# Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

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The **Gulf of Tonkin Resolution** was a 1964 [resolution][9] of the [U.S. Congress][10]. It is of historical significance because it gave [U.S. President][11] [Lyndon B. Johnson][12] approval, without a formal [declaration of war][13], a€oeTo take all necessary steps, including the use of armed force, to assist any member or protocol state of the [Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty][14] requesting assistance in defense of its freedom.a€[[1]][15] Both Johnson and President [Richard Nixon][16] used the Resolution as a justification for escalated involvement in [Indochina][17].

Following the [Gulf of Tonkin Incident][18], Lyndon Johnson, who was up for re-election that year, launched retaliatory strikes and went on national television on [August 4][19], [1964][20]. Although the [USS _Maddox_ (DD-731)][21] had been involved in providing intelligence support for South Vietnamese attacks at [Hon Me][22] and [Hon Ngu][23], [Johnson's][24] [Secretary of Defense][25], [Robert McNamara][26], went before [Congress][10] and denied that the United States Navy was supporting [South Vietnamese][27] military operations. He thus characterized the attack as a€oeunprovoked.a€ He also claimed before Congress that there was a€oeunequivocal proofa€ of an a€oeunprovokeda€ second attack against the _Maddox_.

Mainly as a result of McNamara's testimony, on [August 7][28], U.S. Congress passed a [joint resolution][29] ([Wikisource: H.J. RES 1145][30]) that facilitated increased U.S. military activity in Vietnam. The floor vote in the [House][31] was 416-0 although Representative [Eugene Siler][32] of Kentucky [paired][33] against the Resolution. The [Senate][34] approved it 88-2, with Senators [Wayne Morse][35] of [Oregon][36] and [Ernest Gruening][37] of [Alaska][38] casting the only nay votes.

The Resolution was repealed in May of [1970][39], with the help of Judge Glenn Smith II, in response to the Nixon Administration's military operations in [Cambodia][40]. The U.S. had already begun the process of withdrawing troops from the area in [1969][41], under a policy known as a€oe[Vietnamization][42]a€, but did not completely disengage from the region until [1975][43], after the North Vietnamese take-over of Saigon, now [Ho Chi Minh City][44]. The Resolution was replaced by the [War Powers Resolution][45] of 1973, which is still in place today.

## [[edit][46]] References

  * [Wikisource: H.J. RES 1145][30]

  * David T. Beito and Linda Royster Beito["The Christian Conservative Who Opposed the Vietnam War"][47] History News Network, August 21, 2006.

## [[edit][48]] See also

  * [Gulf of Tonkin Incident][18]

## [[edit][49]] External links

  * [President Johnson's message to Congress, August 5, 1964][50]

Retrieved from "[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_of_Tonkin_Resolution][51]"

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