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THE PARIS PEACE ACCORDS: Compromises to end the Vietnam WarHarini Venkatachalapathi
World History Honors Period 2 Mr.Coburn 11 / 18 / 18 “Was it the poor decisions made by civilian leaders, a hostile media, and the antiwar movement , or was it doomed to failure from the start?” (The Wrong War)
The Paris Peace Accords were signed on January 27, 1973 in order to bring a conclusion to the Vietnam war. This resulted in instituting a ceasefire which went into effect on the 28th of January, but the war went on even after the ceasefire as the South vietnamese troops continued to receive U.S aid even though the U.S ground troops had left. It began as an agreement between the government of North Vietnam and South Vietnam, the republic of Vietnam and the United States, but now the Paris Peace Accords have gone down in history as a deliberate fraud in every way.
Thesis: From the moment the ceasefire went off and the US ground troops left South Vietnam, it could be told that the Paris Peace Accords were a fraud and were not taken seriously and the war went on; the Paris Peace Accords were thought of as a joke from the start and its result was moving this large-scale war to a completely new level.
What went on during the peace conferences no one knows except for those who were a part of the conference and those who have seen the hundreds of hours of tape-recorded allied councils of war. The expected results of the peace talks were simple – a ceasefire goes off, all U.S. ground troops leave vietnam lands, there is a compromise between north and south vietnam, all the troops stop fighting and then the war ends. None of what was expected happens, but maybe the first few things happened – the ceasefire goes off and the U.S ground troops leave, but then North and South vietnam totally ignore the ceasefire and take the war to a whole new phase. “By June it was known that Abrams, nominated to be next Army of Chief Staff, would be soon leaving Vietnam.
The troops he commanded were down to only 69,000, and the requirement was that by July 1 they be reduced another 20,000″ (343, Sorley). The U.S troops were already leaving Vietnam and the peace talks just gave them the right chance to completely get out of the situation they were in, and while this is true, this isn’t the only thing that was a result of the peace talks. To those who were involved in the peace talks, the whole thing was just basically a joke, they all tried to see how they could benefit from it and most likely forgot or didn’t care about the main reason to why the peace talks were happening in the first place.
North Vietnam’s main plan was to get Saigon surrounded, and they knew that if they did just that then defeating South Vietnam would be easier than it was before. “That Saigon fell at the end of April 1945 surprised no one. That South Vietnam fell so quickly, with almost no resistance , shocked the aggressive North Vietnamese army and the world as well.” (286, Steinman). No one expected South Vietnam to just give up on fighting once their capital was surrounded though, “South Vietnam’s leadership, never any good in the best of the times,”(286, Steinman) along with the evacuation of the american troops caused S.Vietnam to almost immediately give up when they knew that it was the end of the line for them. With Saigon captured, American citizens and South Vietnamese departed on special flights in the last weeks of April and when the North Vietnamese departed from Saigon on April 30, 1975, it was the end of American presence in South Vietnam. “That ceasefire agreement, restored complete security to the [enemy] rear bases in North Vietnam, in Laos, in Cambodia, and in the parts of South Vietnam that it held. It subjected the South Vietnamese rear base again to being absolutely open to military attack…” wrote Sir Robert Thompson (357, Sorley), this was what the peace agreement actually achieved.
The Paris Peace Agreement was silent on the point of the continued presence of North Vietnamese armed forces in South Vietnam, and that silence was what allowed the North Vietnam Army forces to continue their presence that they had always denied were South Vietnam.
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