President Lyndon. B Johnson and the Vietnam War Essay

Decent Essays
The conflict in Vietnam for the United States started when President Dwight D. Eisenhower went along with the domino theory and sent in military advisors in South Vietnam to stop the communist movement from taking place in South Vietnam. The Vietnam conflict was between the communist’s and the United States. North Vietnam was led by Ho Chi Minh, and Ho Chi Minh led the Viet Cong, a guerilla group to help spread communism. The United States were supporters of the South Vietnam because they wanted them to maintain their government rather than falling to the domino theory of communism. After Eisenhower’s term ended John F. Kennedy became president and took control of the situation of Vietnam but on November 22, 1963, Kennedy was…show more content…
What made this even more difficult was that he “had not given much attention to Vietnam or to foreign affairs in general” (Moise 30). For a nation like the United States in need of a decision on the fly, this was very troubling. Earlier “President Johnson felt that Harry Truman, in 1950, had erred by going into the Korean War without getting firm commitment of support from the congress” (Moise 226). In other words it appeared to be that Johnson would be careful about getting involved in a conflict like Vietnam. Being careful to say the least was not the case at all. There was not much serious thought in escalating the Vietnam War until the Tonkin Gulf incident occurred. In the Gulf of Tonkin it was reported “that two American destroyers had been attacked by North Vietnamese PT boats on August 4, 1964,” (Friedman 293). Shortly after these incidents, “Johnson immediately escalated the war by ordering airstrikes on North Vietnam” (Friedman 293). These events made it so Johnson could raise United States involvement in Vietnam without congressional backing on his decisions. Increasing involvement in the war was appealing though because after the Tonkin Gulf incident support of military involvement in North Vietnam raised from thirty one percent approvals to fifty percent approval (Moise 226). Although approval of the amount in favor immediately after the Gulf of Tonkin incident rose, it was a “mistake on Johnson’s part… assuming that the
Get Access