This study of ten fateful decisions made on Indochina between 1961-75 highlights the ascent of the civilian militarists and of strategy over diplomacy in United States policymaking and reveals the inexorably interlinked and escalating character of the decisions and the central purpose of American presidents: not to have to face the expected domestic political consequences of defeat in Indochina. As a result, we were led into a prolonged stalemate in which "acting" and the management of programs became a more important preoccupation than thinking about our purposes and values, in which analysis become wholly subjective and therefore defective, and in which decision-making occurred in a closed system which did not allow for divergent inputs.
Vietnam Trauma in American Foreign Policy, 1945-1975
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