Who was the US fighting in the Vietnam War?
The North Vietnamese Army and the Vietcong, the Communist organization in South Vietnam. Plus anybody else who was shooting at us.
When Afghanistan jet fighters are fighting US jet fighters. When Afghanistan tanks are fighting US tanks. When Afghanistan warships are fighting US warships. When Afghanistan soldiers are fighting US soldiers. Then it will be like Vietnam. Right now, it just a law enforcement issue; finding terrorists, arresting them, or terminating them.
No nation, including the US is at war with the country of Iraq. Iraq is simply a nation that needs law, order, and stability restored to it. The US was bombing the nation of North Vietnam. The Army and Air Force of North Vietnam was fighting the US Air Force/US Navy in the air, and fighting the US Army/US Marine Corps on the ground. Two nations were at war with each other.
Did Eisenhower Kennedy and Johnson all aprrove of the US backing the South Vietnamese in their civil war?
A civil war is ONE country fighting with itself; such as the US Civil War (America was fighting itself). Vietnam was never one country until it won the war in 1975. Two separate nations were created in 1954; a NORTH and a SOUTH Vietnam. TWO separate nations were fighting against each other in Vietnam-A North and a South.
The US DID change it's tactics in Vietnam. The war went FROM a guerrilla war TO a conventional war (tanks and B-52 bombers). Had President Kennedy lived, Vietnam very well could have been fought by the USN SEALS and USA Special Forces (Green Berets). Fighting fire with fire. When Kennedy died, the WWII Generals took over; and Vietnam went WWII style (jets fighting jets, tanks fighting tanks, etc.).
The US tried to prevent South Vietnam from becoming a communist country by fighting the war. After Vietnam became united as one COMMUNIST VIETNAM country, the US delayed relationships with that nation until the end of the cold war. With the ending of the cold war, trade relationships exist between the US and Vietnam; not a big trade relationship, but an exchange of goods, none the less.
Vietnam consisted of four wars: The Air War over North Vietnam; the Riverine War in South Vietnam; the Ground War in South Vietnam; and the Covert War in Laos & Cambodia. Nearly all of the 600 plus US POW's consisted of shot down pilots and aircrewmen. These men were shot down over North Vietnam while fighting the "air war."
Communist NORTH Vietnam wanted to re-unite with it's SOUTHERN half; SOUTH Vietnam. The US backed South Vietnam desired to remain a non-communist Republic of South Vietnam. Because the "Communists" were involved, and this was the cold war era; the US had to stop & contain communism. The North attacked the South, the South resisted...Vietnam War.