What Were the Effects of the Vietnam War on United States?

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What were the effects of the Vietnam War on United States?

Thomas Liao
U.S. History
Mr. Magill
February 18, 2010
Word Count 2785

Table of Contents

The Paper3

Works Cited12

From 1959 to 1975, America has been engaged in her longest and most disappointing war she has ever been in, the Vietnam War. The war heavily taxed the country’s patience and will of the government. There were several bad decisions which led to the ultimate defeat and retreat of U.S. The Vietnam War had a mostly negative impact on United States, by showing eventual failure of the American government, the collapse of U.S economy, and the loss of trust from the American People. There was political pressure. There were many presidents who dealt with the Vietnam War. The very first president involved with the Vietnam War was Harry S. Truman. Although he didn’t do too much involving the Vietnam War, he did send some money to help aid the French in their efforts to hush up the small revolutions happening in Vietminh. In 1953, Dwight Eisenhower became the president of the United States. During his term, he came up with the Domino Theory. The theory is that if one of the nations becomes a communist state, all of nations adjacent will soon fall under the ideals of communism as well. He believes that communism can be stop from spreading if it is stopped it at Vietnam. He then sends in 100 military advisors to help the Southern Vietnamese. In addition to aiding South Vietnam with military advisors, he also sent massive economic and political aid to political party leader, Ngo Dinh Diem. He did not, however, start sending the American troops because he has led troops there before and he doubts that U.S would win if they went to direct war with the Vietnamese (Rotter). In 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected the president. During his time in the office, he secretly sent thousands of military personnel into Vietnam. In the end there were about 16,000 military advisors. Along with that, he also sent in the U.S Special Forces to train the Southern Vietnamese how to fight against the Northern Vietnamese. He also authorized free-fire zones, bombings, and the use of napalm in order to destroy the enemy. After a few loses, Ngo Dinh Diem was embarrassing the American competence so President Kennedy planned for the Southern generals to overthrow Diem on November 1st, 1963. Then on October 11th, 1963, he issued the National Security Action Memorandum, NSAM, #263. This stated the extraction of 1,000 military personnel by the end of 1963. However, before he could complete that task, he was assassinated on November 22nd, 1963. After the assassination, Lyndon Johnson became the 36th president of the United States. One of Johnson’s first decisions was to reverse Kennedy’s Memorandum with his own NSAM #273. Instead he greatly expanded American involvement in the Vietnam War, increasing the number of military personnel and also aided the Vietnam War through bombing. Johnson accomplished this through the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which gave him the right to the use of military force in Vietnam without the formal consent of the Congress. His resolution was a response some events that happened earlier in August 1964. Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara told the American public that in the Gulf of Tonkin, off the coast of North Vietnam, there was an attack by North Vietnamese torpedo boats on American destroyers. "While on routine patrol in international waters the U.S. destroyer Maddox underwent an unprovoked attack.” McNamara. This was a complete lie. In fact, the CIA had been secretly attacking the North Vietnamese coastal bases. The attack could not have been unprovoked because it was not a routine patrol; the Maddox was on a special electronic spying mission. As it turns out, it was not in international waters but in Vietnamese waters and there no torpedoes were fired at the Maddox, as McNamara had said (Zinn, 466). Using his right...
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