- · More military and economic assistance to Saigon.
- · Had he pulled out he would probably be charged with the loss of Vietnam to communism
Nov. 1963 Johnson entered
- · Ngo Dinh Diem was assassinated
- · Johnson wanted the same victory as Kennedy and Eisenhower. Containment and stopping of communist aggression.
· a policy of neutrality by US in Vietnam would lead to a communist take over
took over South Vietnam.
· General Nguyen Khanh
- · Use of American Navy to help south Vietnam forces through the gulf of Tonken and then they would land and attack in North Vietnam.
- · This was not announced and not generally known.
Two ships involved in this operation were attacked.
- · Early August 1964. Maddox and Turner Joy
- · In direct response to apparent attacks, House and Senate voted overwhelmingly for the gulf of Tonken resolution.
- · August 7, 1964 Gave president Johnson a blank check to do as he wished to stop communist aggression
- · The captains said themselves that they were not sure they were being attacked but Johnson wanted this.
- · Johnson thought Truman made a mistake not committing congress in Korea so he wanted congress to back as well
Once General Nguyen Khanh heard of Tonken Resolution
· He tried to seize more power in Saigon but in Feb 1965 replaced by Nguyen Van Thieu and Ngoyen Cao Ky
- · In air power and on ground. Johnson did not announce this but sent more troops to Vietnam.
- · Use of American troops Changed. April 1 1965 he approved a search and destroy mission for American land forces. Americans would now be directly involved.
- · During summer and fall more troops were sent. By 1968 over 500,000 American troops in Vietnam.
Sec of State Dean Rusk announced there would be no
- Sanctuary. If China
- intervened the US may just attack China.
NLF (National Liberation Force)
- · Ho Chi Minh agreed with them, should remove US
- · Said that Siagon Gov had no legitimacy
April 7, 1965 Johnson stated the American Goal
· The independence of south Vietnam and freedom from attack.
Jan 1966 - Johnson 14 points for Vietnam
- Called upon North to leave
- · Return to Geneva agreements of 1954 (which never called for two Vietnam governments. bit of a signal Johnson would negotiate to create on Vietnam)
Core problem in Korea
- · North attack on the South. The Hanoi regime is clearly and simply a communist attack.
- Thus US should contain just like in Korea
Problem in the
- · People
- questioned the legitimacy of the Saigon Gov in the South.
on Domino Theory
- · He believed it. If south Vietnam left, Communism would take over all of south East asia.
- · Johnson had the same perspective not just for Vietnam but global effect with Domino Theory
Americans had to send in daily
- · Body count reports. This was going to be used to gauge how much US was winning the war.
- · They were shelling from 20 miles away, but were expected to add up body counts.
- · Secretary of Defense Robert McNamera took these reports very seriously
Ultimately this would lead to the collapse of
- · Johnson's presidency. Not good politics in the long run
- · In goldwater context he wanted the Tonken Operation
Goldwater suggested if an American President would just
tell the Soviets to back away they would.
The public image in 1960's
- · Young college students opposing the war.
- · In actuality Parents and Grand Parents were even more opposing to the war.
Robert McNamera later said, even in the 90's
· 'mistakes were made' but never acknowledged anything he did could have been wrong
- · Late Jan and early feb 1968
- · Massive uprising in South Vietnam. Seemed to prove the war was not being won. American and Vietnamese forces put down the Tet Offensive but it shifted the way Americans looked at the war.
- · Some because of Tet thought the war was unwinable. Others said because we put it down so well if we would only stick with the plan we could have won
Sen Eugene McCarthy ran against Lyndon Johnson
- · Simply an anti-war person. Almost beat Johnson in the primary
- · Robert Kennedy would enter the race
- · Johnson then decided to step aside.
Johnson announced a halt in bombing of North Vietnam
· to encourage Hanoi gov (lead by Le Duc To) to make a peace negotiation
Nixon said he had a secret plan for vietnam
- Used this as a way to win election in 1968. elected in wake of aftermath of Vietnam.
- In actuality there was no secret plan