A Matter of Running City Hall

Thomas L. Ahern

in Vietnam Declassified

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780813125619
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135342 | DOI:
A Matter of Running City Hall

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The implementation of the Paris agreements in January 1973 intensified the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) focus, and that of all U.S. officials, on the military balance. The question of rural political loyalties, once held by so many to be the key to the outcome, was ignored or the answer taken for granted. A mistake in the analytic context, this omission had no practical effect on policy, for the United States had abdicated any effort to influence the “hearts and minds” of uncommitted peasants. By 1974, there was no American interest either in positive programs of rural political and social mobilization or in new efforts to deter or punish collaboration with the Viet Cong. The province fell three weeks later. Some Army of the Republic of South Vietnam (ARVN) forces put up desperate resistance, but such heroism served only to delay the end. North Vietnamese tanks rolled unopposed into Saigon, and the communists took over city hall.

Keywords: Paris agreements; CIA; United States; Viet Cong; ARVN; North Vietnam; Saigon; communists; peasants

Chapter.  6200 words. 

Subjects: Military History

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