Before became the U.S. President, Lyndon B. Johnson was functioning as the Vice President of John F. Kennedy. In 1961, as a Vice President, he visited Saigon and met Diem. Johnson claimed to Diem that he was really of import to U.S. aim in Vietnam and was a Churchill of Asia. Two twelvemonth subsequently, in 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Therefore, the job of Vietnam War fell out of the blue into Johnson ‘s custodies. After that, the state of affairs in Vietnam War became worse as the North Vietnam, Viet Cong, won in big rural country of South Vietnam. Indeed, after Kennedy was assassinated, Johnson handled the state of affairs in Vietnam reasonably by seeking to maintain Kennedy ‘s plan in Vietnam without intensifying the war. However, on August 1964, four months before he won the election in November, two U.S. Navy destroyers were attacked by North Vietnamese gunboat at golf of Tonkin. Johnson ‘s policy toward Vietnam War changed dramatically after that state of affairs. He made several alteration in military leading. Although secretary of defence, Robert S. McNamara still held his place, the new president of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was replaced to Earle G. Wheeler and the commanding officer of MACV, General Paul Harkins, instate his place to William C. Westmoreland. Johnson urged the Congress to take “ all necessary stairss ” for the intent of U.S. involvements in Vietnam. The Congresss complied and go through the “ Gulf of Tonkin Resolution ” on 7th of August with 533 out of 535 members of Congress and 82 voices agree from the senate. Johnson besides order bombing against North Vietnam after that event. In November 1964 won a landslide election against his opposite number Barry Goldwater by assuring non to intensify the U.S. engagement in Vietnam War. Johnson claimed that Goldwater ‘s policy might get down a atomic war. The most of import point is that he promised non to “ back up American male childs to make the occupation that Asiatic male childs should make ” . However, the menace from North Vietnam became more violent that Johnson could non manage his promise during the election. Due to the “ Tonkin Gulf Resolution ” President Johnson could pay out war against North Vietnam anytime without any declaration from the Congress. Therefore, after the fifteenth February violent incident of Pleiku foraies caused by Vietcong guerrilla and killing 8 U.S. soldiers and inquiring many U.S. soldiers, Johnson practiced some specific schemes in response to North Vietnam Army.

Operation Rolling Thunder

Since North Vietnam Army and Vietcong became more violent and had many soldiers in South Vietnam, President Johnson, with the force per unit area from the Joint Chiefs, started to run a new bombardment scheme called “ Operation Rolling Thunder ” . It was operated from March2, 1965 to November 2, 1968. U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy were ordered to do an utmost series of air work stoppage as Johnson hoped that it would convey an encouragement to South Vietnamese, and halt the spread of communism. Anyway, by utilizing this operation, Johnson hoped to destruct the North Vietnam transit system, industrial base and air defences. Two celebrated operation of this run were “ Operation Rolling Thunder Steel Tiger ” and “ Operation Rolling Thunder Tiger Hound ” , which U.S. air force started an air interdiction run against the Ho Chi Minh Trails, used to transport goods and arms from North to South Vietnam through Southern Laos. However, U.S. found it hard to accomplish that intent because North Vietnam gained both military assistance and aid from both his allied- the Soviet Union and the People ‘s Republic of China.


During the election, Johnson had made his promise non to endorse American male childs involve in Vietnam War. However, he could non manage that promise since the state of affairs in Vietnam became more violent and aggressive. In order to back up the “ Operation Rolling Thunder ” , Johnson escalated the war by directing more military personnels to Vietnam as the figure of U.S. military personnels in Vietnam reached 70 000 in June 1965. By the manner, in July 1965, Johnson authorized 100 000 military personnels more into Vietnam and employed extra 100 000 military personnels in 1966. Besides, in that twelvemonth, General Westmoreland doubted Army of the Republic of Vietnam ( ARVN ) ‘s ability to protect U.S. air base against Vietcong and the corruptness. Therefore, he persuaded Johnson to direct more military personnels to Vietnam in order to defence U.S. air base. As a consequence, Johnson complied and decided to direct first U.S. land military personnels every bit good as the first American combat military personnels, the 9th Expeditionary Brigade, to Vietnam to defence U.S. landing field at Da Nang. In add-on, during Nguyen Cao Ky ‘s visit to Honolulu, Johnson promised to endorse the ARVN against the aggressive NVA in return to the enlargement democracy in Vietnam and betterment of economic system status for its citizens. The Vietnam War was undergoing to be “ Americanization ” as the figure of U.S. military personnels peaked to 536 100 by the terminal of 1968.

The Enclave Strategy

In fact, before Johnson started to direct tonss of military personnels to Vietnam, in early 1965, he officially implemented “ The Enclave Strategy ” which was suggested by General Maxwell Taylor, U.S. embassador to Vietnam, the opposition of the construct of big figure of U.S. forces indoors Vietnam. “ The Enclave Strategy ” allowed U.S. force to keep lone countries of Vietnam already controlled by Saigon. Due to “ The Enclave scheme ” , the Republic of Vietnam ( RVN ) had to won the war and U.S. function was to help ARVN by commanding the densely populate seashore.

However, General Westmorland did n’t back up “ The enclave Strategy ” and press Johnson for more and more U.S. military personnels to Vietnam and allowance of “ taking the conflict to enemy ” . Furthermore, ARVN performed so hapless and there was the addition of onslaught from Communist in June 1965. U.S. leaders saw the inefficiency of Enclave Strategy. Johnson ‘s policy became inconsistence. As a consequence, Johnson believed that merely to increase U.S. force in Vietnam can coerce Ho Chi minh to negociate and retreat NVA from South Vietnam. Therefore, he began use the scheme of Americanization.

The War of Attrition

Due to the unsatisfactory of “ the Enclave Strategy ” , General Westmorland urged President Johnson for more military personnels to Vietnam. Westmorland found that U.S. barely fought the war in Vietnam as most of the conflict occurred in the jungle of Vietnam and Vietcong was a rugged, dedicated group of guerrilla combatant. Westmorland believed that U.S. could merely won the Vietnam War by lessening the figure of North Vietnam Army and Vietcong member non by traditional land conquer method. Therefore, alternatively of utilizing an uneffective scheme, “ The Enclave Strategy ” , he persuaded Johnson another scheme which is called “ The War of Attrition ” . It is besides known as “ Search-and-destroy scheme ” . The chief mission of this scheme is to direct U.S. troops out to field to seek and killed the Vietcong member. U.S. troops besides needed to do many casualties on enemy in order to destruct the North Vietnam ‘s economic system to guarantee that it could non protract the war. To guarantee that this scheme would success, President Johnson permitted some operation such as “ Operation Starlite ” and “ Operation Cedar Falls ” .

Operation Starlite

Due to the miss spelling from the clerk working under the taper visible radiation, Operation Satellite was spelled as “ Operation Starlite ” . Starlite was operated from August18 to August 24, 1965. It is the first large-scale of U.S. land force operation in Vietnam. The intent of this operation is to destruct 1 500 Vietcong member placement in Van Toung small town composite.

Operation Cedar Falls

Another operation backed up the “ War of Attrition ” was “ operation Cedar Falls ” . With a full support from General Westmorland, Cedar Falls was operated from January8, 1967 to January28, 1967. More than 30 000 U.S. military personnels, including both land force and paratroopers brigade, and South Vietnam troops involved in that operation. It is the largest U.S. operation in Vietnam. Cedar Falls aimed to destruct the Vietcong member at the Iron trigon, a major fastness of the Communist National Liberation Front, located near Saigon. However, Vietcong decided to fly from this monolithic operation to Cambodia or hidden in the complex resistance tunnels.

Although U.S. operated many operations, such as Operation Starlite, Cedar falls, Birmingham, Crimp, Hasting and Junction City, against Vietcong and North Vietnam Army, U.S. could non won because they ever hid from the U.S. military personnels in the woods and U.S. ever lost tonss of casualties whenever they operated action. Furthermore, Ho Chi Minh claimed that “ aˆ¦aˆ¦.. ” . Thus, in order to win hunt and destruct them, President Johnson decided to utilize chemical arms such as Napalm and Agent Orange.