Australian Left Review


BY 1970 THE NLF AND HANOI were ready to fight a protracted war—until the Americans were ready to accept the full independence of Vietnam—which meant that they had to give up their military offensive and shift their activity from the countryside to the cities. This meant that the war was maintained at three levels: militarily at a low level; politically, winning the right-wing, centre and religious people of the cities by propaganda to the idea that the Americans were enemies who wished to destroy Vietnam; and diplomatically, winning recognition of the Provisional Revolutionary Government by China and the Soviet Union and obtaining their backing throughout the world. The Americans understood it as a directive to proceed to a brush-war or small-omit strategy, but in fact the new policy was the result of a compromise between the pro-Soviet and pro- Chinese wings in Hanoi not to proceed to protracted war but to wait.



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