The Best and the Brightest Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who oversaw domestic operations of the operation code named 34A?

2. How does Halberstam say Johnson conducted planning for the Vietnam war?

3. What does Halberstam say was the Joint Chiefs of Staff's perception of the problem in Vietnam?

4. Who does Halberstam say set the tone for Vietnam policy for the beginning of the Johnson administration?

5. When did McNamara say the U.S. would be out of Vietnam, when he visited the country?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was the public story of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, and what was the truth?

2. What was the military's position on bombing North Vietnam?

3. How did the reality of the war become public information?

4. What does Halberstam say happened when Westmoreland assumed control?

5. What was President Johnson's position regarding Vietnam in the early days of his presidency?

6. What was Dean Rusk's role in Vietnam after Kennedy's assassination?

7. What does Halberstam say the effect of the Vietnam war on the American people was?

8. What issues were discussed as there started to be struggles over Vietnam strategy in mid-1965?

9. What was the intelligence community's assessment of Rolling Thunder?

10. What does Halberstam say was Johnson's approach to paying for the war?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson's strategies for handling the war in Vietnam. How did they negotiate the complex mixture of voices within the U.S. government in similar ways? How were they different? How did the changes in conditions in the U.S. and in Vietnam account for Johnson's different strategies?

Essay Topic 2

Using the hindsight gained by "The Best and the Brightest", would you say that the war in Vietnam was a local conflict that could have been left to resolve itself, or would you say that if left unaddressed, Vietnam would have been one of the dominoes in a string of nations the Communists took over? Put another way: would the internal tensions in Vietnam have dogged the Communists just as badly as they dogged the Americans and the American-backed South Vietnamese government, if the Vietcong had ever acquired power there?

Essay Topic 3

What must McGeorge Bundy or Robert McNamara or President Johnson have thought about the Vietnam war? Write a journal entry as if you were them.

(see the answer keys)

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