chapter  7
19 Pages

Endgame: Nixon's Peace and the Abandonment of South Vietnam

It is generally accepted that 1968 was the year in which the inevitability of the eventual US defeat in Vietnam became evident. This, however, is inaccurate~ although Tet and its aftermath demonstrated many of the weaknesses of the US effort, it by no means became immediately obvious that the United States was 'destined' to lose. Although alarmists in the media pointed to the Tet Offensive as proof that the United States was not gaining, and was indeed losing, ground in its struggle to create a stable South Vietnam capable of selfdefense, most knowledgable observers correctly saw Tet as an operational catastrophe for the communists. The NLF's intelligence network had been shattered and the NLF itself had taken enormous casualties in its misguided bid to conquer the RVN's cities and incite a rebellion of the South Vietnamese citizenry.