President Lyndon B. Johnson announces that he has ordered an increase in U.S. military forces in Vietnam, from the present 75,000 to 125,000. Johnson also said that he would order additional increases if necessary. He pointed out that to fill the increase in military manpower needs, the monthly draft calls would be raised from 17,000 to 35,000. At the same time, Johnson reaffirmed U.S. readiness to seek a negotiated end to the war, and appealed to the United Nations and any of its member states to help further this goal. There was an immediate reaction throughout the world to this latest escalation, with communist leaders attacking Johnson for his decision to send more troops to Vietnam. Most members of Congress were reported to favor Johnson’s decision, while most U.S. state governors, convening for their annual conference, also supported a resolution backing Johnson. This decision to send more troops was regarded as a major turning point, as it effectively guaranteed U.S. military leaders a blank check to pursue the war.
Posted in Vietnam War.