Vietnam: Waging War, 1965–9

Jonathan Colman

in The Foreign Policy of Lyndon B. Johnson

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780748640133
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652693 | DOI:
Vietnam: Waging War, 1965–9

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Lyndon Johnson's decision to Americanise the war in Vietnam in 1965 had been a deeply thought-out one, though neither free of risk nor immune to contingencies. A particular presidential concern after the US combat intervention had begun was to enlist as many allies as possible to help legitimise the war. This chapter examines some of the third-party efforts to promote peace. Neither the United States nor the North Vietnamese were willing to make a significant compromise of their respective positions, and the involvement of third parties was likely only to complicate matters without advancing the cause of peace. As such, the war went on. The United States and the South Vietnamese were able to defeat the communists' Tet Offensive in 1968 but the very fact that a large-scale assault could be launched in the first place shocked many observers and prompted a reappraisal of the war in Washington.

Keywords: Vietnam war; United States; Tet Offensive; Lyndon Johnson; US combat intervention

Chapter.  10509 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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