Lessons from the Fall of Saigon

The 37th anniversary of the fall of Saigon today is a good time to review the utility of American security promises -- including those purchased with American blood -- to countries fighting ideologically based insurgencies. There were 540,000 Americans in Vietnam at the peak of the U.S. part of the war in January 1969.  Precisely four years later, in January 1973, the Paris Peace Accords were signed, and the U.S. promised continuing support to South Vietnam, where nearly 2.6 million Americans had served and more than 58,000 had died.  Eight months later, Congress voted to halt all combat operations, and by December, only 50 American military personnel were left in the South.  President Nixon resigned in July 1974, and two weeks later Congress reduced aid to South Vietnam by one third.  In late December, the North attacked positions in the South.  In January 1975, the cross-border invasion began.  The North Vietnamese military expected the war to take two...(Read Full Article)

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