Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976, Volume VI, Vietnam, January 1969–July 1970

  • Edward C. Keefer
  • Carolyn Yee
General Editor:
  • Edward C. Keefer


The scope of this volume is different from previous volumes on Vietnam in the Foreign Relations series. For the years 1955–1968 the series produced volumes exclusively on U.S. policy towards Vietnam and documented U.S. policy towards Laos and Cambodia in separate volumes. With the Nixon administration’s decision to take the war to the enemy in Cambodia and integrate more fully the secret war in Laos into its strategy for Vietnam, this format was no longer valid. This volume covers Vietnam in the context of the larger war that included the conflicts in Laos and Cambodia, and in the case of the former, also the role of Thailand in Laos. Consequently, the editors had to make choices about what to cover. When Vietnam was the main concern of President Nixon and his principal advisers—primarily Assistant for National Security Affairs Henry Kissinger and his NSC Staff; Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker in Saigon; Commander of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, General Creighton Abrams; and Chief Paris Peace Talks negotiator, Henry Cabot Lodge—the focus is on Vietnam strategy, planning and operations. The focus of the volume later shifts to the issue of the deterioration of the secret war in Laos in March 1970. In March and April 1970, after the overthrow of Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia and his replacement by pro-American General Lon Nol, the volume moves its focus to Cambodia, culminating with the U.S.-South Vietnamese invasion of that country in an effort to attack the North Vietnamese troops in their sanctuaries. The volume concludes with the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Cambodia. In addition to this shifting emphasis on Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, the volume has as one of its principal themes the search for a negotiated settlement to the Vietnam War.