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Gulf of Tonkin

By gulbir23 May 23, 2013 507 Words
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, to me was a considerable formal declaration of war against communist North Vietnam. The United States wasn’t interfering with the conflict between North and South Vietnam, they were in international waters. The U.S did have a right to attack to keep peace and have security between themselves and the rest of the world.

The U.S.S. Maddox was in the Gulf of Tonkin on the 2nd of August in 1964 surveying the coast and gathering intelligence about Vietnam, as a part of DESOTO. They were in international waters, to test the 12 mile boundary set by North Vietnam. North Vietnam saw this as a threat to their land, so they were attacked the U.S.S. Maddox, damaging United States ships. I would consider this as a declaration of war; they were attacked in international waters by a North Vietnamese naval force. Therefore they have a right to repel any armed force that threatened them in international waters, as a tool for defense knowing that the U.S. ships weren’t actually in the Vietnam’s territory (Doc B). The gulf of Tonkin resolution is a formal way of declaring war; President Lyndon B. Johnson used the resolution as congressional authorization for the use of the United States military to intervene in Vietnam and take any necessary orders. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution specifically said that congress approves and supports the determination of the President, as commander-in-chief, to take all measures necessary to repel any armed attacks against the forces of the United States to prevent further aggression, to take all steps, including the use of armed forces. From those lines, this document basically acted a Declaration of War; he could use any power he wanted to. President Johnson believed that he could take any legal action which was deemed appropriate, hence Johnson sent in 500,000 Troops into South Vietnam to prevent the government from being overthrown.

The resolution offered any use of force to keep peace and security between countries and in international waters, the resolution also offered to assist any SEATO member requesting assistance in defense of its freedom, posing that the U.S. had to the right to land troops in Vietnam to defend the nation and obtain its freedom (Doc A). The resolution also stated that the U.S. had the power to expand war efforts in Vietnam if it was necessary and take all steps required. The Gulf of Tonkin resolution posed as a Declaration of War because it gave the president complete power and authorized him to take any steps required to bring peace and security.

The Gulf of Tonkin in my opinion is considerable as a formal declaration of war, the resolution gave the president complete power to take any steps necessary, and use of armed forces to prevent further aggression from the opposition. The resolution resembled the Declaration of War, by giving Johnson commanding power and allowing him to proceed and take actions that were applicable.

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