The New York Times published a series of reader letters in response to its magazine cover story War Without End.
"No politician, especially an American president, wants to be blamed for losing a war. Lyndon Johnson was haunted by the fate of President Harry S. Truman, who was accused of “losing” China by his Republican enemies. So Johnson agreed to keep sending more troops to Vietnam, knowing that victory in any meaningful sense was impossible, but hoping to keep the lid on until after the 1968 presidential election. Of course, President Johnson’s plan didn’t work out. The Tet Offensive began in January 1968, and it was all downhill for his presidency from there. Chivers makes clear that the same lack of political leadership accounts for the endless wars in which the United States is still engaged in Afghanistan and Iraq. It’s instructive to recall that the war in Vietnam only ended when the United States Congress refused to continue to fund it. John E. Stafford, Rye, New York"
Se the other letters.