The Vietnam War: A Concise International History

By Mark Atwood Lawrence | Go to book overview

7
ENDING THE
AMERICAN WAR

DURING THE I 968 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN, Republican nominee Richard Nixon promised to end the war in Vietnam. But he also pledged to achieve “peace with honor”— a settlement, in other words, that would secure the basic aims for which the United States had been fighting all along. The key to salvaging American goals, Nixon declared, would be to pursue new diplomatic and military approaches to the war. “One of the advantages of a new president,” he declared, “is that he can start fresh without being imprisoned by the formulas of the past.”1

Over the following years, Nixon tried a variety of novel expedients to achieve peace on American terms, variously employing escalation and withdrawal, bold gestures and secret maneuvers. At every turn, however, the new administration ran up against old problems. Though badly damaged, communist forces refused to buckle. Though apparently stable, the South Vietnamese government failed to gain support among its people. Though relieved by declining U.S. casualties, the American public and Congress continued to sour on the war.

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The Vietnam War: A Concise International History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - The Road to Revolution 7
  • 2 - Colon Ialism and Cold War 27
  • 3 - An Anguished Peace 47
  • 4 - Escalation 67
  • 5 - War on Many Fronts 91
  • 6 - The Tet Offensive 115
  • 7 - Ending the American War 137
  • 8 - Wars Unending 161
  • Notes 187
  • Index 205
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