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The Gulf of Tonkin resolution was caused by the attack on two U.S. destroyers in August 1964, but ended up being the moment of escalation of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. President Johnson asked Congress for permission to increase the presence of the U.S. military in IndoChina and on August, 7, 1964, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.

What was the importance of The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution?

The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution authorized President Johnson to not only send military forces to the Gulf of Tonkin, but it gave him free reign to take any measures he deemed necessary to try and promote international security and peace in Southeast Asia. The resolution also provided legal grounds to both Johnson and Nixon to prosecute the Vietnam War. Due to public resistance to the Vietnam war, Congress repealed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in January 1971.


This article is part of our larger selection of posts about the Vietnam War. To learn more, click here for our comprehensive guide to the Vietnam War.

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