LBJ is going to follow JFK's steps in the Vietnam war. He starts out sounding sort of anti-war, but later
goes to 100% pro war.
Johnson raised the level of U.S. involvement on July 27, 1964 when 5,000 additional US military advisors were ordered to South Vietnam which brought the
total number of US forces in Vietnam to 21,000. Some critics of President Lyndon Johnson say the purpose of the mission was
to provoke a reaction from North Vietnamese coastal defense forces as a pretext for a wider war.
The U.S. Senate then approved the Gulf of
Tonkin Resolution on 7 August 1964, which gave broad support to President Johnson to escalate U.S. involvement in the war "as the President shall determine".
In a televised address Johnson claimed that "the challenge that we face in South-East Asia today is the same challenge that
we have faced with courage and that we have met with strength in Greece and Turkey, in Berlin and Korea, in Lebanon and in
Cuba," a dangerous misreading of the politics of the Vietnamese conflict. National Security Council members, including Rober McNamara, Dean Rusk, and Maxwell Taylor agreed on November 28, 1964 to recommend that President Johnson adopt a plan for a two-stage escalation
of bombing in North Vietnam.
On March 8, 1965, 3,500
United States Marines became the first American combat troops to land in South Vietnam,
adding to the 25,000 US military advisers already in place. The air war escalated as well; on July 24, 1965, four F-4C Phantoms escorting
a bombing raid at Kang Chi became the targets of antiaircraft
missiles in the first such attack against American planes in the war. One plane was shot down and the
other three sustained damage. Four days later Johnson announced another order that increased the number of US troops in Vietnam
from 75,000 to 125,000. The day after that, July 29, the first 4,000 101st Airborne Division paratroopers arrived in Vietnam, landing at Cam Ranh
Facing a troop shortage, on October 14, 1968 the United States Department of Defense announced that the United
States Army and Marines would be sending about 24,000 troops back to Vietnam for involuntary second tours.
Two weeks later on October 31, citing progress with the Paris peace talks, US President Lyndon B. Johnson announced to his nation that
he had ordered a complete cessation of "all air, naval, and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam" effective November 1. Peace talks eventually broke down, however, and one
year later, on November 3, 1969, then President
Richard M. Nixon addressed the nation on television and radio asking the "silent majority" to join him in solidarity on the Vietnam
War effort and to support his policies.