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Vietnam vs Gulf War II

             In less than forty years there have been two major resolutions giving the President of the United States in essence a blank check in which to use as he saw fit. The first resolution was passed August 10, 1964 and is known as the Gulf of Tonkin resolution (H.J. RES. 1145). The second resolution was passed on October 10, 2002 and is known as the House Joint Resolution Authorizing Use of Force against Iraq (H.J. RES. 114). Both resolutions were passed due to a perceived threat to the national security of the United States and that Congress needed to take necessary actions to ensure its protection. However, after both resolutions were enforced, Congress would later state that they were not made fully aware of the situations or that they did not believe the President of the United States would actually use the resolution. This paper will demonstrate the many similarities between the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and H.J. RES. 114, and show that Congress failed to keep history from repeating itself. The end results of the resolutions have to this day been different, but the powers granted to the President in the resolutions are very much the same. .
             Gulf of Tonkin Resolution:.
             When President Johnson took office after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy the U.S. military had already been involved in South Vietnam for almost two years. Military advisors were training the South Vietnamese military. The goal was to strengthen the military so that it could fight the guerrilla attacks conducted by the Vietcong as well as defend the country from the North Vietnamese Army. President Johnson viewed the war in Vietnam as an extension of the Cold War and felt it was necessary to defend South Vietnam from communism. "Communists, using force and intrigue, seek a communist-dominated world," said President Johnson in an April 1964 Speech. In May President Johnson was presented with a new plan of action by his Defense Secretary Robert S.

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