Wow this would be a very long answer but basicly it goes back to about 1850 when France began its conquest of Indochina (Vietnam). France owned Indochina and lost to Germany in the second world war at which time Vietnam became Vichy French who were working with the axis powers of Germany, Italy and Japan. Japan invaded Indochina in 1940, Vichy French continued to run Vietnam but under Japanese power. America and China in 41 funded the Communist party of Vietnam in its fight against Japanese occupation, at the end of the war the Japanese kickin caused a power vacuum in Vietnam that the Commies of Vietnam exploited claiming that Vietnam was their country. The Allies UK, US and Russia claimed it was French territory. French were weak after there kickin at the hands of Germany so the british went to help in the south and China agreed to help the north. the Vietnam communist party didnt like France and eventually war broke out between them and it looked like France would win, but in 49 the Chinese communist party won the Chinese civil war and were free to supply arms to north Vietnam. The war spread to Laos and Cambodia and the friendly relations with Russia also being Communist disintigrated. The Americans thought this was Russia's fault fromm the begining, an example of communist expansionism directed by the Kremlin. things got bad in Vietnam and the French were asking the Americans for tactical nukes but they declined and after a few years the the French were defeated by the Communist north. Vietnam won her independance and the county split in 2, the Communist north and the non-Communist south. The Kennedy administration remained essentially committed to the Cold War foreign policy inherited from the Truman and Eisenhower administrations. In 1961, the USA had 50,000 troops based in Korea, and Kennedy faced a three-part crisis—the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion, the construction of the Berlin Wall, and a negotiated settlement between the pro-Western government of Laos and the Pathet Lao communist movement. This made Kennedy believe that another failure on the part of the United States to gain control and stop communist expansion would fatally damage U.S. credibility with its allies and his own reputation. Kennedy determined to "draw a line in the sand" and prevent a communist victory in Vietnam, saying, "Now we have a problem making our power credible and Vietnam looks like the place," escalated into war with Vietnam.