The Johnson Years 1963-1967

  • Created by: ex-Roz
  • Created on: 22-03-15 23:18

Chapter Seven

The predicament of Lyndon Baines Johnson

  • 1967 - Nguyen Van Thieu emerged as the undisputed leader
  • North Vietnam's decision in 1963 was to intensify conflict by supplying increasing support to the Viet Cong
  • It seemed that unless increased US involement took place, South Vietnam would fall, despite the 16,000 advisers placed there by Kennedy and the growing US air power
  • Johnson wanted to avoid direct confrontation with the USSR and China

Legalising escalation: The Tonkin Gulf Resolution 1964

  • General Harkins, the head of MAAG (Military Assisstance Advisory Group) in South Vietnam, stressed the need to halt the flow of supplies to the Viet Cong down the Ho Chi Minh Trail
  • The Viet Cong controlled 30-40 per cent of South Vietnams territory
  • Johnson's intentions in 1964 were simply to get past the election in Novemeber without losing South Vietnam

The Gulf Tonkin incident

  • South Vietnam forces had begun raids of Noth Vietnam's coastline, often planned and directed by the CIA
  • the US Navy gave assisstance
  • August 1964, two controversial incidents arose from this in the Gulf of Tonkin, off North Vietnam's coast. Two US destroyers were involved.
  • Two days later the Maddox and another destroyer claimed to have been attacked
  • Widespread outrage at what was portrayed as a North Vietnamese attack on US ships in international  waters led congress to pass the draft declaration already prepared by the state department
  • The Tonkin Gulf Resolution was later used


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