Upon the French’s exit, the American involvement and commitment escalated with the use of the political establishments in South Vietnam to assist in the curbing the spread of Communism. This presented America an opportunity for them to significantly integrate themselves in the South Vietnamese government to further delay the reunification election from taking place in 1954. The attacks on the US naval vessels during the Gulf of Tonkin incident provided the U.S, under the Johnson administration, another justification for the escalated involvement of the conflict in Vietnam. In which, the U.S responded with the Gulf of Tonkin resolution to launch a full-scale military effort towards the North until their withdrawal from Vietnam in 1969. The desolate gradual departure of America in Vietnam was summarised by Senator James Buckley as “that damning silence of those who cannot find even a single word of compassion for those under Communist tyranny”. It can be inferred from this context that as the situations in Vietnam continue to evolve, the American’s participation also varied to align with these conditions.
Communism as a political philosophy has had both its critics and nationalist proponents throughout recent history. As a tool for nationalistic movements in recent, one of the most compelling examples is how communism was introduced and used by Ho Chi Minh to help Vietnam become a unified and independent nation in the 1970s. Ho Chi Minh, a Marxist Leninist, charismatic and populist leader, adopted communism through his experiences, struggles, and challenges. Communism came to play an important role in bringing Vietnam independence and freedom from the French and subsequent colonialist rulers. Ho Chi Minh used communist to help the Vietnamese develop feelings of patriotism and nationalism toward the country. Ho Chi Minh created several
The Vietnam War was a conflict, which the United States involved itself in unnecessarily and ultimately lost. The basis of the conflict was simple enough: Communism vs. Capitalism, yet the conduct of the Vietnam War was complex and strategic, and brought repercussions which had never been seen before. The struggle between North and South had an almost inevitable outcome, yet the Americans entered the War optimistic that they could aid the falling South and sustain democracy. The American intentions for entering the Vietnam conflict were good, yet when the conflict went horribly wrong, and the resilient North Vietnamese forces, or Viet Cong' as they were known, refused to yield, the United States saw they were fighting a losing battle.
The Vietnam war has been referred to by many names, one of the longer ones was 'the cornerstone of the free world southeast Asia'. It was called that by John F. Kennedy. He was talking about Vietnam being and essential country in a non-communist world. He believed that if Vietnam became a communist country, all of the surrounding countries would also become communists. This is the main reason America was involved in the Vietnam war. Another reason was that America wanted to spread their “political ideas around the globe”. They wanted to do this so that their anti-communism stance was clear. The public also wanted to keep communism from spreading. To soldiers, the war was like a crusade, a great journey to purge the communists from Vietnam.
The Vietnam War started in 1945, resulting in almost 60,000 American deaths and nearly two million Vietnamese deaths, according to Mintze. Years after combat countless Vietnam veterans suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder in every aspect of their lives (Price). Posttraumatic stress disorder is an illness that can happen to anyone who has gone through a horrifying experience. It has been documented in all forms of literature and films the brutality of the war and the side effects it came with. The history of Vietnam is quite long and winding and leaves one to question its purpose (Mintze).
The Vietnam War lasted longer, bloodier, and more hostile than any U.S. President or American citizen imagined. Lyndon Johnson faced many other enemies during the war such as the duration, the immense number of deaths, and for the first time in most American’s history, failure. Through deep evaluation of Lyndon B. Johnson’s foreign policies as President during the Vietnam war, failure was a recurring outcome, as he faced military and political difficulties over having complete authority over political decisions made leading to the misuse of his respective power, receiving split support through torn Americans at home, and his accord to deport so many troops into combat in Vietnam.
Social and economic tensions were not the only things strained because of the war, political activities were on the brink as well. The Domino Theory, speculation that if one country takes another to communism, the surrounding countries will fall to it as well, was one of the main reasons for starting the war. If the Domino Theory had occurred, the United States would suffer a horrible loss to foreign affairs, something they were not able to handle at that time. When the affair in the Gulf of Tonkin happened in 1964, the U.S. government jumped on the idea to stop Vietnam. In the Gulf of Tonkin, a ship, the U.S.S. Maddox, was attacked by Vietnam patrol boats. Even though the Maddox was unhurt, the LBJ jumped on the opportunity to squash the Domino Effect before it started. Soon after the attack, Lyndon B Johnson got the ‘stamp of approval’ from Congress to counter attack. He was allowed to “Take all necessary measure to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression.” (Doc A) Little did they know that their
The Vietnam War, lasting for approximately 20 years, was the longest and one of the most controversial wars in American history. Not only did the war take a heavy toll on the American troops fighting abroad, but it also led to riots and tension amongst Americans on the homefront. Two presidents devoted to winning the war against the spread of Communism in Vietnam as quickly and effectively as possible were Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. Although Johnson was a Democrat and Nixon was a Republican, their foreign policies in Vietnam were similar because they both kept secrets about the war from Congress and because both of their foreign policies were disliked by the American public. However, they differed because Johnson escalated the United
Secretary of State John Kerry once said “I saw courage both in the Vietnam War and in the struggle to stop it. I learned that patriotism includes protest, not just military service.” The Vietnam War was a conflict that lasted from 1956-1975 which the United States participated in along with the South Vietnamese who fought against the Communist North Vietnamese. Many Americans strongly disapproved of the war which caused many protests and riots. The war lasted 25 years killing many people and eventually the North Vietnamese won. The Vietnam War was important to Americans back home because it tested the citizen’s right to free speech, effected future foreign policy, and created many issues for returning veterans.
In this journal, Mitchell Lerner offers his assessment on the commonly accepted view among historians and people generally that Lyndon B. Johnson’s popularity declined due to the way he handled U.S involvement in the Vietnam War, by keeping the growing involvement a secret and not being truly honest about the odds how a victory in this war. . However, Lerner argues that this evaluation of Johnson fails to take into account several aspects pertaining to Johnson himself and the political atmosphere of the late 20th century. Lerner first claims that Johnson did attempt to make his intentions with Vietnam explicit, but either his words were ignored or misinterpreted by many Americans. Additionally, Lerner asserts that Johnson actions in Vietnam, like increasing the amount of U.S ground troops in Vietnam, should have also made Johnson commitment to Vietnam evident. Again though, Johnson actions were ignored by the American people. Lerner reasons that the American people generally ignored Johnson’s affairs in Vietnam because they were more concerned with domestic issues plaguing the United
The Cold War era proxy war known as the Vietnam War wrecked global havoc during 1955-1975. Although the destruction on the ground occurred in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, the bloodshed of the war was just one part of a much larger worldwide communism versus capitalism battle headed by the United States and the Soviet Union. For the U.S., diplomatic and military policies had never before been so tightly intertwined with domestic policies. The war in Vietnam had such an impact on the home front in America that the term, “The Vietnam Syndrome” is still repeated to this day. The war, which is sometimes seen as a part of the larger anti-communist policy of ‘containment’, is largely to blame for the near destruction of three presidencies, as well as causing numerous political and social divides, a detrimental effect on the U.S. economy, and a credibility gap that caused distrust between government and the people. The focus on the war meant that many domestic issues such as the civil rights movement, the war on poverty, and Johnson’s ideology of the ‘Great Society’, were neglected by the government and therefore limited in their progress. The overall domestic impact of the war in Vietnam was largely negative and extremely divisive.
A quarter of a century after the Fall of Saigon, Vietnam continues to exercise a powerful hold of the American psyche. No deployment of American troops abroad is considered without the infusion of the Vietnam question. No formulation of strategic policy can be completed without weighing the possibility of Vietnanization. Even the politics of a person cannot be discussed without taking into account his opinion on the Vietnam Ware. This national obsession with Vietnam is perfectly national when viewed from a far. It was the only war that the United States has ever lost. It defined an era of American history that must rank with the depression as one of this nation’s most traumatic. It concluded with Watergate and led many to believe that the
The United States intervention in Vietnam is seen by the world as America’s greatest loss and longest war. Before the start of the war in Vietnam, the thought of the United States losing this war was unheard of because America was technologically superior, no country in south East Asia could contend with them. Lyndon B. Johnson announced that he would not be the president to allow South East Asia to go Communist . Why the United States lost the war has been a huge debate since the end of the war, because there were so many factors affecting why they lost; the war was a loss politically, after losing support from not only the American public but also the South Vietnamese and losing a political mandate for the war by 1973, when the last
In 1965, the United States of America officially enter the war against North Vietnam. After the Gulf of Tonkin incident where North Vietnamese attacked two U.S. ships on August 2nd and 4th, 1964, this event was a chance for U.S. President Lyndon Johnson to give authority for U.S. to enter war in Vietnam. United State involvement in Vietnam War was an approach to seize the communist aggression. A campaign authorized by President Johnson called “Operation Rolling Thunder” which started on February 24th, 1965 is a series of extensive bombing directed towards the North Vietnamese predicted to be eight weeks long until the North Vietnamese surrender to U.S. power. However, this campaign lasted two years longer than expected.
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