Did Nixon achieve peace with honour?
It can be argued that President Nixon did and did not achieve peace with honour. During the war Nixon had two contradictory aims; to get out of Vietnam quickly and to get out of Vietnam with honour. This proved to be problematic as if he withdrew all troops in an instant, and left the South Vietnamese army (AVRN) to fight their own battle, he would be seen as cowardly and lose honour. Nixon played a vital role in the war in Vietnam as under his presidency saw the extreme escalation of the war and end of the war itself.
Nixon tried to achieve peace with honour by shifting US policy with “The Nixon Doctrine”, this meant nations were now responsible for their own defence. Bragg, a renown historian, said that “[the Nixon Doctrine] implied an intention to withdraw from Vietnam with dignity and to give some meaning to a war that had seen huge sacrifices.” Nixon also tried arming the forces in South Vietnam by equipping soldiers with more than one million new M-16 rifles and forty thousand M-79 grenade launchers. In addition to the guns he also supplied them with new military vehicles and implemented both a new promotion system and new military schools, as most AVRN (South Vietnamese Army) were inexperienced in warfare. Nixon had got the American ground forces out of Vietnam without abandoning Saigon (the capital of South Vietnam) and due to aid had left President Theiu with the fourth largest air force in the world. Possibly the most important fact to suggest Nixon achieved peace with honour was the signing of the 1973 Paris Peace Agreement. This agreement entailed the withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, the full exchange of the prisoners of war, the establishment of a “National Council for Reconciliation” in South Vietnam which would organise free elections in the south, and an international commission to oversee the ceasefire. However the VietCong had no intention of following this cease fire and,...
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