Demonstrating the centrality of diplomacy in the Vietnam War, Pierre Asselin traces the secret negotiations that led up to the Paris Agreement of 1973, which ended America's involvement but failed to bring peace to Vietnam. Because the two sides signed the agreement under duress, the peace it promised was doomed to unravel. By January of 1973, the continuing military stalemate and mounting difficulties on the domestic front forced both Washington and Hanoi to conclude that signing a vague and largely unworkable peace agreement as the most expedient way to achieve their most pressing objectives. For Washington, those objectives included the release of American prisoners, military withdrawl without formal capitulation, ad preservation of American credibility in the Cold War. Hanoi, on the other hand, sought to secure the removal of American forces, protect the socialist revolution in the North, and improve the prospects for reunification with the South. Using newly available archive sources from Vietnam, the USA and Canada, Pierre Asselin reconstructs the secret negotiations, highlighting the creative roles of Hanoi, the National Liberation Front, and Saigon in constructing the final settlement.
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 426 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 18 mm
Edition: New edition
Asselin makes an important contribution in helping us understand what happened in the secret 'Nobel Prize-winning' negotiations between Le Duc Tho and Henry Kissinger. Two years later South Vietnam no longer existed. Asselin makes a powerful case that the outcome of the war was determined not on the battlefield, but at the negotiating table.
(Larry Berman, author of "No Peace, No Honor: Nixon, Kissinger, and Betrayal in Vietnam")
Pierre Asselin has made good use of both American and Vietnamese sources. This is the best study I have seen of the process that produced the Paris Peace Agreement.
(Edwin E. Mo-se, author of "Tonkin Gulf and the Escalation of the Vietnam War")