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Publisher Description

The Vietnam War has now passed into history. Though the outcome of that war was anything but satisfactory to many Americans, it is probably safe to say that the war's end brought a qualified sense of relief to the broad generality of America's citizenry. For they were apt to feel that a solution—any solution—to what had come to be seen as an insoluble problem was better than no solution at all. But the sense of relief attendant upon peace-at-last in Vietnam has proved to be cruelly shortlived. The destabilizing effects of events in Vietnam have been illustrated most dramatically and immediately in Cambodia and Laos, both contiguous to Vietnam, but the reverberations were felt as far away as Europe and are still registering deep in the bedrock of state deliberations. Hardly were the last American evacuees from Saigon safely aboard off-coast rescue vessels in the South China Sea before the voices of trimmers were raised in those states of Southeast Asia and elsewhere which had to, that time availed themselves of the spacious comfort of America's protective umbrella. With respect to the elaborate edifice of mutual security pacts erected by the United States and over 40 allies since World War II, the least we can conclude at this point is that it has been weakened as a result of Vietnam and that it demands shoring up. But it is possible to go further: one can now argue rationally that a categorical treaty obligation by the United States-namely, that an attack upon its ally is to be considered the equivalent of an attack upon itself-will not in the foreseeable future be taken at face value by America's security partners. Whichever view one chooses, it seems undeniable that despite the blessings of present peace on the battlefields of Vietnam, the manner of that war's termination will tend in a variety of ways to disturb the tranquility enjoyed elsewhere. More to the point, the problems of America's security planners have been vastly complicated, and it may be that some of these problems will ultimately prove as intractable as that posed by Vietnam itself. (1976)

February 21
Progressive Management
Smashwords, Inc.

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