February 27

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Feb 27, 1965:

United States assails North Vietnamese "aggression"

The U.S. State Department releases a 14,000-word report entitled "Aggression from the North--The Record of North Vietnam's Campaign to Conquer South Vietnam." Citing "massive evidence," including testimony of North Vietnamese soldiers who had defected or been captured in South Vietnam, the document claimed that nearly 20,000 Viet Cong military and technical personnel had entered South Vietnam through the "infiltration pipeline" from the North. The report maintained that the infiltrators remained under military command from Hanoi. The Johnson administration was making the case that the war in Vietnam was not an internal insurgency, but rather an invasion of South Vietnam by North Vietnamese forces. This approach was a calculated ploy by President Lyndon Johnson, who realized that he would have a hard time convincing the American public that the United States should get involved in a civil war--acting to stop the spread of communism by invading North Vietnamese would provide a much better justification for increased U.S. involvement in the conflict.

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