December 02, 1962 : Senator Mansfield pronounces American aid to South Vietnam wasted

Introduction

Following a trip to Vietnam at President John F. Kennedy’s request, Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D-Montana) becomes the first U.S. official to refuse to make an optimistic public comment on the progress of the war. Originally a supporter of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem, Mansfield changed his opinion of the situation after his visit. He claimed that the $2 billion the United States had poured into Vietnam during the previous seven years had accomplished nothing. He placed blame squarely on the Diem regime for its failure to share power and win support from the South Vietnamese people. He suggested that Americans, despite being motivated by a sincere desire to stop the spread of communism, had simply taken the place formerly occupied by the French colonial power in the minds of many Vietnamese. Mansfield’s change of opinion surprised and irritated President Kennedy.

Article Details:

December 02, 1962 : Senator Mansfield pronounces American aid to South Vietnam wasted

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2009

  • Title

    December 02, 1962 : Senator Mansfield pronounces American aid to South Vietnam wasted

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/senator-mansfield-pronounces-american-aid-to-south-vietnam-wasted

  • Access Date

    November 25, 2017

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks