Thursday, July 1, 2010
Vietnam War (contd-7)
When John F. Kennedy won the 1960 Presidential election,one major issue Kennedy raised whether the Soviet space and missile programs had surpassed those of the US. As Kennedy took over, despite warnings from Elsenhower about Laos and Vietnam, Europe and Latin America "loomed larger than Asia on his sights. In his inaugural adderess, Kennedy made the ambitious pledge to 'pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and success of liberty."
In June 1961, John F. Kennedy bitterly disagreed with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev when they met in Vienna over key-US-Soviet issues. The legacy of the Korean war created the idea of a limited war.
Although Kennedy stressed long-range missile parity with Soviet Union, he was also interested in special forces for counterinsurgency warfare in third world countries threatened by communist insurgencies.Although they were originally intended for use behind front lines after a conventional invasion of Europe, Kennedy believed that the guerrilla tactics employed by special forces such as the Green Berets would be effective in a brush fire war in Vietnam.
The Kennedy administration remained essentially committed to the cold war foreign policy inherited from the Truman and Eisenhower administrations.In 1961, The USA and 50,000 troops based in Korea , and Kennedy faced a three part crisis-the failure of the Bay of pigs invasion, the construction of the Berlin wall, and a negotiated settlement between the pro-Western Govt. of Laos and the Pathet Lao communist movement, These made Kennedy believe that another failure on the part of the US to gain control and stop communist expansion would fatally damage US credibilty with its allies and his own reputation. Kennedy determined to draw a line in the sand and prevent a communist a communistr victory in Vietnam.