Johnson and the escalation of the war

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  • How important was Johnson in escalating the war in Vietnam in the year 1965-1968?
    • Military
      • Golf of Tonkin had resolution drawn up even before the event even took place
      • operation rolling thunder
      • sent in first ground troops
    • South was weak
      • South Vietnam was weak politically and militarily
      • if South Vietnam was lost then domino theory would become a reality
      • USA needed to help South Vietnam otherwise the North would over take the South
    • Kennedy's legacy
      • cold war- strategy of containment only option was to intervene
      • believed in domino theory
      • victory over communism
    • Advisers
      • kept Kennedy's advisers, mostly military approach no new ideas
      • some call it McNamara's war
      • General Westmoreland consistently seeking greater troop numbers
    • ultimately the driving force behind escalation despite initial reservations

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