Tulf Of Tonkin Resolution Essay

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The sun drifted high above the USS Maddox as the destroyer surged into enemy waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. Despite the waters being under international authority, the threat level of enemy attack was fairly high. The mission was to relay any intelligence gathered about North Vietnam to South Vietnam. The destroyer was highly equipped in relays and espionage equipment as well as defenses. Not long into entering the Gulf of Tonkin the USS Maddox was under heavy attack by multiple enemy torpedo patrol boats. This distress information was relayed to the United States who responded ordering them to exit the gulf immediately. This was on August 2nd of 1964. Only two days later the Maddox returned into the gulf. The ship relayed information to the …show more content…
The resolution gave any current president during the Vietnam War the power to challenge any attack on United States forces: “Congress approves and supports the determination of the President, as the Commander in Chief, to take all necessary measures to repeal any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent any further aggression” (Gulf of Tonkin Resolution). The resolution helped further the war in Vietnam from Johnson to Nixon. However, the American public soon became resentful towards the Vietnam War. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution became inadequate and was relieved of power. The resolution was one of the many problems with the Vietnam …show more content…
Many speculate that the incident on August 4th had never occurred and most of the event was due to a faulty chain of communication and command. For instance, Carl Otis Schuster states that: “The string of intelligence mistakes, mistranslations, misinterpretations and faulty decision-making that occurred in the Tonkin Gulf in 1964 reveals how easily analysts and officials can jump to the wrong conclusions and lead a nation into war.” Johnson himself contemplated against the event and the involvement in the war after the incident had occurred and he had pushed for the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Johnson doubted the tenacity of his own navy by speculating that “those dumb, stupid sailors were just shooting at flying fish.” Johnson did not regret the Gulf of Tonkin resolution until America was truly under a heavy boulder from the Vietnam War. He felt that America was struggling to lift the heavy weight of the Vietnam War any longer. He had many soldiers helping to lift the weight but as the death rate and expenditures grew the weight of the war began to take its toll. Ultimately the USS Maddox made drastic mistakes that resulted in an unfortunate increase in involvement in the Vietnam War. But, the incident was not the main cause. Many Americans believed in involvement and Johnson just used the incident to reinforce his push for an unmitigated power granted by congress to the president to “take all

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