The U.S.A., Cambodia and Vietnam were involved in the Vietnam War. It lasted from the 1st of November 1955 to the 30th of April 1975 and gave the Communists an advantage in the Cold War. It also ended French colonialism at Indochina.

Nationalist groups led Ho Chi Minh were responsible for the conflict. He was also inspired by Communism from other parts of the continent. This was not the only opposition to Communism that existed in the south, particularly in Saigon. The South desired a Western capitalist democracy that would improve ties with America. However, there was also opposition to Communism in the south, especially in the capital Saigon. Numerous studies were done into the casualties, injuries and effects of Agent Orange. The American soldiers killed a large number of civilians, including 1.1 million Viet Cong and North Vietnamese fighters. According to the U.S. military estimates, there were between 200,000- 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers who died during the conflict.

The quagmire theory examines the roots of US involvement in Vietnam War. It posits that American leaders and troops were involuntaryly and acidentally leading the US into Vietnam War. This war was not one we won. Many events led to the conclusion that war was the only answer. The belief in America’s expansion of communism across South-east Asia meant that the United States was now stuck in a “quagemire”. Quagmire theory suggests that American leaders and troops were not meant to lead the US into Vietnam War.

Due to the belief that communism would soon spread all over South-east Asia, the United States found itself in a “quagemire”. The US didn’t like this and wanted to change it. The Cold War was characterized by phrases such as American credibility and the Domino Theory. This belief held that South Vietnam’s defeat would lead to the spread of communism in Southeast Asia. Washington was unsure of his options and had clouded judgment. Johnson took over the presidency on November 22, 1963, following the assassination and subsequent reorganization of the previous three administrations. That policy’s core was the fight against communism.

After South Vietnamese defeats on battleground, political problems in Saigon and North Vietnam were resolved in the face American bombing campaigns. They came together to create a situation in Washington where Washington had to choose between war and disengagement. It wasn’t a war we won, but many events led us to the right answer. The quagmire metaphor was the one-step at-a-time process by which the U.S. became trapped in the diplomatic and military swamps of Vietnam.

The first option was a worry for American troops and leaders, but the political consequences of the second were not acceptable. They held on to the belief that the North Vietnamese would “come back to their senses” if the United States invested more resources. This was their belief. America found itself in a “quagemire”, believing that communism could spread to all of South-east Asia. Quagmire theory claims that American leaders and troops didn’t intend to lead them into the Vietnam War.

Because of America’s belief that communism would soon spread across South-east Asia, the United States finds itself in a “quagemire”. The American bombing campaign led to the defeat of South Vietnam on the battlefield and the resolution of political issues in Saigon as well as North Vietnamese. The first option was a risky one, but American leaders and troops refused to accept the political consequences of the second. American soldiers and leaders simply joined this war, but they did not face the political consequences of it.


  • owenbarrett

    I'm Owen Barrett, a 31-year-old educational blogger and traveler. I enjoy writing about the places I've visited and sharing educational content about travel and culture. When I'm not writing or traveling, I like spending time with my family and friends.