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The Vietnam War
The Vietnam War, or the Second Indochina War, and also known in Vietnam as Resistance War Against America or just the American War, was a Cold War-era proxy war that took place in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from November 1, 1955 to April 30, 1975. The Viet Cong, a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region. The People’s Army of Vietnam engaged in a more conventional war, at times formed large units to battle.
The U.S. government considered American involvement in the war as a way to avoid the Communism conquest of South Vietnam. According to the U.S. domino theory, if a state went Communist, other states in the area would follow, then, U.S. policy believed that Communist rule over all of Vietnam was unacceptable. U.S. participation escalated further following the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which a U.S. destroyer clashed with North Vietnamese fast attack craft, which was followed by the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which gave the U.S. president authorization to boost U.S. army presence.
Disappointment with the war by the U.S. led to the gradual removal of U.S. ground forces as part of a policy known as Vietnamization, which intended to end American participation in the war while transmitting the duty of fighting the Communists to the South Vietnamese themselves.
Through the course of the Vietnam War a large segment of the American population came to be opposed to U.S. involvement in South Vietnam. Many U.S. troops were removed from the region, and in 1973, under the Paris Peace Accords military forces withdrew from South Vietnam and prisoners were exchanged. The capture of Saigon by the North Vietnamese Army in April 1975 marked the end of the war, and North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year.
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