The opening of peace negotiations in 1968 led to a qualitative shift in the internationalization of the Vietnam War. Even more than Lyndon Johnson, President Nixon was convinced that the solution to his Indochinese dilemma lay in the realm of international balances of power. The Nixon administration’s ‘grand design’ for international order was at the driving centre of post-1968 internationalization of the war. We begin this chapter with an assessment of the transformed international context of the war after 1968, moving on to an assessment of US foreign policy in this period. Again, we find global factors constantly bumping up against intrastate developments, especially in the context of American electoral and legislative politics. The chapter offers a brief account of the significant influence of Senator Frank Church, organizer of legislative constraints on Nixon’s war leadership. The chapter ends with an analysis of Hanoi’s 1972 Easter Offensive and of the eventual Paris Agreement of January 1973. It raises a range of questions relating to the internationalization of the war, and to its handling by Richard Nixon and his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger.
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- Richard Nixon’s War
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