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Detailed examination and analysis of the Pentagon Papers elucidates the flaws inherent in the Kennedy Administrations policy towards the Diem regime in the summer and fall of 1963 which led to Diems overthrow and a deeper American commitment to the Vietnam War As the argument presented in this paper will heretofore demonstrate the basis for a critique of the Kennedy Administrations policy towards the Diem regime lies in the capriciousness of its decision to lend covert support to a military coup without sufficient evidence that such a move was ultimately in the best interest of American foreign policy objectives in Vietnam While the information presented in the Pentagon Papers is oftentimes confusing and contradictory there are a few major points that resonate throughout and which establish a number of facts with relative certitude That Diem was difficult to deal with from the perspective of American diplomats enlisted in the process of conducting American foreign policy aims in Vietnam is quite evident and almost entirely indisputable Throughout the Pentagon Papers it is repeatedly made clear that Diem was a stubborn autocratic ruler who placed little value on the opinions expressed by the United States government with relation to the process of the governing Vietnam His regime was frequently criticized for being a dictatorship with a narrow-minded political approach Hereafter footnoted Pentagon Papers1 Diems intransigence in the face of repeated US attempts to influence his approach to domestic political affairs is expressed in multiple perspectives contained in the Pentagon Papers which present a clear picture of Diems consistent and intentional aloofness to stated American interests In particular Diems overall attitude of defiance was expressed most frequently in his interactions with US Ambassadors Nolting and later Lodge Despite the fact that Nolting and Lodge employed methods of dealing with the stubborn despot that were diametrically opposed both men were equally incapable of evoking from Diem a firm commitment to the pursuit of satisfying American interests
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