Politics of War - Kennedy Research Proposal

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Why? Because, for the most part, LBJ ignored them. He would invite the leadership and even critics to the White House quite frequently and listen as they offered suggestions. Usually, however, he would end up lecturing them about the wisdom of the decisions he had already predetermined.

It is interesting to note, that, throughout the war, LBJ actually received far more support from Republicans than he did his own party. In February, 1965, Johnson said to Republican Senate minority leader Everett Dirksen: "I'm getting kicked around by my own party in the Senate and getting my support from your side of the aisle" (Small, at the Water's Edge:).

The Vietnam War and President Nixon

Nixon's policies toward the war can be summed up in two words: politics and secrecy. It was the man, his obsession with secrecy, and his need to successfully seek re-election in 1972 that drove all of his decisions. His domestic poltics and foreign policies were all tied up into those same bundles. His aim was to end the Vietnam War as quickly as possible and obtain "peace with honor" -- for domestic political reasons -- i.e. his re-election.
Far more than Kennedy or Johnson, domestic politics dominated Nixon's thinking as he slowly brought an end to the war. It is not off base to say that domestic politics is the very reason Nixon did want to bring an end to the war, and his "re-election compulsion" drove most of his decisions regarding the war, his cover-up of Watergate, and his resignation.


Garfinkle, Adam. Telltale Hearts: The Origins and Impact of the Vietnam Antiwar Movement. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995.

Hallin, Daniel. The Uncensored War. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1989.

Simon, Dennis M. "The War in Vietnam, 1965-1968." August 2002. Southern Methodist University. 26 March 2009 http://faculty.smu.edu/dsimon/Change-Viet2b.html.

Small, Melvin. At the Water's Edge: American Politics and the Vietnam War. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2005.

Small, Melvin. Democracy & diplomacy: the impact of domestic politics on U.S. foreign policy, 1789-1994. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1996.

A the term paper is to give a detailed explanation of the impact domestic politics had on the Vietnam war. this may include the anti-war movement, reporting in the press and opponents holding political office.….....

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