Press Release

Office of the Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs
United States Department of State
September 23, 2010

The Department of State released today Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976, Volume X, Vietnam, January 1973–July 1975. This specific volume covers U.S. policy towards Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from the signing of the Paris Peace Accords (January 1973) to the fall of Saigon and Phnom Penh (April 1975). The final chapter covers the SS Mayaguez incident (May 1975).

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.

This volume was compiled and edited by Bradley Lynn Coleman. The volume and this press release are available on the Office of the Historian website at Hard copies of the volume will be available in early 2010 for purchase from the U.S. Government Printing Office online at (GPO S/N 044–000–02643–1; ISBN 978–0–16–085824–6), or by calling toll-free 1–866–512–1800 (D.C. area 202–512–1800). For further information, contact Susan Weetman, General Editor of the Foreign Relations series, at (202) 663–1276 or by e-mail to