Historical Documents

Volumes

Browse by Administration

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964–1968, Volume V, Vietnam, 1967

Editor:
Kent Sieg
General Editor:
David S. Patterson

United States Government Printing Office
Washington
2002

Department of State
Office of the Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs



Overview

The volume covers a broad range of topics and themes, the foremost of which is the U.S. effort to explore a possible negotiated settlement of the war. There is in-depth coverage of the major unsuccessful peace initiatives, Sunflower and Pennsylvania to the North Vietnamese and Buttercup to the National Liberation Front, as well as less detailed coverage of other peace initiatives thought at the time by U.S. policymakers to be less promising. Another major theme of the volume is the military intensification of the war effort to force the enemy to accept a peace settlement. The Presidential decisions to intensify the bombing campaign against North Vietnam and the long debate and final compromise decision by Johnson to augment the level of U.S. forces in Vietnam are part of this theme. The problem of U.S. domestic support for the war is another theme, as the Johnson administration grappled with building anti-war pressure. During the period covered by the volume, the Johnson administration named a new Ambassador to Vietnam, Ellsworth Bunker, put Robert Komer in charge of pacification and rural development, and then engaged in an effort to encourage reorganization and reform of the South Vietnam Government. This campaign, which had mixed results, is another main theme.

Documents in the volume also cover the South Vietnamese presidential elections, especially U.S. concerns about lack of unity between the two military contenders for the presidency. Another focus is the debate within the U.S. intelligence community over the size of the enemy in South Vietnam, the so-called "order of battle" controversy. During 1967 the administration conducted a reassessment of the war, a continuing theme of U.S. Vietnam policy, which resulted in advice to the President to stay the course.