The Vietnam War
Dwight D. Eisenhower in The Vietnam War
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), a Republican, was the popular 34th President of the United States, serving two terms from 1953 to 1961. Prior to his presidency, Eisenhower was a lifelong military man, commanding the D-Day invasion while serving as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during World War II.
In February 1954, President Eisenhower refused to commit American troops to the Franco-Vietnamese War. In a press conference he stated, "I cannot conceive of a greater tragedy for America than to get heavily involved now in an all-out war in any of those regions."2 By April, however, his administration revisited the question of direct intervention in the war. Though he sent no U.S. troops to the region, he authorized military aid to the French. After France surrendered to the Viet Minh, Eisenhower's administration aided anti-communist leader Ngo Dinh Diem in consolidating power in Saigon. Throughout his second term as president, Eisenhower remained committed to Diem's often-tyrannical regime.