On 23 January 1973 another diplomatic process, which had lasted years rather than months, reached its end: Henry Kissinger, for the United States, and Le Due Tho, for North Vietnam, initialled an Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam. As the title implies, the purpose was much the same as that of the 1954 Geneva Agreements, but the terms were rather different. The cease-fire was to be ‘in place’ with no provision for the withdrawal of North Vietnamese forces from the South. No dates had been agreed for a cease-fire in either Cambodia or Laos and the Vietnamese later neither admitted nor implemented the undertaking they were supposed to have given separately to withdraw their forces from these two countries. International supervision of the cease-fire and of restrictions on reinforcement or resupply was entrusted to a balanced commission of Canada, Indonesia, Hungary and Poland fettered by the principle of unanimity. American forces, instead of being ready to withdraw, as the French had been in 1954, when so requested by the government in Saigon, were to be out of the country in two months.


Paris Agreement American Policy National Security Council Military Assistance Rotten Apple 
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© Sir James Cable 2000

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