Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. James L. Gormly
Dr. Hubert J. Miller
Dr. Rondel V. Davidson
Between November 1963 and July 1965, the Lyndon Johnson administration embarked on a policy that led to the Americanization of an internal struggle in Vietnam. The stage had been set in the events that followed World War II and the United States government's cold war decisions in the Truman and Eisenhower administrations. At the outset, France had refused to relinquish its colonial claims in Southeast Asia. Those early post-war governments changed the nature of the struggle in Indo-China from anti-colonialism to the American crusade against Communism.
The strict cold war policies of the Eisenhower administration and the subsequent blurring of decision-making structures of the Kennedy administration left President Johnson with a strong commitment. Simultaneously, the apparatus to set diplomatic long-term designs for IndoChina had been dismantled in the Kennedy years. President Johnson continued the Kennedy practice of formulating foreign policy through ad hoc and committee structures in the executive department.
The policy makers in the Johnson administration conducted an intensified militarization in Vietnam upon the forceful management of the president. Johnson favored the options forwarded by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, the Pentagon, and other key advisers who perceived the President inclined toward forceful action. In his desire for a quick and conclusive military solution, Johnson prodded his government into a full-scale but undeclared war in Vietnam.
Pan American University