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Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976, Volume X, Vietnam, January 1973–July 1975

Editor:
Bradley Lynn Coleman
General Editor:
Edward C. Keefer

United States Government Printing Office
Washington
2010

Department of State
Office of the Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs



Overview

This volume addresses the ending of the Vietnam war; a story central to the U.S. experience in the 20th century. Similar to other Foreign Relations volumes, this collection of documents emphasizes the formation of policy over day-to-day diplomacy. Several themes dominated U.S. policy and policy objectives in Indochina during this period: the relationship between force and diplomacy, the struggle between the President and Congress in the formation and implementation of U.S. policy, U.S. credibility in the world, and the limits of American power. These themes dictated the selection of documents in this volume. Soon after the fall of Saigon in April 1975, American officials in several agencies began looking back at U.S. policy toward, and political and military actions in, Vietnam in an effort to understand and learn from the American experience in Indochina beginning in the early 1960s. This volume places those analyses within the broader documentary context.

This volume concludes with documentation covering the May 1975 seizure by Cambodia of the SS Mayaguez and the successful recovery by U.S. forces of the ship and its crew. The documents cover the crisis deliberations in Washington among civilian and military officials that led to President Ford’s decision to use military force to recover the ship.

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