Download A Bitter Peace: Washington, Hanoi, and the Making of the by Pierre Asselin PDF

By Pierre Asselin

Demonstrating the centrality of international relations within the Vietnam battle, Pierre Asselin lines the key negotiations that led as much as the Paris contract of 1973, which ended America's involvement yet didn't carry peace in Vietnam. as the aspects signed the contract lower than duress, he argues, the peace it promised used to be doomed to resolve.

By January of 1973, the continued army stalemate and mounting problems at the household entrance pressured either Washington and Hanoi to finish that signing a imprecise and principally unworkable peace contract was once the main expedient option to in attaining their such a lot urgent pursuits. For Washington, these targets integrated the discharge of yankee prisoners, army withdrawal with out formal capitulation, and protection of yank credibility within the chilly struggle. Hanoi, nevertheless, sought to safe the elimination of yank forces, defend the socialist revolution within the North, and increase the customers for reunification with the South. utilizing newly to be had archival assets from Vietnam, the U.S., 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

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The ‘‘circumstances’’ in Vance’s proposal made the bombing halt conditional, Lau explained, and that violated the negotiating principles set forth by Hanoi. According to those principles, the bombing halt must be unilateral and unconditional and was a precondition to negotiation itself. Since this was the chief impediment to substantive discussions, Vance and Lau met again on 4 and 19 August to find a way around it. At the latter meeting, Vance suggested for the first time that substantive bargaining would necessitate the participation of the Saigon government.

It would also aggravate the already threatening crisis of authority in the nation. ’’77 After Nixon’s election, the discussions between Harriman and Thuy ceased. The two men last met on 14 and 17 January 1969, but only to assess the state of their talks and bid each other farewell. Neither knew Nixon’s thinking on substantive issues, but both understood that no settlement was possible until the new administration was in place. The public sessions, however, continued. After the North Vietnamese accepted the American proposal for quadripartite talks in October, preparations for those talks began.

Outgunned, outnumbered, and outprepared, the South Vietnamese forces retreated after six weeks of fierce combat. But before they did so, Washington and Saigon claimed, they had killed 15,000 enemy troops and destroyed Hanoi’s ability to launch major assaults into northern sections of South Vietnam from Laos. The price of this ‘‘success,’’ however, was exorbitant. 133 On 31 May, in the aftermath of the allied incursion into Laos, Kissinger made a new set of proposals softening the American stand on several 27 28 The First Round substantive matters.

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