War, Peace And Positioning; Nixon’s Strategic Journey From Vietnam To China

2524 words - 10 pages

Prior to Richard Nixon’s inauguration in January of 1969 there were a plethora of issues on the table, but in foreign policy the most pressing issue was the American involvement in Vietnam. In an attempt to predict the main goals, current realities of the war and possible options for a “victory” in Vietnam a committee was commissioned, named RAND, to layout those predictions. At the head of this RAND committee was Dr. Henry Kissinger, President Nixon’s national security advisor and later Secretary of State. Dr. Kissinger led this study to predetermine Nixon’s foreign policy plan towards Vietnam, and at t the heart of this committee were a series of studies that broke down Vietnam War policies of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. This corporation allowed for they’re to be a stronghold for Nixon with his anticipated struggles, and major problems in foreign policy. The number one problem was clearly American involvement in Vietnam 1969. This also allowed President Nixon to get a jumpstart creating solutions to these struggles when he would actually take office. Also discussed in the study were alternatives and outcomes to policies towards the war. Defining the word “victory” for the Unites States in Vietnam was one of the major struggles and stresses of Nixon in 1969 and something that would stay with him throughout his presidency. With this came to what was attainable for the United States to accomplish “victory”, which was the major objective of the RAND committee. What was found for attainable victories ranged from the Government of Vietnam (GVN) having independent control of the South, to mere territorial accommodations in the South for the GNV. Though all of this the RAND study was an attempt to have an idea how to seek control politically, militarily and territorially to the South Vietnamese under their President Theiu in 1969. On the outset of this committee was that President Nixon would have a preliminary plan in place to end American involvement in this war through forceful military actions leading to peace negotiations in Paris
As Richard Nixon’s state in his memoirs there had been previous peace negotiations in Paris prior to April 1970 between Kissinger and Le Duc Tho. At the present time of May 1970 the negotiations had reached a staggering halt and no progress was being made for a peace settlement. So the inevitable had to happen and a very tough choice had to be made by Richard Nixon and his team to go to military actions against the communist. The first of these major forceful military actions was an invasion of Cambodia by a combined force of the American military and the Army of Southern Vietnam (ARVN). The reason Nixon decided on a neutral country like Cambodia was not to widen the war but because a major problem that the Unites States struggled with throughout the Vietnam conflict was the infiltration of communist support of the Viet Cong in the South. The invasion, at its entirety, was a devastating on many different...

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