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The Vietnam war was initially between the French and the North Vietnamese. We got involved soon after the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu if I remember correctly. So we didn't start the war, we actually got involved in the middle of it.
 
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The Vietnam war was initially between the French and the North Vietnamese. We got involved soon after the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu if I remember correctly. So we didn't start the war, we actually got involved in the middle of it.



Actually it is a bit more complicated than that.
There were coups and name changes, and reconfigurations, but basically there is some truth to what you are saying.
A Vietnam War Timeline
They left around 5 to ten years before the US got involved knee deep.


1956
French Leave Vietnam
US Training South Vietnamese: The US Military Assistance Advisor Group (MAAG) assumes responsibility, from French, for training South Vietnamese forces.


So US Troops were training but not fighting.....
Then 8 years later.


1964
Gulf of Tonkin Incident: On August 2, three North Vietnamese PT boats allegedly fire torpedoes at the USS Maddox, a destroyer located in the international waters of the Tonkin Gulf, some thirty miles off the coast of North Vietnam. The attack comes after six months of covert US and South Vietnamese naval operations. A second, even more highly disputed attack, is alleged to have taken place on August 4.
Debate on Gulf of Tonkin Resolution: The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution is approved by Congress on August 7 and authorizes President Lyndon Johnson to "take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression." The resolution passes unanimously in the House, and by a margin of 82-2 in the Senate. The Resolution allows Johnson to wage all out war against North Vietnam without ever securing a formal Declaration of War from Congress.



I think it is a well accepted fact that this was just an excuse, i.e., it was made up to fullfill the cold war doctrine as follows....


1954
Eisenhower Cites "Domino Theory" Regarding Southeast Asia: Responding to the defeat of the French by the Vietminh at Dienbienphu, President Eisenhower outlines the Domino Theory: "You have a row of dominoes set up. You knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly."


A Vietnam War Timeline
 
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