Why did President Johnson choose to Americanize the war in Vietnam?

In 1954, North Vietnam along with China and the Soviet Union planned to overtake South Vietnam and support a rebellion that will eventually make them under the Communist rule. As any country would have it, South Vietnam did not welcome the idea. Communism will take away most of what can be enjoyed by the Vietnamese. It was for many a walk to the path of death. Even before the communism rule started, it called on the help of the United States to help stop the threat that was imposed to them. (Nixon, 1969) America did not think twice in lending aid.

President Eisenhower immediately sent the humanitarian and military aid that South Vietnam has initially requested. In 1962, President Kennedy took his turn by sending 16,000 military personnel to Vietnam. The personnel were sent for dialogues as advisers. In 1965, combat forces were sent by President Johnson. Right at that, the Great War broke loose. Everybody had President Johnson to blame. (Nixon, 1969) The War Math When President Nixon took his post as president-elect on 1969, the Vietnam War was already in its lean fourth year. At the time, 31,000 Americans have been killed in combat.

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A whopping 540,000 were still deployed across Vietnam—and there were no near-future plans of pulling even a little number out. The trainings that were supposedly planned to help the Vietnamese were unorganized and unsystematic. There were virtually no trainings being made at all. The plans were futile and senseless. Many Americans have touted almost all presidents who took post to stop the war immediately. By immediately, they wanted the president to issue a statement right at the moment that he is taking peace initiatives and will therefore pull out the American forces from Vietnam.

Yet President Nixon explained that such request is easier said than done. It will never be automatic for a president to pull out war troops from a country even if the whole nation is screaming for the same to be done. (Nixon, 1969) For one, the Vietnam War has already caused many lives and pulling out the troops will mean surrendering. While pride matters the point of contention is really that surrendering will put the lives of those who died and went into danger in vain. While casualties, as much as possible, should be avoided, the only way to do it is by fighting harder than not fighting anymore.

(Nixon, 1969) The Johnson War, so to speak President Johnson certainly felt that Americans should win the Vietnam struggle. The combat forces were of strong character, and their stance is threatening. Their presence shows that America is well and ready—no turning back. President Johnson sent them, and so it sparked the crossfire all across Vietnam. It started a years-long war that will forever mark the presidential career of President Lyndon Johnson. The war, if thought well, was not all President Johnson’s initiative.

The Americanization of the Vietnam War started with the regime of President Kennedy. The Kennedy administration approved the coup plot against Ngo Dinh Diem, giving initial ignitions to the Vietnam authorities. However, it was President Johnson who allowed bombings in South Korea and the docking of battalion ships in the shores of South Vietnam. Thus, what was an otherwise harmless peace-negotiable event in the history of Vietnam became a bloody, large-scale war which became more difficult to end.

Unfortunately, it caused the lives of many. (Logevall, 1999) President Johnson had advisers at his side when he chose to continue the war and scrap any possibility for peaceful negotiations. Thus, despite the sparks of anger from Vietnam, the real fire raged with the moves and decisions decided upon during the Johnson administration. Add to this, Kimbal (1999) says that should another president would have it—say for instance President Kennedy—there would have been no Americanization of the war.


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