Nixon Administration

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Review Essay, Nov/Dec 2012
Fredrik Logevall

A pathbreaking history of the Vietnam War reveals that the Northern government was far more divided and discouraged than commonly believed. Yet the fact remains that the United States and its allies in the South always faced very long odds of success.

Review Essay, Mar/Apr 2007
Warren I. Cohen

Margaret MacMillan's engaging narrative history shows how Nixon's trip to visit Mao helped end the Cold War. But neither leader anticipated how fast China would rise or how that rise would force the U.S.-Chinese relationship to evolve.

Essay, Nov/Dec 2005
Melvin R. Laird

During Richard Nixon's first term, when I served as secretary of defense, we withdrew most U.S. forces from Vietnam while building up the South's ability to defend itself. The result was a success -- until Congress snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by cutting off funding for our ally in 1975. Washington should follow a similar strategy now, but this time finish the job properly.

Response, Jan/Feb 2004
William D. Rogers & Kenneth Maxwell

Former Assistant Secretary of State William D. Rogers disputes charges of U.S. complicity in the rise and rule of Pinochet; Kenneth Maxwell replies.

Review Essay, Nov/Dec 2003
Kenneth Maxwell

Thirty years after the overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile, The Pinochet File, a "dossier" of declassified documents, lays out the true U.S. role.

Essay, May/Jun 1999
Henry A. Kissinger

After Richard Nixon's 1972 re-election, a new political force -- the neoconservatives, former anti-Nixon liberals now bent on total victory over the Soviet Union -- emerged to undermine his diplomacy. Nixon and his heir, Gerald Ford, sought to carefully wear the Soviets down, but the neocons yearned to vanquish communism with a burst of ideological elan. The new right's insistence on smearing detente as appeasement led them to ignore subtle Soviet encroachments and abandon Ford when he urged Congress to aid Indochina and Angola. The neocons undercut the real foreign policy debate, which was between the White House and the liberals.

Review Essay, May/Jun 1998
David C. Hendrickson

William Bundy's indictment of Nixon and Kissinger's deceptions ignores the philosophical sophistication they brought to American foreign policy.

Essay, Winter 1991
George C. Herring

The summary victory over Iraq was hailed by no less a figure than President Bush as a once-and-for-all elimination of the 'Vietnam syndrome' -- which shows how powerful was the memory of that defeat even 15 years after the fall of Saigon. Addresses thre questions (1) why the USA invested so much in contesting communism in Vietnam (2) why its efforts failed -- even today, US explanations tend to assume that it could have been 'done right', overlooking now as then the formidable disadvantages facing US policy (3) the economic and political consequences of the defeat for the USA.

Essay, Summer 1984
William Bundy

This article is a reflective look at the period from mid-1972 and early 1973 to the present, in terms of the evolution in the world situation and the course of U.S. foreign policy during these years. It has been, I believe, a time of marked deterioration in the overall world outlook, and the performance of the United States, as a nation, in the foreign policy arena has been at best mediocre--with only limited exceptions.

Essay, Fall 1982
Michel Oksenberg

While the past decade of Sino-American relations has been largely constructive, the ten years have not been on a steady incline. Rather, there have been two strong forward spurts, from spring 1971 through May 1973, and from May 1978 through early 1980. The relationship has also endured two periods of some acrimony and erosion: from the fall of 1975 to late 1976 and from mid-1980 to the effort to stabilize the relationship reflected in the communiqué on arms sales to Taiwan that was agreed in August 1982. In addition to the periods of rapid forward movement and retrogression, several periods are best portrayed through metaphors such as "plateaus" or "mixed pictures." Even the best periods were punctuated by moments of doubt and uncertainty, while the phases of deterioration were constrained by a common desire to limit the erosion and to preserve a more positive public facade than the private exchanges warranted.

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