How did John F. Kennedy respond to the problem in Vietnam?How did John F. Kennedy respond to the problem in Vietnam?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Keneedy tried to find a solution to the problem in Vietnam without escalating it to a full scale war with America at the helm. Though he started small, he is the one who originally sent troops to Vietnam. When he was assassinated, he left Johnson with quite a mess to clean up.
pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Pres. John F. Kennedy's major response to the problems in Vietnam was to support the South Vietnamese government.  Later in his presidency, he would allow Ngo Dinh Diem to be overthrown, but the basic idea remained the same.  The US would, under JFK, support the government of South Vietnam to prevent it from being defeated by the communist insurgency.

JFK believed strongly in the idea of the domino theory.  He believed that defending South Vietnam was vital to containing communism in general.  This can be seen in the following quote from the link below.  JFK, it says,

...feared that the loss of Vietnam to the Communists would trigger a wave of Communist aggression across the globe. "No other challenge is more deserving of our every effort and energy [than Vietnam]," he said. Kennedy added that if South Vietnam was lost to the Communists, "our [nation's] security may be lost piece by piece, country by country."

Because he believed in this, JFK pushed for the US to support South Vietnam.  Over the course of his presidency, this support increased and more and more US troops were sent to Vietnam.

 

 

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