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The War in Vietnam, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 390

Essay

John F Kennedy was a strong supporter of protecting the spread of communism to the west. He stated that he would continue the policy of President Eisenhower and support the Government of South Vietnam. Kennedy believed that South Vietnam was pivotal to the region and that if it fell to the communists then other countries in the region would surely follow. In 1962 Kennedy was fully embroiled in the controversy of Vietnam and by this time the Administration had 12,000 advisors and 300 helicopters with pilots in the country. They were told to avoid military conflict but the stage was set.  (Trueman, 2010).

Lyndon B Johnson became fully committed to the Vietnam War. After an attack on an American barracks at Plieuku, he ordered reprisal bombings on North Vietnam.  This in turn led to a round of escalation in increased aerial bombings and more ground troops. The Kennedy administration committed 16,000 troops but Johnson had escalated this to around 537,000 by the end of 1968. Vietnam became the war of attrition and the US administration believed that it could win a conventional war based upon superior technology and numbers. The TET offensive shocked the American people during LBJ’s administration”the number of US troops killed in action was 1,163; the death toll increased to 2,197 in February; in the next three months, another 5,000 would lose their lives in battle” (Simon, 2002)

The election victory of Richard Nixon in 1968 started with a plan to end US involvement in Vietnam nut it took his administration another 5 years to achieve the objective.  In fact the Nixon administration presided over the war for as many years as the previous administration “About a third of the Americans who died in combat were killed during the Nixon presidency.”  (Digital History, 2006).  US incursions into Cambodia and Laos further destabilized the region “In late January 1973, the United States, South Vietnam, the Viet Cong, and North Vietnam signed a cease-fire agreement, under which the United States agreed to withdraw from South Vietnam without any comparable commitment from North Vietnam” (Digital History, 2006).

Works Cited

Digital History. (2006). Vietnam War. Retrieved 11 9, 2010, from Digital History: http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/database/article_display.cfm?HHID=619

Simon, D. M. (2002, 8). The War in Vietnam,1965-1968. Retrieved 11 9, 2010, from faculty.smu: http://faculty.smu.edu/dsimon/Change-Viet2.html

Trueman, C. (2010). John F Kennedy & Vietnam . Retrieved 11 9, 2010, from History Learning Site: http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/kennedy_vietnam.htm

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