U.S Involvement in the Vietnam War


"No new taxes." This is a quote that most all of us
remember from the 1992 presidential election. Along with it we
remember that there were new taxes during that presidents term in
office. There are a myriad of promises made and things done in a
presidential election year that have questionable motives as to
whether they are done in the best interest of the people or in
the interests of the presidential candidate. These hidden
interests are one of the biggest problems with the political
aspects of government in modern society. One of the prime
examples of this is the Vietnam War. Although South Vietnam
asked for our help, which we had previously promised, the entire
conflict was managed in order to meet personal political agendas
and to remain politically correct in the world\'s eyes rather than
to bring a quick and decisive end to the conflict. This can be
seen in the selective bombing of Hanoi throughout the course of
the Vietnam War. Politically this strategy looked very good.
However, militarily it was ludicrous. War is the one arena in
which politicians have no place. War is the military\'s sole
purpose. Therefore, the U. S. Military should be allowed to
conduct any war, conflict, or police action that it has been
committed to without political interference or control because of
the problems and hidden interests which are always present when
dealing with polit
United States involvement in the Vietnam War actually
began in 1950 when the U. S. began to subsidize the French Army
in South Vietnam. This involvement continued to escalate
throughout the 1950\'s and into the early 1960\'s. On August 4,
1964 the Gulf of Tonkin incident occurred in which American Naval
Vessels in South Vietnamese waters were fired upon by North
Vietnam. On August 5, 1964 President Johnson requested a
resolution expressing the determination of the United Sates in
supporting freedom and in protecting peace in southeast Asia (
Johnson ). On August 7, 1964, in response to the presidential
request, Congress authorized President Johnson to take all
necessary measures to repel any attack and to prevent aggression
against the U. S. in southeast Asia ( United States ). The
selective bombing of North Vietnam began immediately in response
to this resolution. In March of the following year U. S. troops
began to arrive.
Although the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution specifically
stated that we had no military, political, or territorial
ambitions in southeast Asia, the interests back home were quite
a different story ( Johnson ). The political involvement in
Vietnam was about much more than just promised aid to a weak
country in order to prevent the spread of communism. It was
about money. After all, wars require equipment, guns, tools and
machinery. Most of which was produced in the United States. It
was about proving America\'s commitment to stop communism. Or
rather to confine communism in its present boundaries But most
of all it was about politics. The presidential political
involvement in Vietnam had little to do with Vietnam at all. It
was about China for Eisenhower, about Russia for Kennedy, about
Washington D.C. for Johnson, and about himself for Nixon ( Post
). The last two of which were the major players in America\'s
involvement in regards to U. S. Troops being used ( Wittman ).
The military involvement in Vietnam is directly related
to the political management of the military throughout the war.
The military controlled by the politicians. The micro
management of the military by the White House for political gain
is the primary reason for both the length and cost, both monetary
and human, of the Vietnam War ( Pelland ). One of the largest
problems was the lack of a clear objective in the war and the
support to accomplish it. The predominant military opinion of
the military\'s role in Vietnam in respect to the political
involvement is seen in the following quote by General Colin
Powell, "If you\'re going to put into something then you owe the
armed forces, you owe the American People, you owe just you\'re
own desire to succeed, a clear statement of what political
objective you\'re trying to achieve and then you put the
sufficient force to that objective so that you know when you\'ve
accomplished it." The politicians dictated the war in Vietnam,
it was a limited war, the military was never allowed to fight the
war in the manner that they thought that they needed to in order
to win it ( Baker ).
To conclude on the Vietnam War, the political management
of the war made it unwinnable. The military was at the mercy of
politicians who knew very little