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Maxwell Taylor's Cold WarFrom Berlin to Vietnam$
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Ingo Trauschweizer

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813177007

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813177007.001.0001

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Architect of the Vietnam War

Architect of the Vietnam War

(p.137) 5 Architect of the Vietnam War
Maxwell Taylor's Cold War

Ingo Trauschweizer

University Press of Kentucky

In this chapter I explore Taylor’s role in the American escalation in Vietnam in 1964-1965, when he served as ambassador in Saigon. Lyndon Johnson put Taylor in charge of all American assets and agencies in Vietnam, including the military effort. Taylor feared the spread of Communism and held that Vietnam was the place to stop the spread of “wars of national liberation.” Taylor was a vocal advocate for air strikes against North Vietnam, yet he opposed deployment of large numbers of US ground forces and wanted to leave the fighting to the South Vietnamese army. By the end of his tenure, however, the United States was committed to an air and land war in Vietnam and Taylor would become one of the war’s most ardent defenders.

Keywords:   Nguyen Khanh, U. Alexis Johnson, General William Westmoreland, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), McGeorge Bundy, Graduated pressure, Laos, Operation Rolling Thunder, Honolulu Conference (April 1965), Nguyen Cao Ky

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