President Elect Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines states that he will send troops to South Vietnam, in response to President Lyndon Johnson’s call for “more flags” in Vietnam.
Johnson hoped to enlist other nations to send military aid and troops to support the American cause in South Vietnam. The level of support was not the primary issue; Johnson wanted to portray international solidarity and consensus for U.S. policies in Southeast Asia. The Philippines sent a 1,500-man civic action force in 1966; the United States paid for the group’s operating costs and also provided additional military and economic aid to Marcos in return for sending his troops.
Several other countries–including Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and Thailand–responded to Johnson’s call and sent troops to South Vietnam. Collectively, these troops were known as the Free World Military Forces, and they fought alongside American and South Vietnamese troops.