The Sino-Soviet split appeared to be irrevocable; some US officials believed that the two major Communist powers might have a war one day. Compounding the irony, from the ranks of the strongest supporters of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society reforms would come some of the most cogent critics of his Vietnam War policies. Le Duan and his colleagues realized that their escalations ran the risk of a war with the Americans; however, they expected that their efforts would bring about the rapid collapse of the South Vietnamese government and the forced withdrawal of their American patrons without having to fight a major war. Whether North Vietnamese boats mounted a second attack on the US warships the night of August 4, 1964 became one of the enduring controversies of the Vietnam War, with participants, high-ranking officials, electronic analysts, scholars, and journalists aligned on both sides.