Lindon B Johnson Motives For Entering The Vietnam War

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In 1963, Lindon B. Johnson inherited the White House from John F. Kennedy as well as the Vietnam War. Johnson vowed to not lose the war as he saw a Communist Asia would form if he failed to act correctly. When the counter insurgency in Vietnam began to fail, due to the Diem Coup, Johnson immediately increased America’s political and military presence in Vietnam. While being fully aware of the reports and documents he was given, he decided to intentionally mislead Congress as well as the public on America’s position in the war. Johnson and his administration knew that entering the war would be expensive and consuming, but they had motives to do so anyways. Johnson and his advisors had motives for the misleading because they sought to protect …show more content…

The first option was to pull out the remaining American men in Vietnam. If he were to withdraw the remaining men, he’d be seen as weak and coward like. The U.S. would also watch as communism would continue to spread throughout Asia. This would also contradict Johnson’s vow he made that indicated he would not lose the war. The Republicans would hit Johnson hard with this when he would decide to run for office in the approaching election. The second option was to send even more men into Vietnam to prevent the collapse of Vietnam which would halt the communist plague. This option, however, was massively more expensive for the taxpayers and government and more emotional for the American people. This would also severely impact his chances for support on the expensive proposed Great Society program. Essentially, either option would force Johnson to watch as his approval ratings plummet and his chances of election …show more content…

Even though Johnson knew the outstanding costs of this war, he decided on misleading the public and quietly sent more troops into Vietnam. He figured the billions of dollars and thousands of troops didn’t compare to his domestic welfare and poverty plan. Around 525,000 advisors were sent in; much more than the 16,000 that were previously there. American casualties were also immense. Johnson may have also thought he could’ve controlled Asia, prevented the spread of communism, and maintained his approval ratings by quietly sending the troops in. Johnson essentially delayed the debate of his actions in Vietnam till after the election in order to gather support for his legislation. Johnson was able to carry out the military escalation so quietly because of his lies regarding the Gulf of Tonkin. Johnson told the American people via television that two U.S. ships in the Gulf of Tonkin had been attacked again by North Vietnam forces. Although, this was not the case. The U.S. ships were partaking in aggressive intel gathering and evidence uncovered suggest the second attack in the Gulf of Tonkin never happened. Johnson knew the misinterpretation of the Gulf of Tonkin was essential if he wanted to escalate military and political presence in

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