Withdrawal from Vietnam
Aurelie, says: ‘The inspiration behind my research comes from my undergraduate research on the Vietnam War, traveling to Vietnam, meeting Robert McNamara and Henry Kissinger, working in the defence field, and wondering whether history has something to teach us for our decisions today. My objective is to demonstrate the extent to which the Pentagon had a decisive influence on the withdrawals, and the extent to which the shape and tone of the withdrawal plans reflected an internal agenda in the Pentagon. A side objective, is to prove that paradoxically, the Pentagon was the most reluctant to go to war and ultimately, the agency in government that wanted to end the war as fast as possible’.
I use primarily Archival research – in the UK and US as well as the vast amount of existing literature on the topic, plus interviews.
Findings so far…
The Pentagon was paradoxically the agency that most resisted going to war and then argued for a fast disengagement. It was more concerned with avoiding uncertainty and reducing costs. The shape of withdrawal plans was influenced by these two very different Secretaries of Defence, even against their military advisors and the Services.
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