What is Agent Orange and why did the Kennedy Administration decide to use it?
How did Diem's Regime collapse?
What was the Buddhist Crisis?
Time Period Covered 1961 - 1963
In the final part of our exploration into the beginnings of the "Vietnam War", we look at the circumstances surrounding the early Kennedy years and how a 'prudent' approach to South Vietnam resulted in a number of problems, both immediate and in the future. We look in depth at Operation Ranch Hand, the decision to use defoliants in South Vietnam, as well as how the Diem Regime becomes a no longer viable partner for the US and their wider strategic interests. We explain the Buddhist Crisis and the self-immolation of Quang Duc and the competing visions of a new South Vietnam. Finally the coup against Diem, Kennedy's assassination as well as the return of Pol Pot to the jungles of Vietnam represents a new chapter in the coming historical hurricane.
Christopher Goscha Vietnam: A New History
Fredrick Logevall The Embers of War
Edward Miller The Vietnam War & Reinterpreting the Buddhist Crisis (Modern Asian Studies November 2015)
Neil Sheehan The Pentagon Papers
Geoffrey Warner The United States and Vietnam 1945-1965 (International Affairs October 1972)
William Buckingham The US Air Force and Herbicides in Southeast Asia