President Lyndon B. Johnson Essay

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Westmoreland’s Request “Vietnam divided America more deeply and painfully than any event since the Civil War.” (Readings 9, To Avoid a Defeat, 231). The steady stream of American casualties suffered at the hands of the NVA made a difficult situation intolerable as American support for the war diminished with each soldier laid to rest. President Lyndon B. Johnson made a dire mistake in approving General Westmoreland’s request on to put combat boots on the ground in Vietnam, as the threat to American security had not been triggered to the point where it was worth the lives of American soldiers. The American military was severely underprepared for war, and the eventual withdrawal of troops would become a global embarrassment that continues to haunt the United States decades later. Further, President Johnson sought to put an end to the conflict in Vietnam for questionable reasons, driven more by political expediency than thoughtful consideration for the lives entrusted to him as Commander in Chief.
President Lyndon B. Johnson inherited a difficult situation in Vietnam when he assumed the presidency after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The problems in Vietnam were ongoing as Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy failed to adequately address the conflict, which became part of the American Cold War strategy to contain the spread of communism. The situation in Vietnam escalated further in the summer of 1964 when it was reported that North Vietnamese twice attacked…

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