The Fall Of South Vietnam Controversy



By pointing to certain mistakes made by American leaders in holding together the home front, though this task, for reasons to be discussed below, would probably have presented almost insuperable difficulties even to the most adroit leadership. There was the failure of the Johnson administration to provide a convincing explanation and justification of the American involvement (Dougan and Fulghum 28). "Fighting for democracy in Vietnam" or halting "communist aggression," though not without some element of truth, was inappropriate to the complex situation faced in Southeast Asia; it was also highly vulnerable to the retort of the critics who pointed to the undemocratic character of the ...

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to become engaged in a protracted ground war on such a scale, and even when the involvement deepened it attempted to keep the war limited, a war without full mobilization of the home front and without a hated enemy (Veninga and Wilmer 18). President Johnson is said to have rejected the view of some of his advisers that in order to hold the support of the country he would have to engage in some outright chauvinistic rabble-rousing and provide the American people with a vivid foe (Lens 19). Such a mobilization of patriotic sentiments, he apparently concluded, could force him into unduly risky actions such as unrestricted bombing and even an invasion of North Vietnam--which, in turn, could lead to a confrontation with Communist China or Russia. At the very least, a widening of the war would prevent the achievement of his domestic "Great Society" programs (Hoobler 108).
For the same reasons, Johnson refrained from asking Congress for a declaration of war, which until 1967 he probably ...

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considerations, then, the nation fought a limited war, with the full employment of its military power restricted through elaborate rules of engagement and limitations on operations beyond the borders of South Vietnam, while for its determined opponent the war was total (Fulghum and Maitland 111). The U.S. fought a limited war whose rationale was never convincingly explained and which, in any event, even a able leader would have had a most difficult time justifying. It is difficult to tell a young conscript that he should be prepared to die in order to create a balance of power in Asia or in order to improve the American bargaining position at the upcoming negotiations that would ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 9/19/2008 02:05:15 PM
Category: American History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2397
Pages: 9

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