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The War after the WarThe Struggle for Credibility during America's Exit from Vietnam$
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Johannes Kadura

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780801453960

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801453960.001.0001

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The Strategy of the Cease-Fire

The Strategy of the Cease-Fire

Chapter:
(p.11) 1 The Strategy of the Cease-Fire
Source:
The War after the War
Author(s):

Johannes Kadura

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801453960.003.0002

This chapter discusses how the United States used the cease-fire agreement of North and South Vietnam as an “insurance policy” to secure their dominance in the Cold War. Through this policy, the United States could avoid the public commitment of enforcing the cease-fire that would guarantee South Vietnam's survival, allowing the United States to easily downplay Indochina's continuing significance for U.S. foreign policy toward Asia and counterbalance it elsewhere. Thus, in a January 23, 1973 address to the nation, Pres. Richard Nixon called for a lasting peace—stating that U.S. parties must scrupulously adhere to the terms of the agreement—without mentioning how Washington could achieve that peace or how it would react if the cease-fire began.

Keywords:   cease-fire agreement, Cold War, public commitment, South Vietnam, Richard Nixon, Washington

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