Only hours after Lyndon Johnson Had became president of the United States in 1963, his first words on the Vietnam War were "I am not going to lose Vietnam. I am not going to be the president who saw Southeast Asia become communist."" The U.S. was now fighting to keep communism out of Southeast Asia. One problem with Johnson's approach was instead of sending ships and Gatling guns, he sent B-52 bombers that could carpet bomb miles of territory easily, Defoliants that killed jungles and humans alike, and ground fire power that was greater that any in history.
Johnson believed that the key to success in the war in Vietnam was to frighten North Vietnam's leaders with the possibility of full-scale U.S. military intervention. In January 1964 he approved top-secret, covert attacks against North Vietnamese territory, including commando raids against bridges, railways, and coastal installations. Johnson also ordered the U.S. Navy to conduct surveillance missions along the North Vietnamese coast. He increased the secret bombing of territory in Laos along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, a growing network of paths and roads used by the North Vietnamese to transport supplies into South Vietnam.In February 1965 the U.S launched operation Rolling Thunder, which was the massive bombing of North Vietnam but had little affect on the communist nation. From 1963 to 1966 the number of us troops in Vietnam went from 14 000 to 267,000 and the Regular Vietcong army grew from 25 000 to 101 000 with another 170 000 irregulars in reserve. By early 1967, the war wa!.
s becoming more costly the United States And the North Vietnamese had ever imagined. Both sides did not want to change their demands. The U.S. wanted the communists to leave and let South Vietnam to become its own country. The North Vietnamese wanted the unification of the country and the total evacuation of all us troops and a halt to their involvement in South Vietnam.