Vietnam War Essay Australia

Historians still debate what Kennedy would have done regarding Vietnam had he lived beyond November 1963. Some close to Kennedy and members of his administration believe he would have escalated as Johnson did. He believed the South Vietnamese should fight for themselves with American aid and advice. While publicly he seemed staunchly committed to containing communism in Asia, he expressed doubt privately about South Vietnam’s chances for survival and whether it was worth a U. Others have maintained that he would not have escalated. The problem for Johnson was that deep down he didn’t necessarily want to commit U. Publicly, though, he and members of his administration, especially Secretary of Defense Robert Mc Namara, emphasized the strategic importance of South Vietnam.

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Should we trace it back to the 1940s when President Harry Truman authorized U. Eisenhower’s “domino theory,” the idea that if one country in Southeast Asia fell to the communists, the entire region would fall, and the ripple effects would be felt throughout the Asia-Pacific world, informed not only his thinking about U. relations with the region but the policymaking of his successors, John F. The global context is also important because Cold War tensions between the U.

Did it begin in the 1950s when the Geneva Accords divided Vietnam in two and President Dwight Eisenhower offered U. aid to help establish a non-communist nation in the southern half to counter the communist north? Kennedy asserted that Americans would “pay any price, bear any burden” to support democratic nation building as a way to counter communist advances in Asia. S.-Vietnam relations and the Vietnam War did not occur in a vacuum.

Rather than identifying one starting point, it is more accurate to understand U. All of the key moments in the process emerged from different contexts and the thinking of various players, but there were three threads that unified them: communism, the Cold War, and credibility.

It involved economic aid, political and military advisors, and boots on the ground.

His successor, Richard Nixon, entered the presidency in a world that looked much different than it had in 1964. should cast aside ideological differences in order to build alliances—as long as they were in America’s best interests. intervention was a gradual process that included economic aid, diplomacy, politics, presidential personalities, and military force.

Americans across the political spectrum opposed the Vietnam War, the U. and the Soviet Union entered a period of détente, and Nixon’s visit to China opened a new era in Sino-American relations. Additionally, Nixon was more pragmatic than idealistic in his foreign policy worldview. America’s decision to go to war in Vietnam did not involve a Pearl Harbor or Franz Ferdinand moment. Regional alliances in Southeast Asia and superpower tensions between the U.

At the 1964 annual meeting in Taipei, delegates decided to open a special APACL office in Saigon to demonstrate support for the Saigon government.

Newspapers in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and Manila published editorials supporting South Vietnam.

Rhetoric scholars who have studied Kennedy’s speeches have argued that what Kennedy actually thought about Vietnam was almost irrelevant because his ideological public language would have made it very difficult for him to make a policy reversal on Vietnam.[8] When Johnson took the oath of office in the wake of Kennedy’s shocking death, he brought his own concerns about American credibility. failed to step in and help South Vietnam, it would send a message to the rest of Southeast Asia and the world that the U. Mc Namara pointed to Southeast Asia’s central location between India and Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines as evidence of the region’s significance.

Johnson ascribed to the domino theory, and he believed that South Vietnam was the victim of communist aggression from and directed by North Vietnam. A Hanoi victory in the war, Mc Namara argued, would place Vietnam that much closer to Chinese control, and then all of Southeast Asia would be in danger.


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