American Intervention in Vietnam

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American Intervention in Vietnam

During the Cold War, the United States of America was determined to act as the superior nation in the world. They believed that every country was inferior to them in regards to military power, economic stability and moral beliefs. After the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy, the Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson took over in Washington. He was pressured to follow through on the late President's programs and policies on Vietnam which entailed the demonstration of America's strength and responsibility. It is argued that American intervention in Vietnam was caused by structural weakness in the National Security Council and inadequate attention to long- range policy planning. In addition, Johnson's inexperience and naivety regarding foreign policy and the optimistic belief of creating a flawless world.

A main cause of American involvement was the weakness of the mechanism for determining the framework of foreign policy. The establishment of the National Security Council came about in 1947. It was to bridge the gulf between considerations of foreign policy and considerations of the military force which was to conduct external relations.1 Apparently, the U.S.A. had had no central authority that linked the organizations of the Military Services and the State Department. As a result, the government decided that in order to be successful in international affairs the two groups had to work together. The NSC ensured detailed coordination of all major factors of U.S. foreign policy decisions.2 It was odd that both President Truman and Eisenhower had success with this organization and when Kennedy came to office he decided to change it. He preferred to rely on small groups to be responsi...

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...agon Papers., Boston: Beacon Press, vol.3&vol.4.


1.Townsend Hoopes, The Limits of Intervention. (New York,1973),p.2.

2.Ibid, p.3

3.Ibid, p.5.

4.Ibid, p.5.

5.Weldon A. Brown, The Last Chopper. (New York, 1976),p.6.

6.Hoopes, p.5.

7. Hoopes, p.7.

8.Allan E. Goodman, The Lost Peace. (Stanford, 1978), p.12.

9.Hoopes, p.2

10. Brown, p.7.

11. Hoopes, p.5.

12 Hoopes, p.8.

13. Hoopes, p.8.

14. Hoopes, p.12.

15. Hoopes, p.13.

16. Hoopes, p.14.

17. Hoopes, p.15.

18. Hoopes, p.16.

19. Hoopes, p.17.

20. Hoopes, Op.cit., p.17

21. The Pentagon Papers. (Boston:Beacon Press) vol.3,p.715.

22. Hoopes, p.18.

23. Hoopes, Op.cit.,p.19.

24. Larry Berman, Lyndon Johnson's War.(New York,1989),p.9.

25. The Pentagon Papers.(Boston:Beacon Press) vol.4,p.641.
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