After WWII, Ho Chi Minh leads Communist backed rebels in fighting the French to throw off the French colonial rule. The French are defeated in 1954, however, because of communist worldwide expansion, the U.S. supports South Vietnam in resisting the Ho Chi Minh led North Vietnamese.
What starts out as military advisors and military aid, expands significantly in 1964 with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. The war continues escalation with no clear winner until a negotiated cease fire in 1973. Soon after the U.S. leaves Vietnam, the North Vietnamese conquer the South and set up a single Republic of Vietnam.
During American involvement, opposition to the war escalated and resulted in significant domestic unrest. American involvement results in over 58,000 U.S. deaths and more than 150,000 wounded. Estimates of Asian combatant casualties range from 966,000 to 3.8 million Vietnamese deaths, 240,000 to 300,000 Cambodians and 20,000 to 62,000 Laotians.