Gulf Of Tonkin Resolution

August 10, 1964

What led to the Gulf Of Tonkin Resolution

The USS Maddox, was conducting a DESOTO patrol in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin on August 2, 1964, when it was attacked by three North Vietnamese Navy torpedo boats from the 135th Torpedo Squadron

The Gulf Of Tonkin Resolution

It was a joint resolution that the United States Congress passed on August 7, 1964, in response to the Gulf Of Tonkin Incident.

It Is of historical significance

its of historical significance because it gave U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson authorization without a formal declaration of war by congress, for the use of "conventional" military force in Southeast Asia.

Resolution was a response to the Gulf Of Tonkin Incident

What Did It Do?

It authorized the president to do whatever necessary in order to assist "any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty". This included involving armed forces.


Mounting public opinion against the war eventually led to the repeal of the resolution, which was attached to the Foreign Military Sales Act that Nixon signed in January 1971.