S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Dept. of International Studies (국제학과) Journal of International and Area Studies Journal of International and Area Studies vol.06 (1999)
A Re-examination of America’s Indochina Policy During the French Presence -Arms Transfer for Diplomatic Leverage and the Role of the Catholics-
- Yu, Insun; Choi, Dong-Ju
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 국제학연구소
- Journal of International and Area Studies, Vol.6 No.2, pp. 75-90
- This paper purports to examine the major assumptions that have guided American foreign policy toward French Indochina during the postwar period. The representing terminology in describing US policy toward Indochina in the early postwar period, that is “liberal capitalism,” should be at least modified for the advance of historical research. Economics could not fully support the ideology of us containment policy. Indeed, to consolidate the American “consensual hegemony,” the superpower utilised its technical superiority over the European allies to lever them for multipurpose, making deals with the least financial support. Especially, the us arms transfer secured a footing for the US consensual hegemony for the years to come, specifically while it was dealing with the French in dire need of the enactment of the program to check lip its traditional enemy, Germany.
On the other hand, more critically, to the Catholic Church, however, Vietnam was more than a mere stepping stone in America’s fight against world communism. Because of this, Vietnam had to be “rescued” from the impending ideological chaos and military anarchy, which followed France’s evacuation after WWⅡ. Even more important to her, as a religious entity, was the rescue of Vietnam from Buddhism with which the catholic Church had fought for hundreds of years. This motivation had become one of the major factors that influenced the general con？duct of the Catholic Church in its relationship with Vietnam, even before the Diem regime. The failure to recognise this factor became one of the major causes of the ultimate political and military disintegration of Vietnam, and of the final collapse of the us military effort itself.
Accordingly, factors of a political, ideological, economic and military nature played no meaning role in the unfolding of the war, but the religion of the Catholic Church was one of its main instigators. It is interesting to consider that the Vietnam War, in its origin, began as a religious conflict. Some important historical points show how America was manipulated into supporting Catholic oppression in Vietnam from the French presence till the end of the war.
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