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The 2nd half of the 20th century has witnessed the United States involved in three major wars. The motives and the roles the United States played in the three wars were sometimes similar and sometimes different Nevertheless, regional warfare in Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf directly involved the United States politically, economically, and militarily. The United States entered the Korean War trying to enforce its policy of containment as it would later in during the Vietnam War. The United States’ policy of containment called for measure’s to stop the spread of communism, such as backing anticommunist leaders and helping countries resisting communism. The Soviet Union was backing North Korea and trying to turn Korea into a communist country. Korea was divided into Northern and Southern sections along the 38th parallel, similar to the Vietnam War where Vietnam was divided along the 17th parallel. Korea was divided on the 38th parallel because it was approximately the half way point of the country, and this kept the Northern communists and Southern capitalists separated. Japan had controlled Korea prior to World War II, and the U.S. was a protectorate of Japan, the U.S. was also helping Korea. United States General Douglass MacArthur led the attack against North Korea with his United Nations army. He devised a plan to go in behind enemy lines for the attack. In the end, the progress was minimal as North Korea was only forced back s small ways north of the 38th parallel where the war had started. In Vietnam, the policy of containment came into play again. After France was defeated and lost control of Vietnam, the new government was decided at the Geneva conference. Communist Leader Ho Chi Minh would control North Vietnam above the 17th parallel and the United States and France would control the Southern half of Vietnam. Ngo Dinh Diem would lead South Vietnam but he was weak and unpopular which led to his assassination. Communism began to take a hold in South Vietnam and so came the rise of the Vietcong army. After the United States decided to step up the amount of military advisors it had in Vietnam, North Vietnam attacked 2 U.S. battle ships in the Golf of Tonkin. This led to the Gold of Tonkin resolution, which gave the president the authority to use any means necessary to repel attacks against the anticommunist side. The U.S. also tried air strikes against North Vietnam by bombing the Ho Chi Minh trail. Eventually, the U.S. withdrew from the war. The Persian Gulf War started when Iraq began building military power along its border with Kuwait. This was a major threat because Kuwait contains about one tenth of the world’s oil. When Iraqi President Saddam Hussein ordered the invasion of Kuwait, the United States formed a coalition through the United Nations of 28 nations. The U.S. proposed a plan of help for Saudi Arabia to which they surprisingly agreed. They also asked the Soviet Union not to interfere if the U.S. went to war. Since the cold war had ended, Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev agreed hoping to strengthen the post war bond between the U.S. and Russia. When the UN deadline for Iraqi withdrawal passed, half a million troops were sent into Kuwait to force the Iraqi army out. Sanctions, it had been decided, would take too long to be effective. The war was won fairly quickly by the United States.