Early Operations And Effects On The United States Essay

1467 Words Nov 17th, 2015 null Page
Early Operations and Effects The coup and overthrow of Diem was the first major instance of U.S. covert involvement as the United States backed the coup but tried to maintain plausible deniability. This deception and desire for deniability would only grow as the U.S. began more covert operations in hopes of securing a safe future for Saigon.
Early Operations in Vietnam The earliest covert operations in Vietnam had very broad goals and definitions. One simple definition describes covert action as “any activity in which the United States conceals its responsibilities.” The benefits of concealing responsibility are seen in the added “flexibility” of maneuvering as policy decisions do not need to be shared with the public and retaliation becomes unlikely. In Vietnam the flexibility and concealment of covert action was taken to a new stratosphere. Secretary Robert McNamara noted the possibility for covert operations as a “wide variety of sabotage and psychological operations against the North Vietnam,” in which he wanted to select operations that “ provide maximum pressure with minimum risk.” In other words, low risk high reward operation would be the best strategy when working covertly. The early proposals for the escalation into this field were met with apprehension, but eventually officials estimated that “there will not be a strong reaction to the approved actions.” With overall goals set, the CIA began a process to “expand present operations in the field of…

Related Documents