The Pentagon Papers / Edition 1

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This book provides a brief and manageable collection of the most important documents on U.S. policymaking in the Vietnam War between 1950 and 1968. Edited by the foremost Vietnam historian, this supplementary text can be used in conjunction with any history of the Vietnam war—Herring's own America's Longest War, for example.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780070283800
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies,Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

George C. Herring is Alumni Professor of history at the University of Kentucky. He received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Virginia and taught at Ohio University before moving to the University of Kentucky. He is the author of numerous books, articles, and essays, including The Secret Diplomacy of the Vietnam War: The Negotiating Volumes of the Pentagon Papers (1983) and LBJ and Vietnam: A Different Kind of War (1994). He served as editor of the scholarly journal Diplomatic History from 1982 to 1986 and was President of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations in 1990. In 1991, he served as Visiting Fulbright Scholar at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand and from 1993 to 1994, he was Visiting Professor of History at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point.

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Table of Contents

1 Origins of Involvement, 1946-1960 1
Ho Chi Minh's 1946 Appeal for Help 4
NSC 1952 Policy Study on Southeast Asia 5
French Seek U.S. Air Intervention at Dienbienphu 11
U.S. Rejects French Plea 13
French Response 14
Instructions to U.S. Delegation to Geneva Conference 14
Joint Chiefs of Staff 1954 War Plans for Indochina 16
Geneva Accords, July 1954 18
U.S. Response to Geneva Accords 21
Edward Lansdale Report on CIA Operations in Vietnam, 1954-1955 23
Ambassador Durbrow's Concern About Diem Government, 1960 37
2 John F. Kennedy and the Escalation of the War, 1961-1963 42
Kennedy Task Force May 1961 "Program of Action" 44
NSAM 52 May 1961 Program 50
LBJ May 1961 Report on Asian Trip 51
Maxwell Taylor Proposes U.S. Combat Troops for Vietnam 55
McNamara Response to Taylor Proposals 58
State Department Pessimism on Vietnam 60
Intelligence Assessment of 1963 Buddhist Protest 62
Washington Moves Toward Coup 63
Ambassador Lodge Encourages Coup Planning 65
CIA Station Chief Assesses Coup Prospects 65
Lodge Scenario for Removal of Diem 66
Washington Response to Lodge Proposals 68
Unravelling of August Coup Plan 69
Generals Renew Coup Plotting 70
Washington Response to Minh Overture 72
Lodge Urges Support for Coup 73
Washington's Concern About Coup 75
Lodge Urges Proceeding with Plan 75
Bundy Outlines Contingency Plans 79
Lodge Phone Conversation with Diem 81
3 Graduated Response, 1963-1965 83
McNamara's March 1964 Assessment of Situation in Vietnam 86
NSAM 288 Plans for Retaliation 93
U.S. Warnings to North Vietnam 95
September 1964 Proposals for Escalation 97
McNaughton Proposals, November 1964 100
Ambassador Taylor's Meeting with South Vietnamese Generals 103
4 America Goes to War, 1965 107
Bundy Urges "Sustained Reprisal" 109
Washington Approves Rolling Thunder 114
McNaughton's March 1965 Proposals 115
CIA Assessment of Air War 118
NSAM 328 Enlarges Ground Forces and Changes Mission 120
George Ball Opposes Escalation 122
McNamara Urges Major Expansion of Ground Forces 129
5 Stalemate, 1965-1966 132
McNamara's November 1965 Assessment of the War 134
McNamara's Early Doubts 136
McNaughton Hints at Compromise 137
Proposal for an Anti-Infiltration Barrier 140
Johnson Presses for "Coonskins on the Wall" 142
Walt Rostow on Pol Bombing 144
JCS Order Pol Attacks 145
McNamara Seeks to Limit Ground Forces 146
Westmoreland Asks for Additional Troops 147
IDA Assessment of the Bombing 148
6 The 1967 Policy Debate 156
McNamara Opposes Escalation 158
JCS Oppose Cutback in Bombing 169
McNamara November 1966 DPM 171
Westmoreland Requests Additional Troops 173
JCS Support Westmoreland Request 178
Johnson, Wheeler, and Westmoreland Discuss Force Needs 180
McGeorge Bundy Opposes Escalation 183
Enthoven Opposes Increase in Ground Forces 186
Rostow Analysis of Air War 187
McNamara Turns Dove 191
William Bundy Response to McNamara 201
7 The Tet Offensive and the End of Escalation 205
CINPAC Late 1967 Report on War 208
Wheeler's Post-Tet Report to President 210
LBJ's March 31, 1968 Decisions 217
Glossary 219
The Pentagon Papers: A Bibliographical Essay 223
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