Was JFK’s Vietnam Withdrawal Policy Changed : Was JFK’s Vietnam Withdrawal Policy Changed.

COPA Presentation 2010

Proper analysis of the actions of the President’s Special Assistant for National Security, McGeorge Bundy, plays a key role in answering the question, “Was JFK’s Vietnam withdrawal policy changed?” after his assassination. That the reversal of JFK’s Vietnam withdrawal policy started immediately following the assassination is no longer in doubt. That Bundy drafted a document (NSAM 273), which began that reversal of policy, on November 21st–the day before JFK was assassinated–is suspect. 

LBJ signed the final version of the document (NSAM 273) that began to escalate the Vietnam War on November 26th, a mere four days following the assassination and one day following the funeral. It was the first official act of his presidency involving National Security. Then, in March of 1964, LBJ signed NSAM 288, which cemented our commitment in South East Asia. 

Please watch the entire video presentation, which I gave in Dallas for COPA in 2010.

As for the unfounded claims by some who doggedly cling to the notion that JFK was somehow yet undecided as to what our role in Vietnam should have been, I can only hope that their misinformation is spoken out of ignorance rather than driven by agenda.

Was JFK’s Vietnam Withdrawal Policy Changed?

John F. Kennedy had been consistently voicing his objection to US engagement in a ground conflict in Indochina for more than a decade PRIOR to his becoming the President of the United States!

It is no secret that John F. Kennedy fiercely opposed US involvement in South East Asia, both as a member of the House of Representatives and later as a member of the Senate. One of his first fact finding trips to the region as a Congressman (1951) resulted in a speech in which he clearly opposed any US entry into the conflict.

Then, in 1954, as a US Senator, John Kennedy delivered perhaps his most prophetic speech regarding the futility of American intervention in Vietnam in which he forcefully–and in no uncertain terms–voiced the reasons for his opposing US intervention.

Was JFK’s Vietnam Withdrawal Policy Changed?

When NSAM 263 (JFK’s Vietnam Withdrawal Policy) is viewed in the broader context of the historical record of his opposition to US intervention in Vietnam spanning more than a decade prior to his becoming President, it becomes evident that the “power structure” was well aware that the United States would not go to war in Vietnam as long as JFK was the President of the United States. In light of the dubious nature of the document (NSAM 273) drafted the night before the assassination, as well as the subsequent escalation of the war by LBJ, the answer to the question — Was JFK’s Vietnam withdrawal policy changed? — is obvious.

Feel free to leave comments and questions.

-Greg Burnham

Topic: “Was JFK’s Vietnam Withdrawal Policy Changed?”

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