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The United States stumbled into a commitment to a shaky government in the 1950's and the unvarying policy of every subsequent administration was to do what was necessary to prevent the collapse of that government. They were doing so not because they anticipated victory but because they saw no alternative. However high the cost of intervention, they believed the cost of not intervening, of allowing South Vietnam to fall, would be higher. Only when the national and international political situation had shifted to the point where it was possible for American policymakers to reassess the costs of containment - to conclude that the costs of continuing the commitment - was it possible for the United States to begin disengaging.
Please elaborate on this interpretation.
1. How valid is this interpretation?
2. Are there any parts in it that have holes in it?
Some resources you can use are: America Divided: by Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin and If I Die In a Combat Zone
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The interpretation given for the United States' involvement in Vietnam in this summary could best be characterized as a generic predictable status quo explanation for what is described as a blind commitment to the policy of "containment". Is that explanation or characterization all inclusive? The answer is no.
Recent memoirs by Robert McNamara, President Kennedy and Johnson's Secretary of Defense, clearly outline multiple options and contingencies for removing the United ...
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