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ground forces began as part of "Vietnamization", which aimed to end American involvement in the war while transferring the task of fighting the communists to the South Vietnamese themselves. and the Western world, a large anti-Vietnam War movement developed as part of a larger counterculture.
The Viet Minh, a Communist-led common front under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh, then initiated an insurgency against French rule. There were also talks between the French and Americans in which the possible use of three tactical nuclear weapons was considered, though reports of how seriously this was considered and by whom are vague and contradictory.
As the war continued, the military actions of the Viet Cong decreased as the role and engagement of the NVA grew. They viewed the conflict as a colonial war and a continuation of the First Indochina War against forces from France and later on the United States. This was part of the domino theory of a wider containment policy, with the stated aim of stopping the spread of communism. They received some Japanese arms when Japan surrendered.
The Tet Offensive failed in its goal of overthrowing the South Vietnamese government, but became the turning point in the war, as it persuaded a large segment of the U. population that its government's claims of progress toward winning the war were illusory despite many years of massive U. The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities (see Vietnam War casualties).
Between 19, the North Vietnamese government instituted various agrarian reforms, including "rent reduction" and "land reform", which resulted in significant political oppression.
During the land reform, testimony from North Vietnamese witnesses suggested a ratio of one execution for every 160 village residents, which extrapolated nationwide would indicate nearly 100,000 executions.
Elections throughout the country were to be held in 1956 to establish a unified government.
By the 1950s, the conflict had become entwined with the Cold War. The defeat marked the end of French military involvement in Indochina.In early 1957 South Vietnam enjoyed its first peace in over a decade.Incidents of political violence began to occur in mid-1957, but the government "did not construe it as a campaign, considering the disorders too diffuse to warrant committing major GVN [Government of Vietnam] resources." By early 1959, however, Diệm had come to regard the (increasingly frequent) disorders as an organized campaign and implemented Law 10/59, which made political violence punishable by death and property confiscation.Because the campaign was concentrated mainly in the Red River Delta area, a lower estimate of 50,000 executions became widely accepted by scholars at the time.