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Impact of Us Foreign Policy on the Vietnam War

In: Historical Events

Submitted By leslie1323
Words 3614
Pages 15
Impact of US Foreign Policy on the Vietnam War
The Vietnam War is one of the most talked about wars in history. It began in 1959 and did not end until 1975. These years saw protests, conflicts, casualties, and confusion for the United States, as well as the terms of three presidents: John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon. When U.S. involvement in the war began under Kennedy, it was originally put out as a plan for the United States to only aid the South Vietnamese, but, after his assassination, Johnson was put in charge. The path that the war took under Johnson was filled with controversy and large numbers of casualties. When Johnson did not run for a second term, Nixon was left in charge to ultimately turn things around. Soon, all of the American troops were removed from Vietnam, and the war slowly began to come to a close. But what was it about Nixon’s foreign policy that was so much more successful than Johnson’s? Was Nixon’s policy more closely related to Kennedy’s successful strategy than Johnson’s was, and, if so, why didn’t Johnson do a better job modeling his policy after Kennedy? These are all questions that political scientists still look at today as a way to solve the many questions that are still being posed about the war. I have looked deeply into these questions, and found answers through researching the history of Vietnam as well as the three presidents. As I read about each event that unfolded, it became clear to me why there were such drastic differences involving their results.
Before the election of President Kennedy, the United States was led by President Eisenhower. Kennedy did a good job continuing his predecessor’s policies of avoiding military confrontation and the commitment of US soldiers on foreign soil. During Eisenhower’s time, the major crisis for the United States was situated in Cuba, and how the Fidel...

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