7. Editorial Note

On October 7, 1968, Richard Nixon addressed a conference organized by United Press International in Washington. In the course of his remarks, he argued for shifting the burden of fighting in Vietnam to the South Vietnamese forces:

“I would put far greater emphasis, as the present command in Vietnam is now beginning to do, on the training of the South Vietnamese to fight their own battles and on giving the South Vietnamese people other than the military something to fight for rather than something simply to be against.

“It is a cruel irony that the American effort to safeguard the independence of South Vietnam has produced an ever-increasing dependency in our ally. If South Vietnam’s future is to be secure, this process must now be reversed.

“At the same time, we need far greater and more urgent attention to training the South Vietnamese themselves, and equipping them with the best of modern weapons. As they are phased in, American troops can be phased out. This phasing-out will save American lives and cut American costs. Further, it is essential if South Vietnam is to develop both the military strength and the strength of spirit to survive now and in the future.” ( Nixon on the Issues, pages 9-10)