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Unformatted text preview: The Politics of Escalation Under LBJ 03/03/2008 10:06:00 ← By 1965, Saigon government on the verge of disintegration • North Vietnamese entering SV through Ho Chi Minh trail • Would US accept collapse of its client state or take charge of the war itself with its own ground forces ← 1964 – Kennedy assassinated • LBJ takes over o American phase of the war begins o What were the steps by which he entered the war? o Why did Johnson follow a pattern of gradual escalation rather than immediate full-scale war? o Did Johnson really believe that American troops would be adequate to beat the enemy? Why was our intelligence so poor? Or did he believe we couldn’t win – so we did we stay involve? o Did his thinking change over the course of the war? o Did he and his associates misrepresent the war to the American public? ← LBJ and key advisors all believed sincerely in the domino theory • Couldn’t afford to lose Vietnam ← LBJ: If I don’t go into Vietnam now, the republicans will give me shit forever • If he wanted to be reelected, he could not be soft on communism o Had to escalate involvement o Also couldn’t overreact however, since many Americans were fearful of...
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This note was uploaded on 04/06/2008 for the course HIST 218 taught by Professor Lieberman during the Fall '08 term at University of Michigan.
- Fall '08
- Ho Chi Minh