On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in as the 36th U.
S. President. He is the fourth President coping with the Vietnam War.
President Johnson declares he will not “lose Vietnam” during a meeting in Washington. Johnson came to office convinced that the United States had to honor its commitments to South Vietnam and resist the revolution, but originally he was certain that success depended chiefly on the South Vietnamese. In his view, their government had to carry out the program of social and economic reform and development needed to gain the support of the people, and their army had to do the fighting.
He felt that the United States could only encourage and assist the development of the political and military programs. In a Department of State Bulletin, August 24, 1964, Johnson said: “I summarized it on June 2 in four simple propositions: America keeps her word. Here as elsewhere, we must and shall honor our commitments. The issue is the future of Southeast Asia as a whole. A threat to any nation in that region is a threat to all, and a threat to us.Our purpose is peace.
We have no military, political, or territorial ambitions in the area. This is not just a jungle war, but also a struggle for freedom on every front of human activity. Our military and economic assistance to South Vietnam and Laos, in particular, has the purpose of helping these countries to repel aggression and strengthen their independence.
“(Internet Source) But as time went on, these initial views changed because the political and military situation in South Vietnam had deteriorated and a Vietcong victory seemed likely. As the government viewed it, such a victory not only would give the Communists control of a significant area but also would suggest that the United States could not protect other countries against enemies employing guerrilla tactics and receiving assistance from the outside…