Impact of Tet on US - 1968 Elections

Impact of Tet on US - 1968 Elections - Domestic watershed...

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Domestic watershed comparable to LBJ’s escalation of the war in 1965, except now the US was pushed in the opposite direction Whitehouse was forced to stop open-ended troop increases Had to begin peace talks with the North o Another 5 years before all troops would leave Vietnam in 1973 After Tet, no longer any realistic chance that the US would be able to bring full power to bear in order to win as LBJ had promised in 1965 Many people blame the media for presenting a distorted picture of Tet and disillusioning the American people – “In truth, it was a military disaster for the communists. Media focused only on the initial successes of the communists instead of what developed.” o More basically, Tet merely brought to a climax trends in American thinking that had already been building Promised a victory over a weakening foe, but Tet showed that the foe was still very much alive Clear that no quick victory was likely Impatience dominated both left and right-wing sentiment o Right “Let’s nuke them over there and get the hell out.” o Both began to back-peddle after Tet No military alternative to the long war o PLAF and PAVN not very vulnerable to air attack Idea of a quick air-power victory was exciting but not feasible
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Impact of Tet on US - 1968 Elections - Domestic watershed...

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