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The Tonkin Gulf Resolution On August 7

900 words - 4 pages

Reading Response Essay #2
America has gone through prosperity and depression as a country, but we overcome and grow and learn from our history to shape our future. During the course of 1965, Lyndon B Johnson set the stage for three years of legislation that completed the Domestic transformation of the United States which began three decades earlier with FDR’s New Deal, but would be overshadowed by an aggressive foreign policy driven by his support of containment and the domino theory. LBJ’s presidency underwent evolution as it progresses beginning as an extension of John F. Kennedy’s presidency and evolving into an aggressive, legacy of destruction and violence.
Early in Johnson’s ...view middle of the document...

This resolution carried the basis of America’s deeper involvement during Johnson’s Presidency. This also set the difference between Johnson’s and Kennedy’s foreign policies, since with this resolution Johnson was able to Americanize the war in Vietnam. Up until this event Johnson’s foreign policy was quite similar to Kennedy’s, whereas after the resolution his new foreign policies deepened the U.S. involvement in Vietnam to a much larger extent. The effects could be seen shortly after the resolution, as immediate increases in military assistance were ordered, causing some 25,000 American combat troops in Vietnam by 1964. Additionally, by the spring of 1965 there were constant American aerial raids on North Vietnam, which was a part of an operation, called “Rolling Thunder”. Johnson and his advisors greatly supported this operation in the hope of damaging North Vietnam’s war-making infrastructure and its lines of supply. This operation which emerged from the Tonkin resolution also set Johnson’s foreign policy apart from Kennedy’s. It was the first sustained U.S. military operation in Vietnam, which demonstrated Johnson’s greater military commitment to Vietnam. This trend of continuously sending more and more American troops continued, which can be clearly seen when Johnson finally decided in July of 1965 for an open-ended military commitment. Johnson was able to completely Americanize the war and rush thousands of ground troops into Vietnam. This can be especially seen when comparing the maximum number of Kennedy’s military advisors of 16,000 by November 1963 with Johnson’s 500,000 American troops in Vietnam by 1968. Although Johnson started with a similar foreign policy as Kennedy, he soon realized that this wouldn’t work for...

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