US Involvement in the Vietnam War
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U.S Involvement in the Vietnam War
"No new taxes." This is a quote that most all of us remember from the 1992 presidential election. Along with it we remember that there were new taxes during that presidents term in office. There are a myriad of promises made and things done in a
Presidential election year that have questionable motives as to whether they are done in the best interest of the people or in the interests of the presidential candidate. These hidden interests are one of the biggest problems with the political aspects of government in modern society. One of the prime examples of this is the Vietnam War. Although South Vietnam asked for our help, which we had previously promised, the entire
conflict was managed in order to meet personal political agendas and to remain politically correct in the world's eyes rather than to bring a quick and decisive end to the conflict. This can be seen in the selective bombing of Hanoi throughout the course of
the Vietnam War. Politically this strategy looked very good. However, militarily it was ludicrous. War is the one arena in which politicians have no place. War is the military's sole purpose. Therefore, the U. S. Military should be allowed to conduct any war, conflict, or police action that it has been committed to without political interference or control because of the problems and hidden interests which are always present when
dealing with politics.
United States involvement in the Vietnam War actually began in 1950 when the U. S. began to subsidize the French Army in South Vietnam. This involvement continued to escalate throughout the 1950's and into the early 1960's. On August 4, 1964 the Gulf of Tonkin incident occurred in which American Naval Vessels in South Vietnamese waters were fired upon by North Vietnam. On August 5, 1964 President Johnson requested a
resolution expressing the determination of the United Sates in supporting freedom and in protecting peace in Southeast Asia (Johnson ). On August 7, 1964, in response to the presidential request, Congress authorized President Johnson to take all necessary measures to repel any attack and to prevent aggression against the U. S. in southeast Asia (United States). The selective bombing of North Vietnam began immediately in response to this resolution. In March of the following year U. S. troops
began to arrive.
Although the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution specifically stated that we had no military, political, or territorial ambitions in Southeast Asia, the interests back home were quite
a different story (Johnson ). The political involvement in Vietnam was about much more than just promised aid to a weak country in order to prevent the spread of communism. It was about money. After all, wars require equipment, guns, tools and machinery. Most of which was produced in the United States. It was about proving America's commitment to stop communism. Or rather to confine communism in its present boundaries, but most
of all it was about politics. The presidential political involvement in Vietnam had little to do with Vietnam at all. It was about China for Eisenhower, about Russia for Kennedy, about Washington D.C. for Johnson, and about himself for Nixon (Post). The last two of which were the major players in America's involvement in regards to U. S. Troops being used (Wittman).
The military involvement in Vietnam is directly related to the political management of the military throughout the war. The military controlled by the politicians. The micro-
management of the military by the White House for political gain is the primary reason for both the length and cost, both monetary and human, of the Vietnam War ( Pelland). One of the largest problems was the lack of a clear objective in the war and the support to accomplish it. The predominant military opinion of the military's role in Vietnam in respect to the political involvement is seen in the following quote by General Colin
Powell, "If you're going to put into something then you owe the armed forces, you owe the American People, you owe just you're own desire to succeed, a clear statement of what political objective you're trying to achieve and then you put the sufficient force to that objective so that you know when you've accomplished it. " The politicians dictated the war in Vietnam, it was
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Vietnam War, Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., South Vietnam, Joint warfare in South Vietnam, 196369, War in Vietnam, Vietnam, Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, Gulf of Tonkin incident, Vietnam: A Television History
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