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Consequences of the End Game in Vietnam

President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu

As the last outposts crumbled in March and April, the Administration castigated Congress for abandoning Vietnam, labeled certain Americans "isolationists," and predicted the worst consequences from the American failure to stave off the collapse. Other Americans-hopeful politicians, wishful editorialists-angrily, urgently, denied the charges, rejected the epithets, and argued that Vietnam had little to do with the American position in the rest of the world; indeed, release from Vietnam might well benefit the American position elsewhere.

Perhaps now the analysis and the debate can be conducted with more detachment and objectivity. For several reasons, the original fears of "dominoes" might have some truth. The reasons have to do with the process of American policy-making, the reactions of allies and adversaries, and the resulting shape of the international system. All of these factors were sharply illustrated and profoundly affected by the end game in Vietnam. Unfortunately, they are not entirely subject to

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