President Kennedy’s Decision to Withdraw

Howard Jones

in Death of a Generation

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780195176056
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850051 | DOI:
President Kennedy’s Decision to Withdraw

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On October 2, 1963, President Kennedy made the decision to withdraw the first contingent of U.S. military forces from Vietnam, the initial step toward a major disengagement. This action resulted primarily from the conflicting military assessments that had dogged the administration for months. But the timing was also attributable to political considerations. The president must first win reelection in 1964 before implementing the rest of the phased withdrawal plan. Otherwise, the public outcry over the loss of Vietnam could cost him a second term and bring in a hard-line advocate of military victory. Kennedy's decision to withdraw was unconditional, for he approved a calendar of events that did not necessitate a victory.

Keywords: John F. Kennedy; Vietnam War; troop withdrawal; foreign policy; military policy; military disengagement

Chapter.  14225 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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