Hess argues that the threat of the USSR and Communism “left the US no choice but to stand up to the challenge posed by Vietnam”. Direct confrontation was impossible as the USSR was a nuclear power, therefore the only choice available was “a policy of containment”; previous success in Korea gives validity to this view. Hess states Vietnam was the centre of the “Domino Theory”, that a communist Vietnam “would inexorably lead to the collapse of other non-communist states”. All communist states were believed to be puppets of the USSR so an increase in Soviet allies would tip the global power balance against the US.
In this essay, the author will examine the position of the Kennedy Administration with regard to its ability to respond flexibly to communist expansion, especially to guerrilla warfare. Historians generally think of John F. Kennedy's policies with regard to Vietnam. However, Vietnam was a secondary issue for Kennedy, at least in the public eye. The administration’s prestige was riding on success or failure in Cuba. Unfortunately for Kennedy, the Bay of Pigs incident turned out to be a disaster, leaving Fidel Castro firmly ensconced in power. In its wake, the administration maintained its anti-Castro options by continuing undeclared guerrilla war against Castro. While the administration refused to go ahead with more aggressive plans
During the Lyndon Baines Johnson presidential administration, both those policy makers who supported America’s involvement in Vietnam and those who opposed the war were part of the “containment generation.” They had reached political maturity during World War II and the early years of the Cold War and had experienced the intense anticommunism of the McCarthy era of the early 1950s. These leaders understood and applied the lessons of American nationalism, which had the primary message that the U.S. was the dominating nation that had to embrace its responsibility to aid and improve nations in America’s image. Therefore, when they saw that there was a threat of the spread of communism to areas of Southeast Asia, a majority of the
The political instability in Vietnam from 1950 to 1975 between the communist North Vietnam and anti-communist South Vietnam during the Cold War era has led to the United States’ inevitable intervention in Vietnam. The main motivators for the United States’ incremental decision to intervene and commitment in Vietnam can be viewed as an accumulation of socio-political, political and economic catalysts. In recognition that there were many other factors that may have contributed to the U.S’s involvement in the conflict in Vietnam, this essay will largely focus on these three factors. As the cold war resonates, the American’s crusade was propelled by the fears of the domino theory and perception of Communist threat and expansion affected the
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.
The Vietnam war brought many changes to the United States in the 1960’s and the 1970’s. Some of the changes were for the better of the country, take the rediscovered Women’s Rights movements and the ever growing Free Speech movements inspired by New Left, while most of the other changes brought on tensions between government and their people. The Domino Theory pushed our leaders to the edge. In order to stop the Domino Theory in Vietnam, the U.S. invaded. The war was useless for the American government to get involved with. Even Robert Kennedy described our presence in Vietnam as ‘... sending a lion to halt an epidemic of jungle rot.’ (Doc E) From new groups forming to rebel, to inflation and loss of trust in the Government, from 1960’s to
As communism began to spread steadily and gain more and more attention, Americans became immensely concerned in what most saw as a detrimental threat. President Eisenhower only added to the hysteria by outlining the Domino Theory: the theory that a political event, in this case referring to the spread communism, in one country will cause a similar turn of events in neighboring countries, like a falling domino that causes an entire row to fall down. Although the Vietnam War is seen by many as the only option to try to end the spread of communism, the specious outcome of the war was not effective enough to justify the amount of unethical decisions and situations that were allowed to take place. In 1961, under President Kennedy, 100 Special Forces troops were sent to South Vietnam and by 1963, just two years later, U.S military advisors and Special Forces had increased to 21,000 troops. We will soon see that this is just the beginning and in my paper I will outline the full record of events all the way to the end of the war, including the reasons for U.S involvement, unethical decisions that were made, America 's effort to end the war, and the lasting impact the war had on the United States.
A small country such as North Vietnam was able to win a war against a superpower like the United States of America, through, namely, tactics – such as Guerrilla Warfare -, the ignorance of their enemy, the attitude of the South Vietnamese, as well as a strong leader such as Ho Chi Minh. The Vietnam War was a major conflict (of the Cold War) which lasted from 1959 to 1975 , with US involvement from 1964 to 1973 . US reasons for their involvement in the war was their fear of “The Domino Effect” - or – the US fear that communism would spread to Vietnam and Southeast Asia, making them a major threat to national security. The Fall of Saigon marked the end of the war in 1975.
In response to the increased threat of North Vietnam, recently elected President John F. Kennedy increased America’s presence in Vietnam without intervening by increasing the number of economic, military, and political advisers “from 800 in 1961, when [he] took office, to 16,700 in 1963.” However, once Kennedy was assassinated, Lyndon B. Johnson was elected and was accused of not doing enough to prevent this “domino theory” of falling into communism from happening.
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.
The War in Vietnam remains to be a blemish of American foreign policy today and remains as a crisp thought to those who lived it. As the decades pass away through the sands of time, historians and civilians alike further their wonder of who was truly responsible for this calamity. Verily, this war was the full responsibility of Lyndon Johnson because he failed to learn from former presidents of why fighting was happening, he accrued some of Kennedy’s inept advisors and, he was selfish in terms of the reason why he gave the approval for war.
In the mid-1960s, Lyndon B. Johnson tacked his name onto a long list of U.S. presidents presiding over conflict in Vietnam. More so than his predecessors, however, President Johnson’s involvement was arguably more significant, because he was the first U.S. president to commit the United States to a ground war in Vietnam. His escalation of the war in early-1965 came as a surprise to many, considering his pledge to deescalate the conflict during the 1964 election campaign against Republican Barry Goldwater. However, in analyzing declassified executive documents, the Johnson Administration had, by the summer of 1964, decided that escalation in Vietnam was the only course of action which could feasibly end the conflict and establish stability in the region. Following President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, Johnson felt it necessary to continue his predecessor’s legacy in Vietnam, although his reasons for doing so were less refined than were Kennedy’s. Unconfident in foreign affairs, Johnson was assured in one thing: his alarmist views on the spread of communism. Spurred on by the criticism of his contemporary Republican opponents, Johnson took a hardline stance at the beginning of his presidency, declaring that he would do whatever necessary to stop the spread of communism in Southeast Asia. Furthermore, understanding that a withdrawal from Vietnam would undercut the legitimacy of U.S. foreign commitments, Johnson—albeit reluctantly—ignored the suggestions of political
In fact, remarkable similarities exist between the Korean War and the Vietnam War; from the US support of a dictatorial and corrupt anti-communist regime to its conception of communism as a monolithic entity, under which all communist nations were necessarily allies, rather than individuals to be dealt with separately. However, though those parallels, Vietnam era policy-makers did not apply the lessons of the Korean War to the Vietnam War. Rather, they did not seem to recognize those lessons as lessons at all, and repeated in
The investigation assesses the level of success President Richard Nixon’s Vietnamization policy attained during the Vietnam War to end U.S. involvement in the war. In the strive to evaluate the level of success this policy demonstrated, the investigation evaluates the ability of the policy to equip, expand, and train Southern Vietnamese forces and allocate them to a substantial combat position, all while simultaneously reducing the quantity of U.S. combat troops in a steady manner. The Vietnamization policy is investigated and analyzed by both its causes and effects. The motivation that led to Nixon’s creation of this
Time does not heal all wounds, though it does impose fresh ones that require consideration. Still, even though the Cold War is over, there are many reasons why the history of the Vietnam War should remain fresh and the effort to grasp both the war and the antiwar opposition remain essential. The Vietnam War is, of course, an episode in military history. The episode’s setting is during the Cold War in Vietnam and the central theme of the episode was to pit capitalism and or democracy against communism. In light of this, the movement against the Vietnam War could be said as one of the greatest triumphs in democracy. The war’s purpose was to instill democracy, yet the war was waged with a lack of a constitutional warrant. In an authoritarian