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Perils of Dominance – Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam - California Scholarship Online
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Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam

Gareth Porter


This book offers an interpretation of how and why the United States went to war in Vietnam. It provides a challenge to the prevailing explanation that U.S. officials adhered blindly to a Cold War doctrine that loss of Vietnam would cause a “domino effect” leading to communist domination of the area. The book presents compelling evidence that U.S. policy decisions on Vietnam from 1954 to mid-1965 were shaped by an overwhelming imbalance of military power favoring the United States over the Soviet Union and China. It demonstrates how the slide into war in Vietnam is relevant to understanding why ... More

Keywords: Vietnam War, Cold War, communism, policy decisions, Soviet Union, China, military intervention, Robert McNamara, Gulf of Tonkin, North Vietnam

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2005 Print ISBN-13: 9780520239487
Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520239487.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gareth Porter, author