February 14, 1962 : Kennedy authorizes U.S. advisors to fire in self-defense

Introduction

President John F. Kennedy authorizes U.S. military advisors in Vietnam to return fire if fired upon. At a news conference, he said, “The training missions we have [in South Vietnam] have been instructed that if they are fired upon, they are of course to fire back, but we have not sent combat troops in [the] generally understood sense of the word.” In effect, Kennedy was acknowledging that U.S. forces were involved in the fighting, but he wished to downplay any appearance of increased American involvement in the war. The next day former Vice President Nixon expressed hopes that President Kennedy would “step up the build-up and under no circumstances curtail it because of possible criticism.”

Article Details:

February 14, 1962 : Kennedy authorizes U.S. advisors to fire in self-defense

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2009

  • Title

    February 14, 1962 : Kennedy authorizes U.S. advisors to fire in self-defense

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/kennedy-authorizes-u-s-advisors-to-fire-in-self-defense

  • Access Date

    November 21, 2017

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks