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Limiting America's Engagement: Roger Hilsman's Vietnam War, 1961-1963

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This article examines the role of Roger Hilsman, an important State Department official in the Kennedy administration, in the formulation of American policy towards the Vietnam War between 1961 and 1963. Hilsman was one of the leading opponents of a conventional military escalation of the war in Vietnam, frequently clashing with the Pentagon and the American military establishment in order to limit United States' engagement. Hilsman was convinced that “victory” in Vietnam was possible if the United States adopted a counterinsurgency approach to the conflict. This perception was forged by his experiences as a guerrilla fighter in World War II. Perceived to be one of the main architects of the coup against President Diem in 1963, and vilified by elements in the United States military, he was removed from office by President Johnson early in 1964.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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