During the 1952 presidential campaign, Dwight D. Eisenhower claimed that if Vietnam were to fall to communists, that the rest of Southeast Asia would certainly fall as well (domino effect). Determined not to have ‘another Korea’ after elected, Eisenhower gave the French in Vietnam over $400 million dollars in aid. As the French were being outnumbered and routed, politicians in Washington, D.C. met to discuss the course of action.
Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and Vice President Richard M. Nixon were “hard-liners” against Communism and proposed military involvement. Nixon proposed involving American ground troops in support of the French, while Dulles offered Operation Vulture, which was outlined by Admiral Arthur Radford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and involved limited, strategic atomic bombings. Dulles also offered to supply the French with Atomic bombs, which was rejected.
However, it seemed possible that China could get involved, and limited nuclear bombings would soon escalate. Eisenhower reportedly said, "atomic bombing China means atomic bombing the U.S.S.R. What would the U.S.A. do with destruction extending from the Elbe to Vladivostok?” Nuclear escalation was avoided and the United States continued to supply aid to the anti-Communist minority until the war escalated again.