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

By Pierre Asselin

Demonstrating the centrality of international relations within the Vietnam warfare, Pierre Asselin lines the key negotiations that led as much as the Paris contract of 1973, which ended America's involvement yet did not carry peace in Vietnam. as the facets signed the contract less than duress, he argues, the peace it promised was once doomed to solve.

By January of 1973, the ongoing army stalemate and mounting problems at the household entrance pressured either Washington and Hanoi to finish that signing a imprecise and mostly unworkable peace contract used to be the main expedient approach to in attaining their such a lot urgent ambitions. For Washington, these pursuits integrated the discharge of yank prisoners, army withdrawal with no formal capitulation, and renovation of yankee credibility within the chilly conflict. Hanoi, however, sought to safe the elimination of yankee forces, defend the socialist revolution within the North, and enhance the clients for reunification with the South. utilizing newly to be had archival assets from Vietnam, the us, 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 situation in South Vietnam was not rosy for either side in the late summer and early autumn of 1969, but neither felt that it was bad enough to make substantive concessions necessary or even attractive. Hanoi still thought the war was winnable, while the Nixon administration thought it salvageable. Neither government was yet desperate, though neither was sure enough of the other’s strength and will to know what, if any, concessions it would be advantageous to negotiate at the moment. Thus, the two sides continued to stand by the positions articulated by Thuy and Kissinger on 4 August.

The delegates discussed the problems caused by Nixon’s initiatives and after heated debate, concluded that the Resistance was relying too heavily on military activity. 123 ‘‘We . . ’’124 This decision signaled the first abandonment of the strategy embraced at the beginning of the Anti-American Resistance and reaffirmed as recently as 2 November 1968: subordinating diplomacy to military and political activity. Vietnamization and the widened war were jeopardizing the revolutionary cause by undermining efforts below the seventeenth parallel.

86 Even if Saigon agreed to negotiate with the two Communist entities, the talks would be long and difficult. Hanoi would never accept the political status quo in the South, and Saigon would agree to nothing that jeopardized the future of the Thieu regime. In the remote chance that a reasonable agreement could be negotiated, Nixon estimated that Thieu would finally reject it. 87 Moreover, Thieu insisted that the GVN would accept no peace agreement that allowed North Vietnamese forces to stay in the South after a cease-fire.

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