Vietnam War
History of the United States
Cold War

Did we go to war in Vietnam over oil?

Answer

Wiki User
06/15/2015

No. Historians show that it was an attempt to stop the spread of Communism following the takeover of China by the Communist Party in 1949, the attempted military conquest of South Korea by Communist North Korea in 1950, and the defeat of the French colonial forces by the Communist-led Viet Minh in Indochina. There is a tradition of trying to blame all modern wars on the desire to control resources, but there is generally little data to support it and the ideas are spread by invoking elaborate conspiracy theories. Vietnam did not have oil resources during the war and has found and developed large oil resources only in recent years. Today it still has to import part of the petroleum it needs for its domestic use.

The slimy truth is "yes" the Vietnam War was fought over oil, just as Iraq and Afghanistan are about oil. I know because the company I worked for in the 1970s (subsequently bought by Halliburton) was then the largest seismic data collector on the planet. Studies by our marine crews indicated vast oil deposits in the waters off Vietnam potentially many times the size of Saudi Arabia's.

This is not public information, nor will it ever be unless Halliburton releases it, but I was present in board meetings during the Vietnam war where these findings were discussed. The phrase "oil is synonymous with national security," was the reply to my expressed concerns about the Vietnam "conflict." Vietnam subsequently became one of the top 50 oil exporters in the world. Last I checked, the oil derricks offshore Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, were Russian. According to Wikipedia, Vietnam is #29 worldwide in proven oil reserves.

The confrontation in May of this year (2015) between China and other states bordering the South China Sea prove they now know what the US knew in the 60-70s about the presence of oil there.

Oil has become not just an ecological nightmare, it is a national and global security risk. How many lives must be sacrificed on the alter of carbon before we wise up and switch to renewable energy.