The conflict emerged from the First Indochina War against the communist-led Viet Minh. [A 4] Most of the funding for the French war effort was provided by the U. S After the French quit Indochina in 1954, the US assumed financial and military support for the South Vietnamese state. The Việt Cộng, also known as Front national de libération du Sud-Viêt Nam or NLF (the National Liberation Front), a South Vietnamese common front under the direction of North Vietnam, initiated a guerrilla war in the south. North Vietnam had also entered Laos in the mid-1950s in support of insurgents, setting up the Ho Chi Minh trail to supply and reinforce the Việt Cộng and increased in 1960.  U. S. involvement escalated under President John F. Kennedy through the MAAG program from just under a thousand in 1959 to 16,000 in 1963.  By 1963, the North Vietnamese had sent 40,000 soldiers to fight in South Vietnam.  Supplies were supported by the People's Republic of China, in both arms and logistics personnel.