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President Eisenhower pledges support for Vietnam
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1960 marked the fifth anniversary of Vietnam's independence from French rule and so President Eisenhower wrote an official letter of congratulations to President Diem. The president clearly cautioned that Diem should not anticipate seeing any American boots on the ground, but American aid would continue to flow:

"Vietnam's very success as well as its potential wealth and strategic location have led the Communists of Hanoi, goaded by the bitterness of their failure to enslave all Vietnam, to use increasing violence in their attempts to destroy your country's freedom...Although the main responsibility for guarding that independence will always, as it has in the past, belong to the Vietnamese people and their government, I want to assure you that for so long as our strength can be useful, the United States will continue to assist Vietnam in the difficult yet hopeful struggle ahead."

Read President Eisenhower's first letter to President Diem...

In 1954 the French gave up on Vietnam and the U.S. accepted the challenge - click here to read about it...


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