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In the context of the Vietnam War, I believe "Peace with Honor" was code for an effective exit strategy out of Vietnam and Indochina that would preserve the international prestige of the United States. A principal reason for Lyndon Johnson's consent to the escalation of the Vietnam War in 1965 was the strategic rationale for preserving the credibility of the Cold War containment system. The JCS as well as other groups inside the executive branch analyzed the stakes in Indochina in 1965. They told the president with near unanimity that the loss of South Vietnam would lead to the "unraveling" of the bilateral and mulitlateral defense treaties the United States maintained with countries that occupied the communist "rimlands" i.e. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey. With the loss of Vietnam, senior military and Pentagon officers envisioned a tidal wave of communist insurgencies engulfing Asia. It should be noted that the domino theory for Asia was not widely shared with America's NATO allies, who, despite repeated requests through diplomatic channels, gave very little material aid to the defense of South Vietnam in the 1960s. When Richard Nixon told a national and worldwide audience that he wanted "Peace with Honor" in Vietnam, he was telling them that he wanted to end the war but preserve the integrity of the U.S. containment system. Whether or not this was a correct interpretation of the consequences of American withdrawal is another question. The containment system survived the loss of Indochina in 1975. Orrin Schwab ----- Original Message ----- From: "H-DIPLO [Ball]" <h-d1plo@SOCRATES.BERKELEY.EDU> To: <H-DIPLO@H-NET.MSU.EDU> Sent: Monday, November 29, 2004 8:45 PM Subject: Meaning of "Peace with Honor" [Mosher] > From: Robert Mosher <email@example.com> > > I would suggest that Prof. Rashoon refer her students to Frank Snepp's > _Decent Interval_ and perhaps David Butler's _The Fall of Saigon_ among > others. If we stick with the Titanic metaphor, what they are seeing in > those evacuation scenes at the Saigon embassy are the moments of final > panic as the ship's generator's fail and the waters have begun to cover > the bow and the foreward decks of the ship. It might be said that the > iceberg struck when President Thieu's March 20 announcement that South > Vietnamese forces would withdraw from 2 provinces in the northwest and 9 > provinces in the Central Highlands led to a panic in the ARVN and the > rapid loss of most of the army's airborne and ranger troops. Even before > that date elements in the US Embassy were arranging the departure of key > Vietnamese and after that date, the embassy's "crew" continued to fill > such lifeboats as were available at whatever rate they could sustain > without the Saigon government or US authorities interfering. Unlike the > Captain of _RMS Titanic_, the US Ambassador was subject to the direct > orders of officials in Washington DC and Kissinger gave him direct orders > on several occasions including the final order for him to personally > depart the embassy. Washington was not going to allow any US official to > be held by the North Vietnamese forces entering Saigon if it could be > possibly avoided. It had already been through the negotiations over the > freeing of the POWs and did not want to revisit that discussion. > > Robert A. Mosher > > >>Ellen Rafshoon wrote > > "If the Titanic experience was replicated in 1975 in Vietnam, the students > asked, wouldn't the U.S. ambassador, U.S. military and his staff have > remained behind and risked all and done everything they could to have > assisted South Vietnamese who were then in mortal danger? That isn't what > happened, though, and it's pretty embarrassing to see tapes of those > evacuation scenes at the Saigon embassy." >