There is an almost undisputed consensus in the present era that the decision of President Lyndon Johnson to commit hundreds of thousands of American combat troops to fight in South Vietnam was a mistake of gigantic proportions. This large escalation of the American role in Vietnam in 1965 was an early and crucial chapter in a subsequent decade of failure and tragedy in Southeast Asia. In search of how such a misguided venture as the American participation in the Vietnam war could have happened, historians and political scientists have written much about the personality of Johnson and the advisory process surrounding the President. These two elements are often regarded as possible causes of the American miscalculation in entering the war on a massive scale.