By Guenter Lewy
1978 ebook on the US in Vietnam.
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Additional info for America in Vietnam: Illusion, Myth and Reality
Bombing as a way of weakening that resolve. S. had a major unused air capability and because President Johnson, aware of the strong faith in air power among many influential members of Congress, was unwilling to invest American lives in a ground war before he had tried to use air power as a mode of pressure. On 17 March 1964 the president approved a series of recommendations made to him by McNamara which became National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM) 288. The new policy statement stressed the importance of stable political leadership in South Vietnam, the development of policies that would provide economic progress to the rural population, the training of an offensive guerilla force to supplement the conventionally organized South Vietnamese army, and other measures.
And yet we probably could not have won with Diem either. S. had relied in its optimistic appraisals, turned out to have been manipulated and false. AMERICA IN VIETNAM 28 President Johnson Inherits the Vietnam Albatross On 22 November 1963, less than a month after the murder of Diem, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated; Lyndon B. S. " In the countryside it had in fact been deteriorating "since July to a far greater extent than we realized because of our dependence on distorted Vietnamese reporting.
The weakness of the American leverage was primarily the result of America's strong commitment to the defense of Vietnam. S. repeatedly stated that America was determined to help South Vietnam preserve its independence and would not allow the country to be taken over by the Communists. S. suddenly abandoning South Vietnam and that he could therefore safely spurn American demands for reform. S. support, but in view of the often-proclaimed vital importance of Southeast Asia to the West and America's commitment to the defense of the area as well as to Diem's leadership role, this threat was just not credible and therefore was never invoked.