Cold War in Asia

Presidential Periods

Harry S Truman

1945 - 1953

The "Containment" Theory- Communism is like a virus, you can't kill it, but you can quarantine it.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

1953 - 1961

The Domino Theory- If the US does not stop communism in Vietnam, it will continue to expand throughout Asia.

John F Kennedy

1961 - 1963

Lyndon Johnson

1963 - 1969

Strongly believed in the Domino Theory. Strongly affected by the stress of the Vietnam War which was physically visible.

Richard Nixon

1969 - 1974

Important Events

Atlantic Charter


Marshall Plan


US spends a lot of $ on the reconstruction of Europe

End of WWII


The end of the second World War leaves a large amount of tension between the Soviet Union and the United States. Both nations had opposing views of how the postwar-world should look.

Iron Curtain Speech


Winston Churchill challenged the US to maintaining world peace. They should put a stop to Russia's rise to power before another world war happens.

Truman Doctrine


President Truman expresses his opinion on the issue with Greece and how the US should get involved. He believed it was the job of the US to take care of "infant" countries so that they did not fall to communist rule.

Berlin Airlift


Soviets barred off Berlin from all, including allies. US chose to drop supplies in through aircraft to aide civilians inside.

Creation of the CIA


Creation of NATO


North Atlantic Treaty Organization



Start of the Red Scare


Roughly around 1952 McCarthy proposed the idea that there were communist sympathizers in the US. Created widespread paranoia.

Geneva Accords


The agreement that Vietnam would be split in half. Soldiers who supported the French would go south and the Viet Minh would go north (meaning north Vietnam was under communist control) . In two years an election would be held to decide which side gains control of all of Vietnam.

Domino Theory


If Vietnam falls to Communism, it will continue to spread all over Asia.

JFK Assassination


Gulf of Tonkin


A US navy ship (in enemy territory) announced they had been attacked. Later discovered it was a false alarm, although too late since it had already led to US military involvement in Vietnam.

Operation Rolling Thunder


Air raids on Vietnam, did not do a lot of damage. Led to the realization that the tunnels were nearly impenetrable.

Operation Pheonix


My Lai Massacre


Jumpy US soldiers were ordered to attack the village of My Lai under false information. They expected to find Vietcong, but instead found women, children, and elderly which they fired upon.

Tet Offensive


Before the Tet Offensive, Johnson had told US citizens that the Vietnam War had been going well. However, when the North Vietnam launched the major attack on the US (known as the Tet Offensive), it made many question the government's honesty.



Kent State


"Peaceful" protest by US college students escalated when students began throwing rocks at soldiers, who retaliated by firing on the crowd.



A slip up by Nixon to secure that he would be elected. Led to his resignation from office and further distrust of the government.

Fall of Saigon


US Soldiers Officially Leave Vietnam



World War II

1939 - 1945

Soviets were allied with Germany until Hitler decided to invade Russia. Then the switched to be allied with the US.

Chinese Revolution


Rise of Communism. China becomes a big player in the ongoing struggle between Communism and Democracy.

Korean War

1950 - 1953

The Soviets backed North Korea's attack on South Korea after the US withdrew most of their troops. The US asked the UN to aide in backing up South Korea, which, without any opportunity for the Soviet Union to oppose, they agreed to. Resulted in a draw, neither side gained.

Dien Bien Phu

1953 - 1954

Battle between the Vietnamese and the French. The French lose, badly.

Vietnam War (US Involvement)

1964 - 1973