Classic Case - Americanizing the Vietnam War: Hypothetical

Americanizing the Vietnam War: Hypothetical


Educator Access
A review copy of this case is available free of charge to educators and trainers. Please create an account or sign in to gain access to this material.

Permission to Reprint
Each purchase of this product entitles the buyer to one digital file and use. If you intend to distribute, teach, or share this item, you must purchase permission for each individual who will be given access. Learn more about purchasing permission to reprint.

  • Product Description

    In 1964-65, the United States made a series of decisions that culminated in the commitment of large ground forces to South Vietnam for sustained offensive action. President Johnson thus effectively took over the defense of South Vietnam. This case examines the decision, particularly in light of the numerous "lessons of Korea" that were used to justify escalating US involvement in Vietnam. "Americanizing the Vietnam War" covers the planning and decision-making of 1964-65, and reviews the use of Korean War analogies by both sides. "Vietnam Documents" presents 19 key cables, position papers, and memoranda which figured in Washington plans, during 1964, and decisions, during 1965. The Vietnam Hypothetical puts the reader in the place of Clark Clifford, who received two confidential assignments from LBJ: one, to assess the French-American analogy; and two, to explain why there were so many contradictory "lessons of Korea."

    Learning Objective:
    This case is part of a series of cases written to illustrate the uses and misuses of historical analogy in decision-making. For further discussion of this technique, see the abstract for Korea and the Thirties (C14-80-298.0).

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: January 01, 1980
    HKS Case Number: 271.6
    Case Author: Richard Neustadt
    Faculty Lead: Richard Neustadt
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 2
    Setting: United States and Vietnam
    Language: English
    Funding Source: National Endowment for the Humanities
    _pages: 1-15
    _geography: Global
  • Warranty Information

    /review/271.6.EducatorCopy.pdf, /teachingplan/271_2.pdf