Tags: nukes | nuclearweapons | vietnam | lyndonjohnson

Westmoreland Made Plans to Use Nukes in Vietnam

General william westmoreland and president lyndon johnson in 1968.
President Lyndon Johnson confers with General William Westmoreland during a 1968 breakfast meeting at the White House, Washington, DC. (Photo by Agence France Presse/Agence France Presse/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 07 October 2018 08:56 AM

An escalation of the Vietnam War nearly led to the deployment of nuclear weapons to South Vietnam, but former President Lyndon Johnson overruled Gen. William Westmoreland in 1968, according to a newly declassified documents release, The New York Times reported.

"When [President Johnson] learned that the planning had been set in motion, he was extraordinarily upset and forcefully sent word through [National Security Adviser Walt] Rostow, and I think directly to Westmoreland, to shut it down," former White House adviser Tom Johnson (no relation to the former president) told the Times.

Westmoreland's top secret plan, "Fracture Jaw," involved bringing nuclear weapons in the event American forces were going to lose at Khe Sanh. President Johnson sought to avoid getting China involved in Vietnam, as it had become in the Korean War in 1950.

"Johnson never fully trusted his generals," Tom Johnson told the Times. "He had great admiration for General Westmoreland, but he didn’t want his generals to run the war."

The documents were released quietly two years ago and reported on in the upcoming book "Presidents of War," written by presidential historian Michael Beschloss.

"Johnson certainly made serious mistakes in waging the Vietnam War," Beschloss told the Times. "But we have to thank him for making sure that there was no chance in early 1968 of that tragic conflict going nuclear."

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An escalation of the Vietnam War nearly led to the deployment of nuclear weapons to South Vietnam, but former President Lyndon Johnson overruled Gen. William Westmoreland in 1968, according to a newly declassified documents release...
nukes, nuclearweapons, vietnam, lyndonjohnson
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2018-56-07
Sunday, 07 October 2018 08:56 AM
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