Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

A Bitter Peace: Washington, Hanoi, and the Making of the Paris Agreement

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

A Bitter Peace: Washington, Hanoi, and the Making of the Paris Agreement

Article excerpt

A Bitter Peace: Washington, Hanoi, and the Making of the Paris Agreement, by Pierre Asselin.

It should not come as a surprise that the agreed framework that permitted the extrication of the U.S. from the war in Vietnam turned out to be anything but a peace treaty. The Paris Agreement between North Vietnam and the United States at the time appeared to provide both sides much more than they could have achieved on the battlefield. In A Bitter Peace, Asselin contends that it was the mutual realization by both sides that far more could be gained through diplomatic negotiation than through continued fighting on the ground. In fact, Asselin argues, contrary to many Western scholars, that by 1972 the primary means through which the war was prosecuted was diplomacy. By this time military operations were subservient to the diplomatic process that began to bear fruit by the summer of 1972. The principal quid pro quo of the agreement was the exchange of prisoners of war for the promise of U. …

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