Primary Source Investigation #2
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This discussion addresses the following outcome:
Analyze policy options related to Vietnam available to Lyndon Johnson through 1965 (CO#1);
Interpret key primary sources related to situation assessment and policy decisions from 1963-1965 (CO#3).
By 1965, there was a good deal of international disagreement concerning the fate of Vietnam. Chinese and the Soviet leaders preferred any policy that would strengthen North Vietnam and present the greatest long-run chance for Vietnam to be united under a communist government. The French (and much of the rest of the international community) were fearful of the ramifications of an all-out war involving the US in Vietnam. US policymakers believed that a conciliatory approach, such as ones proposed by the French and others, would invariably lead to an advantageous situation for North Vietnam.
For this activity, consider the primary sources among this week’s readings: Tonkin Bay Resolution [PDF File size, 12 KB], Aggression from the North “White Paper” on Vietnam. [PDF File size, 96 KB] France’s Attitude Toward US Policy in Vietnam [PDF File size, 161 KB], and “A Compromise Solution in South Vietnam” Memorandum. [PDF File size, 104 KB]