American Escalation in Vietnam

Topics: Vietnam War, South Vietnam, Lyndon B. Johnson Pages: 2 (637 words) Published: May 21, 2012
Vietnam was a conflicted country after world war two. It was divided, and their suppressors the French, had been expelled from the country, but another country stepped in; America. America had a significant role in Vietnam during the 1960's. It's most major involvments include Diem's assassination, the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, America's gradual escalation of conflict within Vietnam, and America's bombing campaign once it had given the southern vietnamese the ground war. These conflicts can be divided through partial examination of JFK's involvement in the war and Johnson's involvment.

Diem was the southern vietnamese leader who was supported by America. However, JFK grew suspicious of Diem's motivation and tactics so when JFK had learned of an assassination on Diem's life being planned by a colonel in the Vietnamese army he did nothing to intervene. JFK's knowledge of the event was not revealed until after the war upon research of the occurence. JFK started the escalation in Vietnam by first letting Diem die and hoping that South Vietnam would elect a better individual in JFK's eyes, and then by sending "military advisors" to South Vietnam. JFK's reasonings for this was that he did not want to lose Vietnam to communism like he had China.

By 1962 Kennedy was murdered and Johnson had to deal with Vietnam. Johnson did not take a subtle approach like Kennedy did on the political stage, Johnson ordered the constant bombing of Vietnam, this operation was known as "Rolling Thunder". More bombs were dropped on Vietnam than on Germany in WW2. Johnson's reasoning for escalation was primarily because he wanted the war to be over with and that he didn't want to look like a bad president in history. So in 1964 in the Gulf of Tonkin several ships were attacked in North Vietnamese territory that were owned by the United States Johnson asked for a resolution on the event that would grant him virtually limitless resources on dealing with Vietnam, this is known as a blank...
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