Obama's Afghanistan decision evokes LBJ's 1965 order on Vietnam buildup
In 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson took ownership of a war he, like Obama, had inherited. Gen. William Westmoreland wanted more troops in Vietnam, and after a protracted debate within the White House, Johnson sent them.
Over the next three years, he would send hundreds of thousands more and launch a carpet-bombing campaign against North Vietnam. Johnson's presidency – and many argue, Johnson himself – were destroyed long before America could finally, 10 years later, quit Vietnam.
Obama's decision to send 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan has reawakened those memories of Vietnam's early days, and brought unsettling comparisons from an array of historians who have spent their careers studying Johnson.
Many of those doubts, historians now know, were shared by Johnson himself, as revealed by White House tapes of telephone recordings released to historians over the years. Listening to them again this week chilled some of the men who know best what that decision cost Johnson.
comments powered by Disqus
- Theodore Van Kirk, 93, Enola Gay Navigator, Dies
- The beautiful, historic shrines that Islamists try to destroy
- East Germany's Blood Art: No Justice for Victims of Regime's Treasure Hunt
- President Warren Harding’s Love Letters Open to the Public
- Earth Is In The Early Days Of A New Mass-Extinction Event, Researchers Warn
- Historian: Proclamation Naming Pa. State Gun Gets Facts Wrong
- Irish slave owners were compensated historian reveals
- Two historians are in a race against time to preserve early church records from destruction
- Yale's Jay Winter sums up what we should remember about WW I
- Plagiarism scandals galore … but no consequences?