The Political Universe of Lyndon B. Johnson and His Advisors: Diagnostic and Strategic Propensities in Their Operational Codes

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Abstract

This study uses the Verbs in Context System (VICS) to analyze and compare the operational codes of President Lyndon Johnson and his advisors during the Vietnam conflict. The initial focus is on changes in Johnson's general operational code as revealed in public statements during the period leading to the decisions to bomb North Vietnam and to intervene with ground forces in South Vietnam. Johnson's public operational codes for the domestic, foreign, and Vietnam domains are then compared, and his public operational code for the Vietnam conflict is contrasted with the private operational code of his Vietnam advisors (as expressed in private memoranda). Period effects, domain effects, and other differences are revealed between the views of Johnson and those of his advisors.

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