I won't go into the background as to why, but in 1954, French Indochina was divided into four countries: Laos, Cambodia, North Vietnam (Democratic Republic of Vietnam or DRV) and South Vietnam (Republic of Vietnam or RVN). Ho Chi Minh and the Communist Party controlled DRV while a group of anti-Communists (many of them originally from what became DRV) ran RVN. There was supposed to be an election about uniting DRV and RVN and selecting the national leadership. Ho Chi Minh, the man who led the fight that forced the French out of Indochina, was most likely to be selected as Head Honcho of unified Vietnam. John Foster Dulles, the American Secretary of State and a strong anti-Communist, got the election put on indefinite hold. When it became obvious that DRV could not get control of a unified Vietnam politically, Uncle Ho and the boys decided to take over RVN militarily. Ho was an opportunistic Communist who seized power, created an authoritarian government, plunged Vietnam into a war that wrecked the country and established economic policies that left Vietnam poor and backward. He mandated the invasion of South Vietnam that resulted in the deaths of over a million of its citizens. Many more, as many as two million, fled South Vietnam after the unification of Vietnam. Many criticize the Viet Cong, who were subordinate to him, for terrorism in the South.