. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles told foreign correspondent Stanley Karnow, that they

chose Diem because they had no other alternatives- he was the best that they could find. The U.S. did not know how they would contain communism in South East Asia since Diem was considered ?weak? and ?hopeless?. Dulles figured that denying Diem help would have a far worse effect and that if anything it would buy them some time. Eisenhower promised Diem aid in a letter to him on October 23, 1954 to help the country ?undertake needed reforms?. The first time-buying aid package was worth $325 million. Foreign aid over the next 10 years totaled to almost $2.4 billion. In addition to money the U.S. sent Advisors to Vietnam to keep an eye on the happenings of Vietnam and also train the Vietnamese army to use new equipment received and also to better their fighting tactics and

capabilities. Many U.S. officials became easily frustrated with Diem?s constant ignorance of their suggestions. General J. Lawton Collins, Eisenhower?s personal emissary, complained that Diem would pay more attention to his brothers Archbishop Thuc and Nhu. Diem wouldn?t even listen to his fellow government officers and simply worked with his family alone rather than do what the people of South Vietnam wanted. It was an authoritarian rule with deeply rooted nationalistic pride that was impossible to change. This appeared to be a puppet that backfired, having a puppet exterior but a stubborn, nationalistic will inside. President John F. Kennedy wrote a letter to Diem on December 14, 1961 assuring him that the U.S. still held its view on maintaining support for the South Vietnam