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Death of a GenerationHow the Assassinations of Diem and JFK Prolonged the Vietnam War$
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Howard Jones

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195176056

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195176056.001.0001

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A Decent Veil of Hypocrisy

A Decent Veil of Hypocrisy

(p.143) 7 A Decent Veil of Hypocrisy
Death of a Generation

Howard Jones

Oxford University Press

The Kennedy administration waged a secret war in Vietnam even as it denied the obvious. An admission to combat engagement would acknowledge violation of the Geneva Accords as well as endanger the ongoing negotiations over Laos. Most important, it would mark a breach of faith with the American people. By the spring of 1962 the United States had joined the war in every sense. U.S. advisory assistance reached down to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam's (ARVN) battalion level, U.S. planes engaged in bombing and strafing missions, U.S. naval patrols extended into the waters above the seventeenth parallel, and U.S. advisers regularly entered the vaguely defined battle zones, authorized to fire in self-defense. Counterinsurgency remained the overriding U.S. strategy, but it had tilted so dramatically to the military side that the United States appeared to be on the verge of taking over the war except the use of combat troops.

Keywords:   John F. Kennedy, Vietnam War, military policy, foreign policy, military troops, military involvement, secret war, counterinsurgency

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