chapter  2
United by Strategy
WithSeth Offenbach
Pages 28

The conservative movement was one of the leading pro-war movements during the Vietnam War. Support for the war in the 1960s was automatic, as conservatives often viewed themselves as the leading anti-communist groups in the United States during the Cold War. This chapter explores how this anti-communism helped shape the right’s response to President Lyndon Johnson’s Americanization of the Vietnam War in 1965. Specifically, leading conservative intellectuals argued for a more aggressive military campaign in Vietnam than Johnson was willing to endorse. The chapter then examines why conservatives struggled to respond to Richard Nixon’s Vietnamization policies in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The right was frustrated by the Vietnam War. It wanted victory in Vietnam, but did not know how to convince either president to fight the war with the necessary aggression. This had negative consequences as conservatives proved unable to alter the discourse about Vietnam.