Interview with Douglas MacArthur, 1982

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A United States Ambassador to Japan from 1957-1961, Douglas MacArthur II recalls why the United States originally supported the French in Vietnam. MacArthur explains that at the time there was a belief that if Vietnam fell, soon after it would be followed by Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, and therefore it would serve as a sign that anyone who resisted the Viet Minh would be supported. He was not convinced, however, that the United States could completely destroy the Viet Minh. MacArthur recounts being directly involved with an offer of aid that was made to the French Prime Minster, Laniel in 1953. The offer was refused, so the United States constructed the Navarre Plan that gave both financial as well as specific items of military aid to France in support of their war in Indochina. MacArthur also explains in detail why Russia and China were supporting the Viet Minh and the reasoning why the terms of the Geneva Conventions were accepted by Vietnam.