Lyndon B. Johnson's Involvement In Vietnam

Improved Essays
Lyndon B. Johnson, also known as “LBJ”, was born in Stonewall, Texas on August 27, 1908. Even from an early age, family and friends claimed he was born a politician, which Lyndon Johnson proved time and time again. He was a very charming and bright child, though he had a bit of a rebellious streak. He finished high school at fifteen, claiming he didn’t want to go to college, but he changed his tune a few years later and went to college for his teaching degree. After his course, he taught at a middle school with underprivileged Mexican American children, whose poverty and hardships stuck with him long after the job. “Johnson later said, ‘I was determined to help those little kids. I saw hunger in their eyes and pain in their bodies… I was determined …show more content…
Officials in January of 1965 told Johnson he either had to pull troops out of Vietnam, delay the problem with their current passive role, or create a bombing plan. In February, Johnson ordered air strikes against North Vietnam in an operation called Rolling Thunder, trying to scare them into backing down. “Yet all Operation Rolling Thunder succeeded in doing was to make the North Vietnamese even more determined to keep fighting.” (Schuman, 66). By March Johnson had officially broken his promise during his campaign by sending two battalions of Marines into combat. Even though he faced a lot of backlash for this decision, Johnson knew that a domino effect of destruction could be set into action if the United States pulled troops out of the Vietnam War. North Vietnam was being controlled by a communist government and would likely spread communism if they won the war. Johnson’s foreign policy was to do what it takes to contain communism and to fight it. He sent troops to the Dominican Republic when the president was overthrown and communist rebels were trying to rise up. Eventually a peacekeeping force took the place of American troops, and soldiers were sent home. Battalions of Marines were sent to Cuba, where communists were still in power. On July 28 Johnson announced he was sending fifty thousand more troops to South Vietnam, to add to the one hundred thousand troops already there. In December of 1965 Johnson suspended in attacks in Vietnam in hopes of negotiating, but North Vietnam wasn’t interested. Johnson drew the line at bombs to end the war at this point in time. “Years later, Lady Bird Johnson was asked if her husband ever considered dropping an atomic bomb. She answered, ‘Not by his order, but there was a part of this country who wanted to do it that way and get it over with. He was scareder of that than he was of people on the left.’” (Schuman, 80). Lyndon

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower came up with the domino theory On Apr 7, 1954 in fear that if one country falls into communism the surrounding southeast Asia countries will fall into a domino effect. Containment was a strategy for the United states to limit the communist ideals, containment was part of the Truman doctrine which were defined by President Harry S. Truman in his speech on March 12, 1947. President John F. Kennedy inauguration speech said the U.S. would be lost due to the result of the domino effect, so he increased aid and military advisors in South Vietnam. Vietnam defeated the French and Geneva Accords make the 17th parallel to divide Vietnam and North Vietnam communist to south into semi democratic government supported by…

    • 1100 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This allowed South Vietnam to take more responsibility for the war while still helping them defeat North Vietnam. He slowly withdrew American troops from Vietnam and reduced draft calls. At the same time America was having peace talks with North Vietnam, the Viet Cong and South Vietnam in Paris. In order to get North Vietnam to withdraw from the war Nixon used a concept called the Madman Theory. This theory meant that you would scare your enemy into doing something they didn’t necessarily want to do.…

    • 2489 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The Tet offensive was a disaster for the Johnson Presidency and led to the end of his Presidency. Mr. McNamara resigned as Secretary of State of Defense and Mr. Clark Clifford replaced Mr. McNamara. In March of 1968 Mr. Johnson decided to halt the bombings hoping that this would lead to negotiations with North Vietnam (Woods). Soon after President Nixon became President in January, 1969 he began the policy of Vietnamization. The policy was to train and arm the forces of South Vietnam to fight the North Vietnamese so that the U.S. troops could withdraw from the region (Rohn).…

    • 1267 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    Why did the United States find it so difficult to ends its involvement in the Vietnam War? In this essay, I will outline and explore the reasoning behind the United States involvement and withdrawal from Vietnam and why the decision to withdraw from the war, was one of great complexity. The Vietnam War was a civil war fought between the communist’s states of North Vietnam and the capitalist South. The North Vietnamese wanted to join with the south as one united communist country. Whilst the communists in the North were supported by the Soviet Union and other countries who favoured communism, the South was supported by anti-communist countries primarily, the United States.…

    • 1926 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Great Essays

    President Johnson wanted to further push the idea of communism out of South Vietnam. As more supplies and vehicles were sent into Vietnam, the Viet Cong were angered. The Democratic Republic of Vietnam was angry at the United States. The DRV attacked two ships of the United States. The Johnson administration was trying to get powers for the president to declare war.…

    • 1486 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Containment originally began as a strategy pitched by US diplomat George Kennan to keep the Soviet Union from increasing communist influence in Eastern Europe. Per Kennan, the Soviets saw themselves in a constant state of war with capitalism, use fellow Marxists as allies, were aggressive due to a Russian tradition of xenophobia, and had a government that showed an inaccurate view of the inside and outside society. Although Kennan later went back on his containment policy and stated that the Soviets should be contained not "by military means of a military threat, but the political containment of a political threat," (Kennan 1983, 358) containment has already become a part of President Truman’s US foreign policy. During the Johnson administration, Johnson remained committed to upholding containment policy and keeping South Vietnam free from communist influence. Earlier in his political career, Johnson believed in containment policy and the idea that if one country in a region fell to communism, the neighboring nations are likely to follow suit.…

    • 1019 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    One of the key reasons why the US became involved was to stop communism. President Harry S. Truman wanted to help so the US could stabilize the countries that were developed so they would not fall to communism. President Lyndon Johnson had the same idea as Truman. In early 1965, the US began bombing North Vietnam and sent marines to South Vietnam. Even though President Johnson would do anything to stop the spread of communism, he intended to fight a limited war (Rotter).…

    • 1274 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Due to the Cold War doctrine of American Officials in the 1950s, the United States believed that they had the right to stop any and all Communist insurrection or hostility. Eisenhower used the “falling domino” theory, the Eisenhower doctrine, to insert America in Vietnam’s business on Communism and attempt to repel it. This was the start of what was known to Americans as the Vietnam War but, to the Vietnamese called the American War in 1954. This became known as the longest foreign war as it lasted from 1954 to 1975. For America, the Vietnam War was an utter failure because of poor decisions by the American Government, U.S. troops lack of guerrilla warfare training, the amount of loss of American soldiers, and the use of Agent Orange.…

    • 705 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Us Involvement In Vietnam

    • 1267 Words
    • 5 Pages

    In 1953, Dwight D. Eisenhower became president of the United States. Eisenhower and his advisers worried that if Vietnam turned Communist, the rest of Southeastern Asia would soon follow in a domino effect. This idea, nicknamed the “domino theory,” would soon shape American actions in Vietnam for many years to come. Later, in 1954, then French lost a crucial battle at Dien Bien Phu to the “Viet-Minh.” Afraid of all-out war, they prepared to withdraw from Vietnam. By international agreement, Vietnam was divided in half at the 17th parallel and Ho was allowed to have control over the Northern half while anti-Communist forces controlled the Southern half of the country.…

    • 1267 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    On May 27, 1964 the President “expresses deep anxiety about what would happen if the United States failed to defend South Vietnam from communist takeover”. (Lawrence) He was worried if he stopped helping South Vietnam, communism would spread beyond the borders of Vietnam, China, and the Soviet Union. President Johnson said “What in the hell is Vietnam worth to me?” and “What is Laos worth to me? What is it worth to this country?” (Lawrence) Contradicting in his statements, Johnson presses forward with the Vietnam war. Under Johnson’s lead the military implanted a series of tactics which included aggressive propaganda offense and sabotage against North Vietnam.…

    • 1057 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays

Related Topics