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John Fitzgerald Kennedy's Vietnam policy : a groundwork leading to war ?

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  1. A significant change, a break with the past
    1. Truman and Eisenhower legacies
    2. Reasons from outside and inside
  2. A couple steps forward under Kennedy's Administration
    1. A missed opportunity to avoid a tragedy
    2. Kennedy's withdrawal plan
  3. A new dimension: Vietnam by Lyndon B. Johnson

On November 1st, 1955, Dwight D. Eisenhower deployed the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) to train the South Vietnamese Army, which had about 200 Americans. Ten years later, almost 400, 000 GIs were fighting in Vietnam. 58, 000 of these people never came back. During this period, the United States of America elected one of their most famous presidents: John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Now, when exactly did the American Vietnamese story begin? According to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., the involvement started with Eisenhower's MAAG deployment, although the war actually began after the Tonkin Golf incident, according to most history books. But that is not our focus here. For many people, the Vietnam War started under Johnson and went on even under Nixon. This common misunderstanding has led to this current research paper, which was originally entitled JKF and America's First Steps in Vietnam. The purpose is to demonstrate that Kennedy's policy in South West Asia was radically different in comparison to his predecessors and that the United States was involved in Vietnam even a couple years before Johnson arrived at the White House.

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