By Pierre Asselin
Demonstrating the centrality of international relations within the Vietnam conflict, Pierre Asselin strains the key negotiations that led as much as the Paris contract of 1973, which ended America's involvement yet didn't deliver peace in Vietnam. as the aspects signed the contract less than duress, he argues, the peace it promised was once doomed to solve.
By January of 1973, the continued army stalemate and mounting problems at the household entrance compelled either Washington and Hanoi to finish that signing a obscure and mostly unworkable peace contract used to be the main expedient technique to in achieving their such a lot urgent pursuits. For Washington, these goals integrated the discharge of yank prisoners, army withdrawal with no formal capitulation, and upkeep of yankee credibility within the chilly struggle. Hanoi, nonetheless, sought to safe the elimination of yankee forces, safeguard the socialist revolution within the North, and enhance the customers for reunification with the South. utilizing newly to be had archival assets from Vietnam, the USA, and Canada, Asselin reconstructs the key negotiations, highlighting the inventive roles of Hanoi, the nationwide Liberation entrance, and Saigon in developing the ultimate payment.
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Extra resources for A Bitter Peace: Washington, Hanoi, and the Making of the Paris Agreement
Nixon’s ﬁrst priority was not ending the war promptly but improving his negotiating position by putting enemy forces on the defensive in South Vietnam. 102 A most important initiative, introduced in the spring and summer of 1969, was what the White House called the ‘‘Vietnamization’’ of the war. 104 At the same time, the United States pledged, and began delivering to, the RVN vast quantities of weapons and other supplies for its armed forces. 106 As ARVN forces became thus lavishly armed, they did more and more of the ﬁghting, which increased the intensity of the civil war and further polarized the Vietnamese nation.
75 From the outset, Nixon busied himself and his aides plotting negotiating strategies and substantive positions. In early spring, he ordered the Vietnam Ad Hoc Group of the NSC to devise strategies for dealing with 13 14 The First Round such key issues as the DMZ, troop withdrawal, and prisoners of war (POWs). 76 Nixon and his aides understood they would have to extricate American forces sooner or later, but they believed they could do so without damaging American credibility as a superpower. The manner in which they ended the intervention, they believed, was more important than peace itself.
Second, the inclusion of the NLF in the negotiations would enhance its legitimacy. 41 Hanoi’s assessment of the divergent positions of Washington and Saigon proved correct. Upon hearing the news that the DRVN had accepted the American proposal to expand the talks, Thieu became furious. As stated earlier, he never expected the North Vietnamese to accept the proposal. As it turned out, however, Hanoi not only conceded, but its acceptance came at the worst possible time. With the American presidential election just days away, Johnson and the Democrats would seek to capitalize on that breakthrough and increase the pressure on both Hanoi and Saigon to accept a negotiated settlement.
A Bitter Peace: Washington, Hanoi, and the Making of the Paris Agreement by Pierre Asselin