Senators debate U.S. policy in Vietnam - HISTORY
Year
1967

Senators debate U.S. policy in Vietnam

In Senate debates about U.S. policy in Southeast Asia, Senator Mike Mansfield (D-Montana) warns against further escalation of the war. Convinced that a military solution to the situation in South Vietnam was impossible, he urged an alternative to expansion of the U.S. effort in Vietnam. His alternative included putting the issue of the confrontation between North and South Vietnam before the United Nations and containing the conflict by building a defensive barrier south of the Demilitarized Zone to separate North Vietnam from South Vietnam. Senator George Aiken (R-Vermont) suggested that the Johnson administration pay more attention to people like Mansfield who were questioning the wisdom of further escalation of the war, rather than relying on “certain military leaders who have far more knowledge of weapons than they have of people.” Nevertheless, Senate Republican leader Everett Dirksen (Illinois), asked if he favored an increase in U.S. troops in Vietnam, replied “If General Westmoreland says we need them, yes, sir.”

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