Establishing a Common Background: Herring, America's Longest War, pp. 3-45


The relationship between the U.S. and France from 1945 to 1955 is treated especially well in one of our core texts for The Vietnam Experience. After completing the reading assignment in George Herring's text, be able to discuss the following questions which focus our attention upon the French-American relationship during this period. Handling the reading assignment in this manner will provide common understanding about the First Indochina War, 1946 to 1954, between the French and Vietnamese. Students will come away with a basic knowledge of the period as well as sufficient background for this part of the Advisory Experience module.


1. Why did the Truman administration not observe anti-French, anti-colonialism policies in 1947- 1948?

2. Be able to outline reasons for our recognition, by 1950, of the growing importance of Southeast Asia to U.S. strategic      interests.

3. Be able to describe and contrast the French-American partnership in Vietnam, 1947-1954, under Presidents Truman and     Eisenhower.

4. Why did the U.S. not engage in a direct military intervention to aid the French during the Dien Bien Phu crisis?

5. Be able to discuss the context for and the purposes of the "flurry of American diplomatic activity in April 1954."

6. Did the Geneva Accords (1954) improve the chances for peace in Indochina?



After using this part of this module,

Go To Military Assistance and Advisory Group (MAAG)

Return to The United States Advisory Experience: Early Commitments, 1954-1965