By Pierre Asselin

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

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 technique to in achieving their such a lot urgent targets. For Washington, these targets incorporated the discharge of yankee prisoners, army withdrawal with no formal capitulation, and protection of yank credibility within the chilly struggle. Hanoi, however, sought to safe the removing of yank forces, guard the socialist revolution within the North, and increase the clients for reunification with the South. utilizing newly to be had archival resources 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 cost.

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

Sample text

To stop all air, naval and artillery bombardments and all other acts involving the use of force against the entire territory of the DRVN. 40 Ultimately, however, the North Vietnamese renounced their original position for three reasons. First, Washington would not end the bombing unless it got satisfaction on the issue. Second, the inclusion of the NLF in the negotiations would enhance its legitimacy. 41 Hanoi’s assessment of the divergent positions of Washington and Saigon proved correct. Upon hearing the news that the DRVN had accepted the American proposal to expand the talks, Thieu became furious.

After learning Aubrac knew Ho intimately and would help the two sides reach a settlement, Kissinger informed the State Department. When Aubrac and a friend flew to Hanoi in July of that year, Washington designated Kissinger as their American connection. Though the mission was futile, it marked Kissinger’s debut in North Vietnamese–American diplomacy. Now, Kissinger’s assignment was to apprise Aubrac of Nixon’s views on negotiating with North Vietnam, so Aubrac could transmit those views to Hanoi.

As stated earlier, he never expected the North Vietnamese to accept the proposal. As it turned out, however, Hanoi not only conceded, but its acceptance came at the worst possible time. With the American presidential election just days away, Johnson and the Democrats would seek to capitalize on that breakthrough and increase the pressure on both Hanoi and Saigon to accept a negotiated settlement. Unprepared and unwilling to face that possibility, Thieu undertook initiatives of his own to guarantee the safeguard of his regime and the sovereignty of South Vietnam.

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