Seminar paper from the year 2000 in the subject American Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 2 (B), University of Bayreuth (FB American Studies), course: Applied geography seminar USA 1950-2000, 11 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: 'Vietnam, Vietnam....There are no sure answers,' the veteran Southeast Asian correspondent Robert Shaplen wrote during an especially perplexing period of a long and confusing war. Despite the passage of time, the publication of hundreds of books, and the declassification of thousands of documents, Shaplen's lament remains as real today as when it was penned thirty years ago. Why did the United States make such a vast commitment in an area of so little importance, one in which it had taken scant interest before? This paper wants to demonstrate the most important incidents in the years of 1954 - 1965 in Vietnam and in the United States and how the United States became involved in the war. The first part is about the historical backgrounds after the Geneva Conference in 1954 and the beginning of the American engagement in Indochina. The second part deals with the changes in politics under President Kennedy. And the third part is about the events that led the United States into a war against North Vietnam.