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Post Int. Relation notes

Nonaligned Movement


Nonaligned Movement (NAM), loose association of countries that, during the Cold War, had no formal commitment to either of the two power blocs in the world, which were led by the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The group was formed in September 1961 by a conference of 25 heads of state in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. The conference was organized by leaders of countries that had recently freed themselves from foreign domination and rejected renewed ties to any big power. Prominent among these leaders were Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of India and Presidents Sukarno of Indonesia, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Sékou Touré of Guinea, and Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia.

The movement has grown to include more than 110 countries, mostly from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. NAM conferences are held every three years. The group has no formal administrative body; at each NAM conference the office of chairperson rotates to the head of state of the host country.
Membership in NAM is distinct from neutrality in that it implies an active participation in international affairs and judgment of issues on their merits rather than from predetermined positions. Thus, a large majority of NAM nations opposed the United States during the Vietnam War (1957-1975) and the USSR after its 1979 invasion of Afghanistan. In practice, however, many NAM nations leaned heavily toward one power bloc or the other.

The early members of NAM saw themselves as an important buffer between rival military alliances, decreasing the possibility of a major confrontation. Any pretension of being a “force,” however, was tempered by the diversity of the nations’ governments, which ranged from leftist to ultraconservative and from democratic to dictatorial, and by the economic and military weaknesses that often made them dependent on foreign aid from the big power blocs.

The dissolution of the USSR in 1991 required NAM nations to redefine their role in a world where intense ideological and military rivalry between two superpowers was no longer a factor. Today the movement focuses on promoting cooperation between developing countries and on advocating solutions to global economic and political problems.
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Post Warsaw Pact

Warsaw Pact


Warsaw Pact (formally the Warsaw Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance), military alliance of eight European Communist nations, enacted to counter the rearmament of West Germany, officially called the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), and its admission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The treaty was signed in Warsaw, Poland, on May 14, 1955, by Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia), East Germany (now part of the united Federal Republic of Germany), Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The alliance was dominated by the USSR, which kept strict control over the other countries in the pact.

In 1961 Albania broke off diplomatic relations with the USSR because of ideological differences and in 1968 withdrew from the pact. From the mid-1950s through the 1980s, two major bodies carried out the functions of the Warsaw Pact: the Political Consultative Committee and the Unified Command of Pact Armed Forces, both headquartered in Moscow.

Under the terms of the treaty, the Political Consultative Committee coordinated all activities, except those purely military, and the Unified Command of Pact Armed Forces had authority over the troops assigned to it by member states. It was agreed that the supreme commander would be from the USSR. The Warsaw Pact's only military action was directed against Czechoslovakia, a member state. (In the autumn of 1956, the USSR took unilateral military action against Hungary, another Warsaw Pact member state, killing thousands of Hungarians and causing 200,000 to flee the country.) In August 1968, after the Czech government enacted reforms offensive to the USSR, forces of the USSR, Poland, Hungary, East Germany, and Bulgaria invaded Czechoslovakia and forced a return to a Soviet-style system. Romania opposed the invasion and did not participate, but remained a member.

Although the Warsaw Pact was officially renewed in 1985 for another 20 years, the political transformation of Eastern Europe at the end of the 1980s profoundly weakened the organization. The USSR began withdrawing its troops from other Warsaw Pact countries, and East Germany pulled out to join West Germany as the reunified nation of Germany in October 1990. All joint military functions ceased at the end of March 1991, and in July leaders of the remaining six member nations agreed to dissolve the alliance.
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Post Persian Gulf War

Persian Gulf War


I -INTRODUCTION
Persian Gulf War, conflict beginning in August 1990, when Iraqi forces invaded and occupied Kuwait. The conflict culminated in fighting in January and February 1991 between Iraq and an international coalition of forces led by the United States. By the end of the war, the coalition had driven the Iraqis from Kuwait.

II -CAUSES OF THE WAR
The Iraqi-Kuwaiti border had been the focus of tension in the past. Kuwait was nominally part of the Ottoman Empire from the 18th century until 1899 when it asked for, and received, British protection in return for autonomy in local affairs. In 1961 Britain granted Kuwait independence, and Iraq revived an old claim that Kuwait had been governed as part of an Ottoman province in southern Iraq and was therefore rightfully Iraq’s. Iraq’s claim had little historical basis, however, and after intense global pressure Iraq recognized Kuwait in 1963. Nonetheless, there were occasional clashes along the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border, and relations between the two countries were sometimes tense.

Relations between the two countries improved during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), when Kuwait assisted Iraq with loans and diplomatic backing. After the war ended in 1988, the Iraqi government launched a costly program of reconstruction. By 1990 Iraq had fallen $80 billion in debt and demanded that Kuwait forgive its share of the debt and help with other payments. At the same time, Iraq claimed that Kuwait was pumping oil from a field that straddled the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border and was not sharing the revenue. Iraq also accused Kuwait of producing more oil than allowed under quotas set by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), thereby depressing the price of oil, Iraq’s main export.

Iraq’s complaints against Kuwait grew increasingly harsh, but they were mostly about money and did not suggest that Iraq was about to revive its land claim to Kuwait. When Iraqi forces began to mobilize near the Kuwaiti border in the summer of 1990, several Arab states tried to mediate the dispute. Kuwait, seeking to avoid looking like a puppet of outside powers, did not call on the United States or other non-Arab powers for support. For their part, the U.S. and other Western governments generally expected that at worst Iraq would seize some border area to intimidate Kuwait, so they avoided being pulled into the dispute. Arab mediators convinced Iraq and Kuwait to negotiate their differences in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, on August 1, 1990, but that session resulted only in charges and countercharges. A second session was scheduled to take place in Baghdād, the Iraqi capital, but Iraq invaded Kuwait the next day, leading some observers to suspect that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein had planned the invasion all along.

III -IRAQ INVADES
The Iraqi attack began shortly after midnight on August 2. About 150,000 Iraqi troops, many of them veterans of the Iran-Iraq War, easily overwhelmed the unprepared and inexperienced Kuwaiti forces, which numbered about 20,000. By dawn Iraq had assumed control of Kuwait city, the capital, and was soon in complete control of the country. Hussein’s political strategy was less clear than his military strategy. The Iraqis initially posed as liberators, hoping to appeal to Kuwaiti democrats who opposed the ruling Sabah monarchy. When this claim attracted neither Kuwaiti nor international support, it was dropped. In place of the Sabahs, most of whom fled during the invasion, Iraq installed a puppet government.

The United Nations Security Council and the Arab League immediately condemned the Iraqi invasion. Four days later, the Security Council imposed an economic embargo on Iraq that prohibited nearly all trade with Iraq. Iraq responded to the sanctions by annexing Kuwait on August 8, prompting the exiled Sabah family to call for a stronger international response. In October, Kuwait’s rulers met with their democratic opponents in Jiddah, with the hope of uniting during the occupation. The Sabah family promised the democrats that if returned to Kuwait, they would restore constitutional rule and parliament (both of which had been suspended in 1986).

In return, the democrats pledged to support the government in exile. The unified leadership proved useful in winning international support for an eviction of Iraq. Fewer than half of all Kuwaitis stayed in Kuwait through the occupation; of those who stayed, some formed resistance organizations but with little effect.

Any armed attempt to roll back the Iraqi invasion depended on Saudi Arabia, which shares a border with both Iraq and Kuwait. Saudi Arabia had neither the power nor the inclination to fight Iraq alone; if the Saudi government invited foreign troops into the country to attack Iraq, however, it risked appearing to be under their influence. Saudi rulers did eventually open the country to foreign forces, in large part because they were alarmed by Iraq’s aggressive diplomacy and because U.S. intelligence reports claimed that Iraqi forces were well positioned for a strike against Saudi Arabia. Other Arab countries, such as Egypt, Syria, and the smaller states along the Persian Gulf, feared that even if Iraq’s conquests stopped at Kuwait, Iraq could still intimidate the rest of the region. Western powers supported a rollback of Iraqi forces because they were afraid Iraq could now dominate international oil supplies. Finally, other members of the United Nations (UN) did not want to allow one UN member state to eliminate another.

Beginning a week after the Iraqi takeover of Kuwait and continuing for several months, a large international force gathered in Saudi Arabia.
The United States sent more than 400,000 troops, and more than 200,000 additional troops came from Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, France, Kuwait, Egypt, Syria, Senegal, Niger, Morocco, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain. Other countries contributed ships, air forces, and medical units, including Canada, Italy, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Czechoslovakia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Poland, and South Korea. Still other countries made other contributions: Turkey allowed air bases on its territory to be used by coalition planes, and Japan and Germany gave financial support. The initial goal of the force was to prevent further Iraqi action, but most countries were aware the force might ultimately be used to drive Iraq from Kuwait.

The Iraqis tried to deter and split the growing international coalition through several means. They made it clear that their adversaries would pay heavily if war broke out, and they hinted they would use chemical weapons and missile attacks on cities, as they had against Iran during the Iran-Iraq War. Iraq also detained citizens of coalition countries who had been in Kuwait at the time of the invasion and said they would be held in militarily sensitive areas—in effect using them as human shields to deter coalition attacks. Iraq eventually released the last of the foreigners in December 1990 under pressure from several Arab nations. In an effort to weaken Arab support within the coalition, Iraq tried to link its occupation of Kuwait to the larger Arab-Israeli conflict in the region. The Iraqis argued that since the UN had not forced Israel to leave Arab territories it occupied during and after the Six-Day War of 1967, it should not force Iraq to leave Kuwait. The Iraqis further implied they might leave Kuwait if Israel withdrew from the Occupied Territories. Several Arab countries responded positively to Iraq’s statements; however, most of these were states such as Jordan and Yemen, which were not part of the coalition. Only in Morocco and Syria did government support for coalition involvement weaken as a result of Iraq’s initiative.

The coalition’s greatest military concern during the closing months of 1990 was that Iraqi forces would attack before coalition forces were fully in place, but no such attack took place. The coalition was also troubled that Iraq might partially withdraw from Kuwait, which could split the coalition between nations eager to avoid fighting and nations wanting to push for full withdrawal. The United States in particular feared that signs of progress might lessen the resolve of some coalition partners and so discouraged attempts to mediate the crisis. Iraq’s uncompromising stand helped build support among coalition members for the American hard line.

On November 29, with coalition forces massing in Saudi Arabia and Iraq showing no signs of retreat, the UN Security Council passed a resolution to allow member states to “use all necessary means” to force Iraq from Kuwait if Iraq remained in the country after January 15, 1991. The Iraqis rejected the ultimatum. Soon after the vote, the United States agreed to a direct meeting between Secretary of State James Baker and Iraq’s foreign minister. The two sides met on January 9. Neither offered to compromise. The United States underscored the ultimatum, and the Iraqis refused to comply with it, even threatening to attack Israel. For the United States, the meeting was its way of showing the conflict could not be resolved through negotiation.

A large minority of the U.S. population opposed military action. Opponents were concerned that the armed forces would suffer large casualties and argued that the only reason for the invasion was to guarantee a cheap supply of oil. Many such opponents thought economic sanctions would eventually force Iraq to leave Kuwait. President George Bush maintained that larger political principles were involved and that economic sanctions would not work. He also argued that the UN resolution gave him the authority to use military force. Other Americans believed the president did not have the constitutional authority to order an attack without a congressional declaration of war. On January 12, 1991, the U.S. Congress narrowly passed a resolution authorizing the president to use force, nullifying the domestic debate.

IV -THE COALITION ATTACKS BY AIR
When the UN deadline of January 15 passed without an Iraqi withdrawal, a vast majority of coalition members joined in the decision to attack Iraq. A few members, such as Morocco, elected not to take part in the military strikes. In the early morning of January 17, 1991, coalition forces began a massive air attack on Iraqi targets.

The air assault had three goals: to attack Iraqi air defenses, to disrupt command and control, and to weaken ground forces in and around Kuwait. The coalition made swift progress against Iraq’s air defenses, giving the coalition almost uncontested control of the skies over Iraq and Kuwait. The second task, disrupting command and control, was larger and more difficult. It required attacks on the Iraqi electrical system, communications centers, roads and bridges, and other military and government targets. These targets were often located in civilian areas and were typically used by both civilians and the military. Although the coalition air forces often used very precise weapons, the attacks caused many civilian casualties and completely disrupted Iraqi civilian life. The third task, weakening Iraq’s ground forces, was larger still. The coalition used less sophisticated weaponry to strike Iraqi defensive positions in both Iraq and Kuwait, to destroy their equipment, and to undermine morale. After five and a half weeks of intense bombing and more than 100,000 flights by coalition planes, Iraq’s forces were severely damaged.

In an attempt to pry the coalition apart, Iraq fired Scud missiles at both Saudi Arabia and Israel, which especially disrupted Israeli civilian life. Iraq could thus portray its Arab adversaries as fighting on the side of Israel. The strategy failed to split the coalition, in part because the Israeli government did not retaliate. Iraq also issued thinly veiled threats that it would use chemical and biological weapons. The United States hinted in return that such an attack might provoke a massive response, possibly including the use of nuclear weapons. Iraqi ground forces also initiated a limited amount of ground fighting, occupying the Saudi border town of Khafji on January 30 before being driven back.

One month into the air war, the Iraqis began negotiating with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) over a plan to withdraw from Kuwait. Had this initiative come before the start of the coalition’s attack, it might have split the coalition; now it simply seemed a sign that the war was weighing heavily on Iraq. The war made diplomacy difficult for Iraq: officials had to travel overland to Iran and then fly to Moscow to ferry messages back and forth. Sensing victory, the coalition united behind a demand for Iraq’s unconditional withdrawal from Kuwait.

V -LAND WAR
On February 24 the coalition launched its long-anticipated land offensive.
The bulk of the attack was in southwestern Iraq, where coalition forces first moved north, then turned east toward the Iraqi port of Al Başrah. This maneuver surrounded Kuwait, encircling the Iraqi forces there and in southern Iraq, and allowed coalition forces (mainly Arab) to move up the coast and take Kuwait city. Some Iraqi units resisted, but the coalition offensive advanced more quickly than anticipated. Thousands of Iraqi troops surrendered. Others deserted. Iraq then focused its efforts on withdrawing its elite units and sabotaging Kuwaiti infrastructure and industry. Many oil wells were set on fire, creating huge oil lakes, thick black smoke, and other environmental damage. Two days after the ground war began, Iraq announced it was leaving Kuwait.

On February 28, with the collapse of Iraqi resistance and the recapture of Kuwait—thereby fulfilling the coalition’s stated goals—the coalition declared a cease-fire. The land war had lasted precisely 100 hours. The cease-fire came shortly before coalition forces would have surrounded Iraqi forces. On March 2the UN Security Council issued a resolution laying down the conditions for the cease-fire, which were accepted by Iraq in a meeting of military commanders on March 3. More extensive aims, such as overthrowing the Iraqi government or destroying Iraqi forces, did not have the support of all coalition members. Most Arab members, for example, believed the war was fought to restore one Arab country and not to destroy another. The United States also worried that extending the goal would have involved them in endless fighting.

The Iraqis achieved none of their initial goals. Rather than enhancing their economic, military, and political position, they were economically devastated, militarily defeated, and politically isolated. Yet because the government and many of the military forces remained intact, the Iraqis could claim mere survival as a victory. The surviving military forces were used a short time later to suppress two postwar rebellions: one involving Shia Muslims in southern Iraq and one involving Kurds in the north.

Almost all of the casualties occurred on the Iraqi side. While estimates during the war had ranged from 10,000 to 100,000 Iraqis killed, Western military experts now agree that Iraq sustained between 20,000 and 35,000 casualties. The coalition losses were extremely light by comparison: 240 were killed, 148 of whom were American. The number of wounded totaled 776, of whom 458 were American.

VI -CONSEQUENCES OF THE WAR
The end of the fighting left some key issues unresolved, including UN sanctions against Iraq, which did not end with the war. On April 2, 1991, the Security Council laid out strict demands for ending the sanctions: Iraq would have to accept liability for damages, destroy its chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missiles, forego any nuclear weapons programs, and accept international inspections to ensure these conditions were met. If Iraq complied with these and other resolutions, the UN would discuss removing the sanctions. Iraq resisted, claiming that its withdrawal from Kuwait was sufficient compliance.

Many Western observers believed the victory was hollow because Saddam Hussein was still in power. At first, when Hussein was greatly weakened, Western powers believed a rebellion might succeed in overthrowing him.

Meanwhile, potential rebels within Iraq believed they might receive international help if they rebelled. But when the Shia population of southern Iraq rebelled shortly after the cease-fire, they were greeted not with international help but with Iraqi military forces returning from the southern front. It quickly became clear that the rebels would receive no international help, although several governments gave them verbal support. Under the terms of the cease-fire, which established “no-fly zones” in the north and south, Iraqis could not attack the Shias with airplanes, but could use helicopters, which they did to great effect. Spontaneous and loosely organized, the rebellion was crushed almost as quickly as it arose.

The defeat of the Shias made the debate over helping Iraqi rebels even more urgent. Ultimately, however, most Western governments decided that if Hussein collapsed, Iraq might disintegrate, ushering in a new round of regional instability. A short while later, Kurds in the north of the country rebelled, and they too received no help. The Kurds were able to withstand Hussein longer than the Shias, in part because they had a history of organized, armed resistance. In the end, though, the Kurds achieved only a very modest success: a UN-guaranteed haven in the extreme north of the country. No permanent solution—such as Kurdish self-rule—was negotiated.

Elsewhere the effects of the war were less severe. In Kuwait the prewar regime was restored, and in 1992 the emir, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, honored his pledge in exile to reconvene the country’s parliament.

Palestinians in Kuwait fared poorly after the war, in large part because Yasir Arafat of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and other prominent Palestinians had endorsed Hussein and his anti-Israeli rhetoric. Blamed for collaborating with the Iraqis, most of the Palestinian population (estimated at 400,000 before the war) was expelled from Kuwait or forbidden to return.
Following the war, thousands of American soldiers developed mild to debilitating health problems, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, insomnia, short-term memory loss, rashes, headaches, blurred vision, and aching joints.

The symptoms became known collectively as Gulf War syndrome but their cause was unknown. Speculation about the cause centered on exposure to chemical and biological weapons; experimental drugs given to troops to protect against chemical weapons; vaccinations against illness and disease; insecticides sprayed over troop-populated areas; and smoke from burning oil wells ignited by retreating Iraqis. The U.S. Department of Defense originally stated it had no conclusive evidence that troops had been exposed to chemical or biological weapons. However, in 1996 the department acknowledged that more than 20,000 American troops may have been exposed to sarin, a toxic nerve gas (see Chemical and Biological Warfare). In 1997 the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) suggested the deadly gas may have spread farther than previously thought, affecting perhaps hundreds of thousands of troops.

The UN continued to maintain most of the economic embargo on Iraq after the war, and several coalition countries enforced other sanctions, such as the no-fly zones. In 1995 the UN amended the sanctions to allow Iraq to sell limited amounts of oil for food and medicine if it also designated some of the revenue to pay for damages caused by the war; Iraq initially rejected this plan but then accepted it in 1996.
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  #4  
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Post North Atlantic Treaty Organization

North Atlantic Treaty Organization


I -INTRODUCTION
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), regional defense alliance created by the North Atlantic Treaty signed on April 4, 1949, at the beginning of the Cold War. NATO has its headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The original purpose of NATO was to defend Western Europe against possible attack by Communist nations, led by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The original signatories were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Greece and Turkey were admitted to the alliance in 1952, West Germany in 1955, and Spain in 1982. In 1990 the newly unified Germany replaced West Germany as a NATO member.

After the formal end of the Cold War in 1991, NATO reached out to former members of the Warsaw Pact, the Communist military alliance created in 1955 by the USSR to counter NATO. In 1999 former Warsaw Pact members Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic became members of NATO, bringing the total membership to 19 nations. In 2002 Russia, once the USSR’s largest republic, became a limited partner in NATO as a member of the NATO-Russia Council. The same year NATO invited the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, formerly part of the USSR, to join, along with Slovenia, formerly part of Communist Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria, Romania, and Slovakia, once part of Czechoslovakia. These countries were expected to become members of NATO in 2004. Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, and Romania were all former Warsaw Pact members.

NATO's purpose is to enhance the stability, well-being, and freedom of its members through a system of collective security. Members of the alliance agree to defend one another from attack by other nations. Over the years the existence of NATO has led to closer ties among its members and to a growing community of interests. The treaty itself has provided a model for other collective security agreements.

II -BACKGROUND
In the years after World War II (1939-1945), many Western leaders believed the policies of the USSR threatened international stability and peace. The forcible installation of Communist governments throughout Eastern Europe, territorial demands by the Soviets, and their support of guerrilla war in Greece and regional separatism in Iran appeared to many as the first steps of World War III. Such events prompted the signing of the Dunkirk Treaty in 1947 between Britain and France, which pledged a common defense against aggression. Subsequent events, including the rejection by Eastern European nations of the European Recovery Program (Marshall Plan) and the creation of Cominform, a European Communist organization, in 1947, led to the Brussels Treaty signed by most Western European countries in 1948. Among the goals of that pact was the collective defense of its members. The Berlin blockade that began in March 1948 led to negotiations between Western Europe, Canada, and the United States that resulted in the North Atlantic Treaty.

III -TREATY PROVISIONS
The North Atlantic Treaty consists of a preamble and 14 articles. The preamble states the purpose of the treaty: to promote the common values of its members and to “unite their efforts for collective defense.” Article 1 calls for peaceful resolution of disputes. Article 2 pledges the parties to economic and political cooperation. Article 3 calls for development of the capacity for defense. Article 4 provides for joint consultations when a member is threatened. Article 5 promises the use of the members' armed forces for “collective self-defense.” Article 6 defines the areas covered by the treaty. Article 7 affirms the precedence of members' obligations under the United Nations Charter. Article 8 safeguards against conflict with any other treaties of the signatories. Article 9 creates a council to oversee implementation of the treaty. Article 10 describes admission procedures for other nations. Article 11 states the ratification procedure. Article 12 allows for reconsideration of the treaty. Article 13 outlines withdrawal procedures. Article 14 calls for the deposition of the official copies of the treaty in the U.S. Archives.

IV -STRUCTURE
The highest authority within NATO is the North Atlantic Council, composed of permanent delegates from all members, headed by a secretary general. It is responsible for general policy, budgetary outlines, and administrative actions, and is the decision-making body of NATO. The Secretariat, various temporary committees, and the Military Committee are among the committees that report to the North Atlantic Council. The secretary general runs the Secretariat, which handles all the nonmilitary functions of the alliance. The temporary committees deal with specific assignments of the council. The Military Committee consists of the chiefs of staff of the various armed forces; it meets twice a year. Between such meetings the Military Committee, in permanent session with representatives of the members, defines military policies. Below the Military Committee are the various geographical commands: Allied Command Europe, Allied Command Atlantic, and the Canada-U.S. Regional Planning Group. These commands are in charge of deploying armed forces in their areas.

V -HISTORY

A -Early Years
Until 1950 NATO consisted primarily of a pledge by the United States to defend other members of the alliance under the terms of Article 5 of the treaty. However, there was no effective military or administrative structure to implement this pledge. The outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 convinced the allies that the Soviets might act against a divided Germany. The result was not only the creation of a military command system, but also the expansion of the organization. In 1952 Greece and Turkey joined the alliance, and in 1955 West Germany was accepted under a complicated arrangement whereby Germany would not be allowed to manufacture nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons. In its first decade NATO was mainly a military organization dependent on U.S. power for security and for the revival of Europe's economy and national governments.

B -The Cold War Era
NATO’s importance grew with the worsening of relations between the Soviet Union and Western powers. As the Soviet Union achieved parity in nuclear weaponry with Western powers, some European nations feared that the United States would not honor its pledge to defend other members of the alliance. The 1960s were characterized by two consequent developments in NATO: the withdrawal of France, under President Charles de Gaulle, from the organization but not from the alliance in 1966; and the rising influence of the smaller nations, which sought to use NATO as an instrument of détente as well as defense.

The crisis in Czechoslovakia in 1968 was a turning point for NATO; thereafter it was viewed as a source of security for Europe. America's involvement in the Vietnam War (1957-1975) further diminished U.S. authority and contributed to dissatisfaction within NATO. Although the 1970s began with some agreements as a result of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I), the decade ended in disillusionment as the Soviets rapidly built up their military arsenal. NATO resolved this problem with the dual-track program of 1979, in which new defense efforts were accompanied by new efforts at détente. The 1980s opened with a deepening crisis between the East and West. In 1983 the USSR failed to prevent the deployment of intermediate-range ballistic missiles, designed to cope with Soviet weapons targeted on European cities. The signing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 1987 presaged the breakdown of the Warsaw Pact (see Arms Control). The decade ended with the apparent success of NATO in surmounting the challenge of the Communist bloc.

C -End of the Cold War
In the late 1980s Communist governments began to crumble throughout Eastern Europe. West Germany absorbed East Germany to form the Federal Republic of Germany in 1990, and the Warsaw Pact dissolved in early 1991. The Soviet Union broke apart later that year, drastically reducing the military threat to NATO. Nevertheless, many Western observers saw NATO in the post-Cold War era as an umbrella of security in a Europe buffeted by the nationalist passions unleashed in Eastern Europe and the former USSR.

Following the dissolution of the USSR, NATO sought to strengthen relations with the newly independent nations that had formerly made up the USSR and with other Central Eastern European countries that belonged to the Warsaw Pact. The North Atlantic Cooperation Council, established in November 1991, provides a forum for consultations between NATO members, Eastern European nations, and the former Soviet republics. In 1993 NATO members endorsed a proposal to offer former Warsaw Pact members limited associations with NATO. Under the plan, known as Partnership for Peace (PFP), nonmembers could be invited to participate in information sharing, joint exercises, and peacekeeping operations. The Partnership for Peace was a step toward providing security and cooperation throughout all of Europe.

Many former Soviet satellites were eager to join. Although Russia opposed their membership and threatened to abstain from the Partnership for Peace, it did join eventually. Members of PFP may eventually attain full membership in NATO if other membership requirements, such as a trained army to join NATO troops, are met.

In 1995, after a 30-year boycott, France returned to NATO, accepting a seat on the military committee after U.S. president Bill Clinton accelerated plans for NATO's expansion. Also at this time, the United States and NATO began serious efforts to bring to an end the continuing war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which threatened European stability. Leaders of the NATO alliance authorized a campaign of air strikes against Bosnian Serb positions to force the Bosnian Serbs to negotiate a peace settlement. After weeks of air attacks, the Bosnian Serb leaders agreed to be represented at a peace conference near Dayton, Ohio, and in December 1995 the warring parties signed a peace accord that ended the war (see Dayton Peace Accord).

The following month, as part of the Dayton agreement, NATO deployed a multinational force of tens of thousands of troops, known as the Implementation Force (IFOR), to monitor and enforce the cease-fire in Bosnia. A year later NATO replaced this force with a smaller Stabilization Force (SFOR). Its mission was extended indefinitely to ensure stability in the region.

D -Recent Developments
In March 1999 three former members of the Warsaw Pact—Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic—joined the alliance. The same month, NATO forces began a campaign of air strikes against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY, now the republic of Serbia and Montenegro). The NATO strikes were launched after Yugoslav president Slobodan Milošević refused to accept an international peace plan that would have granted a period of autonomy for the Yugoslav province of Kosovo. The province was populated mainly by ethnic Albanians, many of whom were fighting for autonomy or independence for Kosovo. Western leaders hoped the NATO attacks would bring Milošević back to the bargaining table. They also hoped to end the ongoing repression of the minority ethnic Albanians by the FRY's ethnic Serbian majority.

The first NATO attacks were limited to a few dozen military targets, but the alliance dramatically expanded the air campaign against the FRY after reports of widespread atrocities by Serb forces against Kosovo's ethnic Albanian civilian population. By April 1999 more than 1,000 warplanes under NATO command were involved in strikes throughout the republic. It was the largest military operation ever undertaken by NATO.

Instead of persuading Yugoslav leaders to accept a negotiated peace, the air strikes appeared to deepen Serbian resolve to oppose NATO demands and intensified the violence directed at ethnic Albanians. Serbian army and police forces destroyed villages, killed civilians in Kosovo, and forced hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians to flee the province. The flight of refugees was the largest mass migration in Europe since World War II. Critics charged that NATO failed to anticipate the refugee crisis.

International opposition to the NATO assault came swiftly. Russia, China, and India accused NATO of violating international law by not seeking the approval of the United Nations (UN) before striking Yugoslavia. Russia broke off all diplomatic ties with NATO and introduced a resolution to the UN Security Council that called for an end to the bombardment. The resolution was rejected decisively. (Russia and NATO did not formally resume contact until early 2000.)

NATO was further criticized after warplanes under its command bombed civilian structures and convoys of ethnic Albanians trying to flee Kosovo. NATO leadership apologized for the attacks, which it maintained were accidental, but insisted that Milošević was responsible for the continuing conflict. After NATO warplanes bombed China's embassy in Belgrade by mistake, Chinese officials called on NATO to end the air campaign.

In June 1999, after 11 weeks of NATO bombing had incapacitated or destroyed much of Yugoslavia's infrastructure, the FRY consented to most of the alliance's demands. FRY leaders signed an agreement that ended the bombing and placed Kosovo under international control. As part of the agreement, a NATO-led multinational force of thousands of troops occupied Kosovo to help ensure the safe return of ethnic Albanian refugees. The Kosovo peacekeeping force, known as KFOR, saw its mission extended indefinitely to protect public safety, demilitarize Kosovo, and provide humanitarian assistance. The agreement also mandated the disarmament of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), a guerrilla army organized prior to the NATO campaign that had attempted to drive Serb troops and police forces from the province.

The campaign against the FRY revealed the difficulty of sustaining military action that requires the consensus of the entire 19-country NATO alliance, and it exposed differences of opinion in the expanded organization. During the conflict, British leaders advocated attacking the FRY with ground forces, while other members of the alliance publicly opposed plans to invade Kosovo. Despite these disagreements, the core members of the alliance continued to support the air campaign.

NATO's involvement in Kosovo also indicated the expanded role of the alliance in European and world affairs. Prior to the hostilities, military forces under NATO command served primarily to deter would-be attackers. During the Kosovo operation, NATO attempted to use its military might to advance humanitarian goals, to force compliance with the alliance's wishes, and to prevent the possibility of a wider conflict in Europe. NATO intervened in Kosovo despite the fact that none of the alliance's members were directly attacked by the FRY.

In 2002 Russia became a limited partner in NATO as part of the NATO-Russia Council. The creation of the council gave Russia the opportunity to take part in discussions about NATO decisions but without having a binding vote. Most key decisions, such as NATO’s expansion, remained exclusive to the 19-member council of ministers.

Also in 2002, NATO invited seven other countries—Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia, and Slovakia—to become members of the organization. All seven were expected to be admitted in 2004, bringing NATO’s total membership to 26.
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Post Vietnam War

Vietnam War


I -INTRODUCTION
Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, military struggle fought in Vietnam from 1959 to 1975, involving the North Vietnamese and the National Liberation Front (NLF) in conflict with United States forces and the South Vietnamese army. From 1946 until 1954, the Vietnamese had struggled for their independence from France during the First Indochina War. At the end of this war, the country was temporarily divided into North and South Vietnam. North Vietnam came under the control of Vietnamese Communists who had opposed France and who aimed for a unified Vietnam under Communist rule. The South was controlled by non-Communist Vietnamese.

The United States became involved in Vietnam because American policymakers believed that if the entire country fell under a Communist government, Communism would spread throughout Southeast Asia. This belief was known as the “domino theory.” The U.S. government, therefore, helped to create the anti-Communist South Vietnamese government. This government’s repressive policies led to rebellion in the South, and in 1960 the NLF was formed with the aim of overthrowing the government of South Vietnam and reunifying the country.

In 1965 the United States sent in troops to prevent the South Vietnamese government from collapsing. Ultimately, however, the United States failed to achieve its goal, and in 1975 Vietnam was reunified under Communist control; in 1976 it officially became the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. During the conflict, approximately 3.2 million Vietnamese were killed, in addition to another 1.5 million to 2 million Lao and Cambodians who were drawn into the war. Nearly 58,000 Americans lost their lives.

II -BACKGROUND
From the 1880s until World War II (1939-1945), France governed Vietnam as part of French Indochina, which also included Cambodia and Laos. Vietnam was under the nominal control of an emperor, Bao Dai. In 1940 Japanese troops invaded and occupied French Indochina. In May 1941 Vietnamese nationalists established the League for the Independence of Vietnam, or Viet Minh, seeing the turmoil of World War II as an opportunity to overthrow French colonial rule. The Viet Minh, a front organization of the Indochinese Communist Party, sought popular support for national independence, as well as social and political reform.

The United States demanded that Japan leave Indochina, warning of military action. The Viet Minh began guerrilla warfare against Japan and entered an effective alliance with the United States. Viet Minh troops rescued downed U.S. pilots, located Japanese prison camps, helped U.S. prisoners to escape, and provided valuable intelligence to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Ho Chi Minh, the principal leader of the Viet Minh, was even made a special OSS agent.

When the Japanese formally surrendered to the Allies on September 2, 1945, Ho used the occasion to declare the independence of Vietnam, which he called the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV). Emperor Bao Dai had abdicated the throne a week earlier. The French, however, refused to acknowledge Vietnam’s independence, and later that year drove the Viet Minh into the north of the country. There they regrouped as the Lien Viet Front, which sought a broader base of support, including moderates; it was replaced in 1955 by the Fatherland Front, which served as the Communist-front organization of the DRV. (The NLF later served as the southern front.)

However, the term Viet Minh continued to be commonly used for supporters of the movement for a unified Vietnam. Also in 1951 some Vietnamese nationalists created the Lao Dong (Workers’ Party) as the successor to the Indochinese Communist Party, which had been operating clandestinely since 1945 in the war against the French. The Lao Dong was conceived as a nationwide, united party, and it was formally based in the DRV capital of Hanoi. By 1953 most Viet Minh were members of the Lao Dong.

Immediately after Ho declared the formation of the DRV, he wrote eight letters to U.S. president Harry Truman, imploring him to recognize Vietnam’s independence. Many OSS agents informed the U.S. administration that despite being a Communist, Ho Chi Minh was not a puppet of the Communist-led Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and that he could potentially become a valued ally in Asia. Tensions between the United States and the USSR had mounted after World War II, resulting in the Cold War.

The foreign policy of the United States during the Cold War was driven by a fear of the spread of Communism. After World War II Communist governments came to power in Eastern European nations that had fallen under the domination of the USSR, and in 1949 Communists took control of China. United States policymakers felt they could not afford to lose Southeast Asia as well to Communist rule. The United States therefore condemned Ho Chi Minh as an agent of international Communism and offered to assist the French in reestablishing a colonial regime in Vietnam.

In 1946 United States warships ferried elite French troops to Vietnam where they quickly regained control of the major cities, including Hanoi, Haiphong, Da Nang, Hue, and Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), while the Viet Minh controlled the countryside. The Viet Minh had only 2,000 troops at the time Vietnam’s independence was declared, but recruiting increased after the arrival of French troops. By the late 1940s, the Viet Minh had hundreds of thousands of soldiers and were fighting the French to a draw. In 1949 the French set up a government to rival Ho Chi Minh’s, installing Bao Dai as head of state.

In May 1954 the Viet Minh mounted a massive assault on the French garrison at Dien Bien Phu, in northwestern Vietnam near the border with Laos. The Battle of Dien Bien Phu resulted in perhaps the most humiliating defeat in French military history. Already tired of the war, the French public forced their government to reach a peace agreement at the Geneva Conference.
France asked the other world powers to help draw up a plan for French withdrawal from the region and for the future of Vietnam. Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, from May 8 to July 21, 1954, diplomats from France, Great Britain, the USSR, the People’s Republic of China, and the United States, as well as representatives from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, attended delegations to draft a set of agreements called the Geneva Accords.

These agreements provided for a cease-fire throughout Vietnam and a temporary partition of the country at the 17th parallel. French troops were to withdraw to the south of the dividing line until they could be safely removed from the country, while Viet Minh forces were to retreat to the north. Ho Chi Minh maintained control of North Vietnam, or the DRV, while Emperor Bao Dai remained head of South Vietnam. Elections were to be held in July 1956 throughout the North and South under the supervision of the International Control Commission, comprised of representatives from Canada, Poland, and India. Following these elections, Vietnam was to be reunited under the government chosen by popular vote. The Viet Minh reluctantly agreed to the partitioning of Vietnam in the expectation that the elections would reunify the country under Communist rule.

The United States did not want to allow the possibility of Communist control over Vietnam. In June 1954, during the Geneva Conference, the United States pressured Bao Dai to appoint Ngo Dinh Diem prime minister of the government in South Vietnam. The United States chose Diem for his nationalist and anti-Communist credentials. With U.S. support, Diem refused to sign the Geneva Accords. The United States, which acted as an observer during the delegations, also did not become a signatory. Immediately after the Geneva Conference, the U.S. government moved to establish the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), a regional alliance that extended protection to South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos in cases of Communist subversion or insurrection. SEATO, which came into force in 1955, became the mechanism by which Washington justified its support for South Vietnam; this support eventually became direct involvement of U.S. troops.
Meanwhile, Diem announced he had no intention of participating in the planned national elections, which Ho Chi Minh and the Lao Dong were favored to win. Instead, Diem held elections only in South Vietnam, in October 1955.

He won the elections with 98.2 percent of the vote, but many historians believe these elections were rigged, since about 150,000 more people voted in Saigon than were registered. Diem then deposed Bao Dai, who had been the only other candidate, and declared South Vietnam to be an independent nation called the Republic of Vietnam (RVN), with himself as president and Saigon as its capital. Vietnamese Communists and many non-Communist Vietnamese nationalists saw the creation of the RVN as an effort by the United States to interfere with the independence promised at Geneva.

III -THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR: 1959-1965
Diem represented the interests of the urban, Catholic minority in South Vietnam. Although Diem also found some support in the countryside among non-Communists, he did not enjoy a broad base of support. The repressive measures of the Diem government, designed to persecute Viet Minh activists and gain control of the countryside, eventually led to increasingly organized opposition within South Vietnam. The United States initially backed Diem’s government with military advisers and financial assistance to keep it from collapsing. The political situation in South Vietnam became even more unstable after Diem was killed in a military coup in 1963, leading to more direct involvement by the United States. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution of 1964 gave President Lyndon B. Johnson permission to launch a full-scale military intervention in Vietnam. The first American combat troops arrived in Vietnam in March 1965.

A -Rebellion in South Vietnam
When Vietnam was divided in 1954, many Viet Minh who had been born in the southern part of the country returned to their native villages to await the 1956 elections and the reunification of their nation. When the elections did not take place as planned, these Viet Minh immediately formed the core of opposition to Diem’s government and sought its overthrow. They were greatly aided in their efforts to organize resistance in the countryside by Diem’s own policies, which alienated many peasants.

Beginning in 1955, the United States created the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) in South Vietnam. Using these troops, Diem took land away from peasants and returned it to former landlords, reversing the land redistribution program implemented by the Viet Minh. He also forcibly moved many villagers from their ancestral lands to controlled settlements in an attempt to prevent Communist activity, and he drafted their sons into the ARVN.

Diem sought to undermine the Viet Minh, whom he derogatorily referred to as Viet Cong (the Vietnamese equivalent of calling them “Commies”), yet their influence continued to grow. Most southern Viet Minh were committed to the Lao Dong’s program of national liberation, reunification of Vietnam, and reconstruction of society along socialist principles. By the late 1950s they were anxious to begin full-scale armed struggle against Diem but were held in check by the northern branch of the party, which feared that this would invite the entry of U.S. armed forces. In 1960, however, widespread opposition to Diem in rural areas convinced the party leadership to officially sanction the formation of the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (commonly known as the National Liberation Front, or NLF).

The NLF was a classical Communist-front organization; although Communists dominated the NLF leadership, the organization also embraced non-Communists who opposed the South Vietnamese government. The aim of the NLF was to overthrow the Diem government and reunify Vietnam. Toward this end, the NLF began to train and equip a guerrilla force that was formally organized in 1961 as the People’s Liberation Armed Forces (PLAF).

Diem’s support was concentrated mainly in the cities. Although he had been a nationalist opposed to French rule, he welcomed into his government those Vietnamese who had collaborated with the French, and many of these became ARVN officers. Catholics were a minority throughout Vietnam, amounting to no more than 10 percent of the population, but they predominated in government positions because Diem himself was Catholic. Between 1954 and 1955, operatives paid by the CIA spread rumors in northern Vietnam that Communists were going to launch a persecution of Catholics, which caused nearly 1 million Catholics to flee to the south. Their resettlement uprooted Buddhists who already deeply resented Diem’s rule because of his severe discrimination against them.

In May 1963 Buddhists began a series of demonstrations against Diem, and the demonstrators were fired on by police. At least 7 Buddhist monks set themselves on fire to protest the repression. Diem dismissed these suicides as publicity stunts and promptly arrested 1,400 monks. He then arrested thousands of high school and grade school students who were involved in protests against the government. After this, Diem was viewed as an embarrassment both by the United States and by many of his own generals.

The Saigon government’s war against the NLF was also going badly. In January 1963 an ARVN force of 2,000 encountered a group of 350 NLF soldiers at Ap Bac, a village south of Saigon in the Mekong River Delta. The ARVN troops were equipped with jet fighters, helicopters, and armored personnel carriers, while the NLF forces had only small arms. Nonetheless, 61 ARVN soldiers were killed, as were 3 U.S. military advisers. By contrast, the NLF forces lost only 12 men. Some U.S. military advisers began to report that Saigon was losing the war, but the official military and embassy press officers reported Ap Bac as a significant ARVN victory. Despite this official account, a handful of U.S. journalists began to report pessimistically about the future of U.S. involvement in South Vietnam, which led to increasing public concern.

President John F. Kennedy still believed that the ARVN could become effective. Some of his advisers advocated the commitment of U.S. combat forces, but Kennedy decided to try to increase support for the ARVN among the people of Vietnam through counterinsurgency. United States Special Forces (Green Berets) would work with ARVN troops directly in the villages in an effort to match NLF political organizing and to win over the South Vietnamese people.

To support the U.S. effort, the Diem government developed a “strategic hamlet” program that was essentially an extension of Diem’s earlier relocation practices. Aimed at cutting the links between villagers and the NLF, the program removed peasants from their traditional villages, often at gunpoint, and resettled them in new hamlets fortified to keep the NLF out. Administration was left up to Diem’s brother Nhu, a corrupt official who charged villagers for building materials that had been donated by the United States. In many cases peasants were forbidden to leave the hamlets, but many of the young men quickly left anyway and joined the NLF. Young men who were drafted into the ARVN often also worked secretly for the NLF. The Kennedy administration concluded that Diem’s policies were alienating the
peasantry and contributing significantly to NLF recruitment.

The number of U.S. advisers assigned to the ARVN rose steadily. In January 1961, when Kennedy took office, there were 800 U.S. advisers in Vietnam; by November 1963 there were 16,700. American airpower was assigned to support ARVN operations; this included the aerial spraying of herbicides such as Agent Orange, which was intended to deprive the NLF of food and jungle cover. Despite these measures, the ARVN continued to lose ground.

As the military situation deteriorated in South Vietnam, the United States sought to blame it on Diem’s incompetence and hoped that changes in his administration would improve the situation. Nhu’s corruption became a principal focus; Diem was urged to remove his brother, but he refused. Many in Diem’s military were especially dissatisfied with Diem’s government and the ARVN’s inability to rout the NLF, and they hoped for increased U.S. aid.

General Duong Van Minh informed the CIA and U.S. ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge of a plot to conduct a coup d’état against Diem. Although the United States wanted to remove Diem from power, it did not give formal support for a coup. When the military generals finally staged the coup on November 1, 1963, it resulted in the murder of both Diem and Nhu. In the political confusion that followed, the security situation in South Vietnam continued to deteriorate. Meanwhile, the CIA was forced to admit that the strength of the NLF was continuing to grow.
************************************************** *****************

B -The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
Succeeding to the presidency after Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963, Lyndon B. Johnson felt he had to take a forceful stance on Vietnam so that other Communist countries would not think that the United States lacked resolve. Kennedy had begun to consider the possibility of withdrawal from Vietnam and had even ordered the removal of 1,000 advisers shortly before he was assassinated, but Johnson increased the number of U.S. advisers to 27,000 by mid-1964. Even though intelligence reports clearly stated that most of the support for the NLF came from the south, Johnson, like his predecessors, continued to insist that North Vietnam was orchestrating the southern rebellion. He was determined that he would not be held responsible for allowing Vietnam to fall to the Communists.

Johnson believed that the key to success in the war in South Vietnam was to frighten North Vietnam’s leaders with the possibility of full-scale U.S. military intervention. In January 1964 he approved top-secret, covert attacks against North Vietnamese territory, including commando raids against bridges, railways, and coastal installations. Johnson also ordered the U.S. Navy to conduct surveillance missions along the North Vietnamese coast. He increased the secret bombing of territory in Laos along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, a growing network of paths and roads used by the NLF and the North Vietnamese to transport supplies and troops into South Vietnam. Hanoi concluded that the United States was preparing to occupy South Vietnam and indicated that it, too, was preparing for full-scale war.

On August 2, 1964, North Vietnamese coastal gunboats fired on the destroyer USS Maddox, which had penetrated North Vietnam’s territorial boundaries in the Gulf of Tonkin. Johnson ordered more ships to the area, and on August 4 both the Maddox and the USS Turner Joy reported that North Vietnamese patrol boats had fired on them. Johnson then ordered the first air strikes against North Vietnamese territory and went on television to seek approval from the U.S. public. (Subsequent congressional investigations would conclude that the August 4 attack almost certainly had never occurred.) The U.S. Congress overwhelmingly passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which effectively handed over war-making powers to Johnson until such time as "peace and security" had returned to Vietnam.

After the Gulf of Tonkin incident Johnson declared, “We seek no wider war.” United States bombing was significantly reduced. Meanwhile, North Vietnam began to dispatch well-trained units of its People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) into the south. The NLF guerrillas coordinated their attacks with PAVN forces. On February 7, 1965, the NLF launched surprise attacks on the U.S. helicopter base at Pleiku, killing 8 Americans, wounding 126, and destroying 10aircraft; on February 10 they struck again at Qui Nhon, killing 23 U.S. servicemen and wounding 21 at the U.S. enlisted personnel’s quarters there.
The attacks coincided with two high-level diplomatic visits: one in Hanoi by
Soviet premier Aleksey Kosygin, and the other in Saigon by U.S. national security adviser McGeorge Bundy.

Within hours of the attacks, Johnson approved reprisal air strikes against North Vietnam. In Hanoi, Kosygin abandoned his initiative to persuade North Vietnamese leaders to consider negotiations with the United States, and instead promised them unconditional military aid. Johnson’s advisers, chiefly Bundy and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, believed it was imperative to conduct an intensive air campaign against the North, in part to demonstrate it would pay a price for supporting the NLF. Johnson authorized a sustained bombing campaign to begin on March 2. Johnson’s senior planners reached the consensus that U.S. combat forces would be required to protect U.S. air bases, as the ARVN was considered to be too weak for the task. On March 8 the first of these forces, 3,500 U.S. Marines, landed at Da Nang. By the end of April, 56,000 other combat troops had joined them; by June the number had risen to 74,000.

IV -ESCALATED UNITED STATES INVOLVEMENT: 1965-1969
When some of the soldiers of the U.S. 9th Marine Regiment landed in Da Nang in March 1965, their orders were to protect the U.S. air base, but the mission was quickly escalated to include search-and-destroy patrols of the area around the base. This corresponded in miniature to the larger strategy of General William Westmoreland. Westmoreland, who took over the Military Assistance Command in Vietnam (MACV) in 1964, advocated establishing a large American force and then unleashing it in big sweeps. His strategy was that of attrition—eliminating or wearing down the enemy by inflicting the highest death toll possible. There were 80,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam by the end of 1965; by 1969 a peak of about 543,000 troops would be reached.
Having easily pushed aside the ARVN, both the North Vietnamese and the NLF had anticipated the U.S. escalation. With full-scale movement of U.S. troops onto South Vietnamese territory, the Communists claimed that the Saigon regime had become a puppet, not unlike the colonial collaborators with the French. Both the North Vietnamese and NLF appealed to the nationalism of the Vietnamese to rise up and drive this new foreign army from their land.

A -DRV and NLF Strategy
The strategy developed against the United States was the result of intense debate between the northern and southern members of the Lao Dong’s Political Bureau in Hanoi. Truong Chinh, a northerner and the leading Communist ideologist in Hanoi, argued that the southern Vietnamese must liberate themselves, in accordance with a “people’s war” strategy that would, if successful, result in a reunified Vietnam; Le Duan, a southerner who became secretary general of the Lao Dong, advocated the North’s full support of the armed struggle in the South, on the premise that Vietnam was one nation and therefore dependent on all Vietnamese for its independence and reunification.

Ho Chi Minh, revered widely throughout Vietnam as the father of independence, and other party leaders ultimately sided with Duan’s point of view. Duan’s triumph represented a major turning point within the party in which southerners came to dictate party policy in Hanoi. The Central Committee Directorate for the South (also known as the Central Office for South Vietnam, or COSVN), formed in 1961 as the leadership group of the newly merged southern and central branches of the Lao Dong, was able to coordinate a unified strategy. COSVN was under the direction of Nguyen Chi Thanh, a southerner and a PAVN general, for most of the war.

After the United States initiated large-scale bombing against the DRV in 1964, in the wake of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, Hanoi dispatched the first unit of northern-born regular soldiers to the south. Previously, southern-born Viet Minh, known as regroupees, had returned to their native regions and joined NLF guerrilla units. Now PAVN regulars, commanded by generals who usually had been born in the south, began to set up bases in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam in order to gain strategic position.

Unable to cross the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) at the 17th parallel separating North from South Vietnam, PAVN regulars moved into South Vietnam along the Ho Chi Minh Trail through Laos and Cambodia. In use since 1957, the trail was originally a series of footpaths; by the late 1960s it would become a network of paved highways that enabled the motor transport of people and equipment. The NLF guerrillas and North Vietnamese troops were poorly armed compared to the Americans, so once they were in South Vietnam they avoided open combat. Instead they developed hit-and-run tactics designed to cause steady casualties among the U.S. troops and to wear down popular support for the war in the United States.

B -United States Strategy
In June 1964 retired general Maxwell Taylor replaced Henry Cabot Lodge as ambassador to South Vietnam. A former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the military advisory group to the president, Taylor at first opposed the introduction of American combat troops, believing that this would make the ARVN quit fighting altogether. By 1965 he agreed to the request of General Westmoreland for combat forces. Taylor initially advocated an enclave strategy, where U.S. forces would seek to preserve areas already considered to be under Saigon’s control. This quickly proved impossible, since NLF strength was considerable virtually everywhere in South Vietnam.

In October 1965 the newly arrived 1st Cavalry Division of the U.S. Army fought one of the largest battles of the Vietnam War in the Ia Drang Valley, inflicting a serious defeat on North Vietnamese forces. The North Vietnamese and NLF forces changed their tactics as a result of the battle. From then on both would fight at times of their choosing, hitting rapidly, with surprise if possible, and then withdrawing just as quickly to avoid the impact of American firepower. The success of the American campaign in the Ia Drang Valley convinced Westmoreland that his strategy of attrition was the key to U.S. victory. He ordered the largest search-and-destroy operations of the war in the “Iron Triangle,” the Communist stronghold in the rural provinces near Saigon. This operation was intended to find and destroy North Vietnam and NLF military headquarters, but the campaign failed to wipe out Communist forces from the area.

By 1967 the ground war had reached a stalemate, which led Johnson and McNamara to increase the ferocity of the air war. The Joint Chiefs of Staff had been pressing for this for some time, but there was already some indication that intensified bombing would not produce the desired results. In 1966 the bombing of North Vietnam’s oil facilities had destroyed 70 percent of their fuel reserves, but the DRV’s ability to wage the war had not been affected.

Planners wished to avoid populated areas, but when 150,000 sorties per year were being flown by U.S. warplanes, civilian casualties were inevitable. These casualties provoked revulsion both in the United States and internationally. In 1967 the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Earle Wheeler, declared that no more “major military targets” were left. Unable to widen the bombing to population centers for fear of Chinese and Soviet reactions in support of North Vietnam, the U.S. Department of Defense had to admit stalemate in the air war as well. The damage that had already been inflicted on Vietnam’s population was enormous.

C -The Tet Offensive and Beyond
In 1967 North Vietnam and the NLF decided the time had come to mount an all-out offensive aimed at inflicting serious losses on both the ARVN and U.S. forces. They planned the Tet Offensive with the hope that this would significantly affect the public mood in the United States. In December 1967 North Vietnamese troops attacked and surrounded the U.S. Marine base at Khe Sanh, placing it under siege. Westmoreland ordered the outpost held at all costs. To prevent the Communists from overrunning the base, about 50,000 U.S. Marines and Army troops were called into the area, thus weakening positions further south.

This concentration of American troops in one spot was exactly what the COSVN strategists had hoped would happen. The main thrust of the Tet Offensive then began on January 31, 1968, at the start of Tet, or the Vietnamese lunar new year celebration, when a lull in fighting traditionally took place. Most ARVN troops had gone home on leave, and U.S. troops were on stand-down in many areas. Over 85,000 NLF soldiers simultaneously struck at almost every major city and provincial capital across South Vietnam, sending their defenders reeling. The U.S. Embassy in Saigon, previously thought to be invulnerable, was taken over by the NLF, and held for eight hours before U.S. forces could retake the complex. It took three weeks for U.S. troops to dislodge 1,000 NLF fighters from Saigon.

During the Tet Offensive, the imperial capital of Hue witnessed the bloodiest fighting of the entire war. South Vietnamese were assassinated by Communists for collaborating with Americans; then when the ARVN returned, NLF sympathizers were murdered. United States Marines and paratroopers were ordered to go from house to house to find North Vietnamese and NLF soldiers. Virtually indiscriminate shelling was what killed most civilians, however, and the architectural treasures of Hue were laid to waste. More than 100,000 residents of the city were left homeless.

The Tet Offensive as a whole lasted into the fall of 1968, and when it was over the North Vietnamese and the NLF had suffered acute losses. The U.S. Department of Defense estimated that a total of 45,000 North Vietnamese and NLF soldiers had been killed, most of them NLF fighters. Although it was covered up for more than a year, one horrifying event during the Tet Offensive would indelibly affect America’s psyche. In March 1968 elements of the U.S. Army’s Americal Division wiped out an entire hamlet called My Lai, killing 500 unarmed civilians, mostly women and children.

After Tet, Westmoreland said that the enemy was almost conquered and requested 206,000 more troops to finish the job. Told by succeeding administrations since 1955 that there was “light at the end of the tunnel,” that victory in Vietnam was near, the American public had reached a psychological breaking point. The success of the NLF in coordinating the Tet Offensive demonstrated both how deeply rooted the Communist resistance was and how costly it would be for the United States to remain in Vietnam.

After Tet a majority of Americans wanted some closure to the war, with some favoring an immediate withdrawal while others held out for a negotiated peace. President Johnson rejected Westmoreland’s request for more troops and replaced him as the commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam with Westmoreland’s deputy, General Creighton Abrams. Johnson himself decided not to seek reelection in 1968. Republican Richard Nixon ran for the presidency declaring that he would bring “peace with honor” if elected.

V -ENDING THE WAR: 1969-1975
Promising an end to the war in Vietnam, Richard Nixon won a narrow victory in the election of 1968. Slightly more than 30,000 young Americans had been killed in the war when Nixon took office in January 1969. The new president retained his predecessor’s goal of a non-Communist South Vietnam, however, and this could not be ensured without continuing the war. Nixon’s most pressing problem was how to make peace and war at the same time. His answer was a policy called “Vietnamization.” Under this policy, he would withdraw American troops and the South Vietnamese army would take over the fighting.

A -Nixon’s Vietnamization
During his campaign for the presidency, Nixon announced that he had a secret plan to end the war. In July 1969, after he had become president, he issued what came to be known as the Nixon doctrine, which stated that U.S. troops would no longer be directly involved in Asian wars. He ordered the withdrawal of 25,000 troops, to be followed by more, and he lowered draft calls. On the other hand, Nixon also stepped up the Phoenix Program, a secret CIA operation that resulted in the assassination of 20,000 suspected NLF guerrillas, many of whom were innocent civilians. The operation increased funding for the ARVN and intensified the bombing of North Vietnam. Nixon reasoned that to keep the Communists at bay during the U.S. withdrawal, it was also necessary to bomb their sanctuaries in Cambodia and to increase air strikes against Laos.

The DRV leadership, however, remained committed to the expulsion of all U.S. troops from Vietnam and to the overthrow of the Saigon government. As U.S. troop strength diminished, Hanoi’s leaders planned their final offensive. While the ARVN had increased in size and was better armed than it had been in 1965, it could not hold its own without the help of heavy U.S. airpower.

B -Failed Peace Negotiations
Johnson had initiated peace negotiations after the first phase of the Tet Offensive. Beginning in Paris on May 13, 1968, the talks rapidly broke down over disagreements about the status of the NLF, which the Saigon government refused to recognize. In October 1968, just before the U.S. presidential elections, candidate Hubert Humphrey called for a negotiated settlement, but Nixon secretly persuaded South Vietnam’s president, Nguyen Van Thieu, to hold out for better terms under a Nixon administration. Stating that he would never negotiate with Communists, Thieu caused the Paris talks to collapse and contributed to Humphrey’s defeat as well.

Nixon thus inherited the Paris peace talks, but they continued to remain stalled as each faction refused to alter its position. Hanoi insisted on the withdrawal of all U.S. forces, the removal of the Saigon government, and its replacement through free elections that would include the Provisional Revolutionary Government (PRG), which the NLF created in June 1969 to take over its governmental role in the south and serve as a counterpart to the Saigon government. The United States, on the other hand, insisted that all North Vietnamese troops be withdrawn.

C -Invasion of Cambodia
In March 1969 Nixon ordered the secret bombing of Cambodia. Intended to wipe out North Vietnamese and NLF base camps along the border with South Vietnam in order to provide time for the buildup of the ARVN, the campaign failed utterly. The secret bombing lasted four years and caused great destruction and upheaval in Cambodia, a land of farmers that had not known war in centuries. Code-named Operation Menu, the bombing was more intense than that carried out over Vietnam. An estimated 100,000 peasants died in the bombing, while 2 million people were left homeless.

In April 1970 Nixon ordered U.S. troops into Cambodia. He argued that this was necessary to protect the security of American units then in the process of withdrawing from Vietnam, but he also wanted to buy security for the Saigon regime. When Nixon announced the invasion, U.S. college campuses erupted in protest, and one-third of them shut down due to student walkouts. At Kent State University in Ohio four students were killed by panicky national guardsmen who had been called up to prevent rioting. Two days later, two students were killed at Jackson State College in Mississippi.

Congress proceeded to repeal the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Congress also passed the Cooper-Church Amendment, which specifically forbade the use of U.S. troops outside South Vietnam. The measure did not expressly forbid bombing, however, so Nixon continued the air strikes on Cambodia until August 1973.

Three months after committing U.S. forces, Nixon ordered them to withdraw from Cambodia. The combined effects of the bombing and the invasion, however, had completely disrupted Cambodian life, driving millions of peasants from their ancestral lands. The right-wing government then in power in Cambodia was supported by the United States, and the government was blamed for allowing the bombing to occur. Farmers who had never concerned themselves with politics now flooded to the Communist opposition group, the Khmer Rouge. After a gruesome civil war, the Khmer Rouge took power in 1975 and became one of the bloodiest regimes of the 20th century.

D -Campaign in Laos
The United States began conducting secret bombing of Laos in 1964, targeting both the North Vietnamese forces along sections of the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the Communist Pathet Lao guerrillas, who controlled the northern part of the country. Roughly 150,000 tons of bombs were dropped on the Plain of Jars in northern Laos between 1964 and 1969. By 1970 at least one-quarter of the entire population of Laos were refugees, and about 400,000 Lao had been killed.

Prohibited by the Cooper-Church Amendment from deploying U.S. troops and anxious to demonstrate the fighting prowess of the improved ARVN, Nixon took the advice of General Creighton Abrams and attempted to cut vital Communist supply lines along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. On February 8, 1971, 21,000 ARVN troops, supported by American B-52 bombers, invaded Laos. Intended to disrupt any North Vietnamese and NLF plans for offensives and to test the strength of the ARVN, this operation was as much a failure as the Cambodian invasion. Abrams claimed 14,000 North Vietnamese casualties, but over 9,000 ARVN soldiers were killed or wounded, while the rest were routed and expelled from Laos.

The success of Vietnamization seemed highly doubtful, since the Communist forces showed that the new ARVN could be defeated. Instead of inhibiting the Communist Pathet Lao, the U.S. attacks on Laos promoted their rise. In 1958 the Pathet Lao had the support of one-third of the population; by 1973 a majority denied the legitimacy of the U.S.-supported royal Lao government. By 1975 a Communist government was established in Laos.

E -Bombing of North Vietnam
In the spring of 1972, with only 6,000 U.S. combat troops remaining in South Vietnam, the DRV leadership decided the time had come to crush the ARVN. On March 30 more than 30,000 North Vietnamese troops crossed the DMZ, along with another 150,000 PRG fighters, and attacked Quang Trí Province, easily scattering ARVN defenders. The attack, known as the Easter Offensive, could not have come at a worse time for Nixon and his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger. A military defeat of the ARVN would leave the United States in a weak position at the Paris peace talks and would compromise its strategic position globally.

Risking the success of the upcoming Moscow summit, Nixon unleashed the first sustained bombing of North Vietnam since 1969 and moved quickly to mine the harbor of Haiphong. Between April and October 1972 the United States conducted 41,000 sorties over North Vietnam, especially targeting Quang Trí. North Vietnam’s Easter Offensive was crushed. At least 100,000 Communist troops were killed. Vo Nguyen Giap, head of the PAVN and chief military strategist, was perceived as too conservative in his use of force and was compelled to resign. His successor, Van Tien Dung, adopted more aggressive military tactics but also counseled the renewal of negotiations with the United States.

Further negotiations were held in Paris between Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, who represented North Vietnam. Seeking an end to the war before the U.S. presidential elections in November, Kissinger made remarkable concessions. The United States would withdraw completely, while accepting the presence of ten North Vietnamese divisions in South Vietnam and recognizing the political legitimacy of the PRG. Hanoi also made important concessions, such as dropping its insistence on the immediate resignation of Nguyen Van Thieu, who had become president of South Vietnam in 1967. Kissinger announced on October 27 that “peace was at hand.” The negotiations had not involved South Vietnam, however, and the Saigon government’s acceptance of the terms was not set as a precondition. Thieu was outraged by the agreement, and Nixon subsequently refused to sign it.

After the 1972 elections, Kissinger attempted to revise the agreements he had already made. North Vietnam refused to consider these revisions, and Kissinger threatened to renew air assaults against North Vietnam unless the new conditions were met. Nixon then unleashed at Christmas the final and most intense bombing of the war over Hanoi and Haiphong.

F -United States Withdrawal
While many U.S. officials were convinced that Hanoi was bombed back to the negotiating table, the final treaty changed nothing significant from what had already been agreed to by Kissinger and Tho in October. Nixon’s Christmas bombings were intended to warn Hanoi that American air power remained a threat, and he secretly promised Thieu that the United States would punish North Vietnam should they violate the terms of the final settlement. Nixon’s political fortunes were about to decline, however. Although he had won reelection by a landslide in November 1972, he was suffering from revelations about the Watergate scandal. The president’s campaign officials had orchestrated a burglary at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, and Nixon had attempted to cover it up by lying to the American people about his role.

The president made new enemies when the secret bombing of Cambodia was revealed at last. Congress was threatening a bill of impeachment and in early January 1973 indicated it would cut off all funding for operations in Indochina once U.S. forces had withdrawn. In mid-January Nixon halted all military actions against North Vietnam.

On January 27, 1973, all four parties to the Vietnam conflict—the United States, South Vietnam, the PRG, and North Vietnam—signed the Treaty of Paris. The final terms provided for the release of all American prisoners of war from North Vietnam; the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from South Vietnam; the end of all foreign military operations in Laos and Cambodia; a cease-fire between North and South Vietnam; the formation of a National Council of Reconciliation to help South Vietnam form a new government; and continued U.S. military and economic aid to South Vietnam. In a secret addition to the treaty Nixon also promised $3.25 billion in reparations for the postwar reconstruction of North Vietnam, an agreement that Congress ultimately refused to uphold.

G -Cease-Fire Aftermath
On March 29, 1973, the last U.S. troops left Vietnam. The Paris peace treaty did little to end the bloodshed for the Vietnamese, however. Problems arose immediately, primarily over the delineation of two separate zones, as required by the agreement, and the mutual withdrawal of troops to these respective zones. Northerners in the Lao Dong leadership wanted to keep hostilities to a minimum in order to keep the United States out of Vietnam. However, southerners on both sides refused to give up the fight. Thieu quickly showed that he had no desire to honor the terms of the treaty, which he had signed under duress. In his view, the continued presence of North Vietnamese soldiers in South Vietnam absolved him of honoring the cease-fire agreement. Thieu immediately began offensives against PRG villages, and he issued an order to the ARVN: “If Communists come into your village…shoot them in the head.” In October Hanoi authorized southern Communists to strike back against ARVN troops.

Meanwhile, the withdrawal of U.S. personnel resulted in a collapsing economy throughout South Vietnam. Millions of people had depended on the money spent by Americans in Vietnam. Thieu’s government was ill-equipped to treat the mass unemployment and deepening poverty that resulted from the U.S. withdrawal. The ARVN still received $700 million from the U.S. Congress and was twice the size of the Communist forces, but morale was collapsing. More than 200,000 ARVN soldiers deserted in 1974 in order to be with their families.

The apparent weakening of South Vietnam led Hanoi to believe it could win control over the south through a massive conventional invasion, and it set 1975 as the year to mount a final offensive. Hanoi expected the offensive to last at least two years; the rapid collapse of the ARVN was therefore a surprise even to them. After the initial attack by the North Vietnamese in the Central Highlands northeast of Saigon on January 7, the ARVN immediately began to fall apart. On March 25 the ancient imperial city of Hue fell; then on March 29, Da Nang, site of the former U.S. Marines headquarters, was overtaken. On April 20 Thieu resigned, accusing the United States of betrayal. His successor was Duong Van Minh, who had been among those who overthrew Diem in 1963. On April 30 Minh issued his unconditional surrender to the PRG. Almost 30 years after Ho Chi Minh’s declaration of independence, Vietnam was finally unified.

VI -THE TROOPS
In the United States, military conscription, or the draft, had been in place virtually without interruption since the end of World War II, but volunteers generally predominated in combat units. When the first U.S. combat troops arrived in Vietnam in 1965 they were composed mainly of volunteers. The Air Force, Navy, and Marines were volunteer units. The escalating war, however, required more draftees. In 1965 about 20,000 men per month were inducted into the military, most into the Army; by 1968 about 40,000 young men were drafted each month to meet increased troop levels ordered for Vietnam. The conscript army was largely composed of teenagers; the average age of a U.S. soldier in Vietnam was 19, younger than in World War II or the Korean War. For the first time in U.S. military history, tours of duty were fixed in length, usually for a period of 12 or 13 months, and an individual’s date of estimated return from overseas (DEROS) was therefore set at the same time as the assignment date.

Those conscripted were mostly youths from the poorer section of American society. They did not have access to the exemptions that were available to their more privileged fellow citizens. Of the numerous exemptions from military service that Congress had written into law, the most far-reaching were student deferments. The draft laws effectively enabled most upper- and middle-class youngsters to avoid military service. By 1968 it was increasingly evident that the draft system was deeply unfair and discriminatory.

Responding to popular pressures, the Selective Service, the agency that administered the draft, instituted a lottery system, which might have produced an army more representative of society at large. Student deferments were kept by Nixon until 1971, however, so as not to alienate middle-class voters. By then his Vietnamization policy had lowered monthly draft calls, and physical exemptions were still easily obtained by the privileged, especially from draft boards in affluent communities.

Both North and South Vietnam also conscripted troops. Revolutionary nationalist ideology was quite strong in the north, and the DRV was able to create an army with well-disciplined, highly motivated troops. It became the fourth-largest army in the world and one of the most experienced. South Vietnam also drafted soldiers, beginning in 1955 when the ARVN was created. Although many ARVN conscripts were committed anti-Communists, the Saigon leadership did little to educate ARVN soldiers on the nature of the war or boost their morale. In 1965, 113,000 deserted from the ARVN; by 1972, 20,000 per month were slipping away from the war.

Although equipped with high-tech weaponry that far exceeded the firepower available to its enemies, the ARVN was poorly led and failed most of the time to check its opponents’ actions. United States troops came to dislike and mistrust many ARVN units, accusing them of abandoning the battlefield. The ARVN also suffered from internal corruption. Numerous commanders would claim nonexistent troopers and then pocket the pay intended for those troopers; this practice made some units dangerously understaffed. Some ARVN soldiers were secretly working for the NLF, providing information that undermined the U.S. effort. At various times, battles verging on civil war broke out between troops within the ARVN. Internal disunity on this scale was never an issue among the North Vietnamese troops or the NLF guerrillas.

The armed forces of the United States serving in Vietnam began to suffer from internal dissension and low morale as well. Racism against the Vietnamese troubled many soldiers, particularly those who had experienced racism directed against themselves in the United States. In Vietnam, Americans routinely referred to all Vietnamese, both friend and foe, as “gooks.” This process of dehumanizing the Vietnamese led to many atrocities, including the massacre at My Lai, and it provoked profound misgivings among U.S. troops. The injustice of the Selective Service system also turned soldiers against the war. By 1968 coffeehouses run by soldiers had sprung up at 26 U.S. bases, serving as forums for antiwar activities. At least 250 underground antiwar newspapers were published by active-duty soldiers.

After Nixon’s troop-withdrawal policy was initiated in 1969, many soldiers became reluctant to risk their lives for a war without a clear purpose. No soldier wished to be the last one killed in Vietnam. Especially toward the end of the war, the fixed one-year tours of duty in Vietnam resulted in a “short-timer” mentality in which combat troops became more reluctant to engage in risky military operations as their departure date approached. In some cases, entire units refused to go out on combat patrols, disobeying direct orders.

Soldiers sometimes took out their frustrations and resentments on officers who put their lives at risk, especially officers they deemed to be incompetent or overzealous. The term “fragging” came to be used to describe soldiers attacking their officers, most often by tossing fragmentation grenades into the officers’ sleeping quarters. This practice, which took place mostly late in the war, was a clear sign that military discipline had broken down in Vietnam. As the war dragged on and morale sagged within the U.S. armed forces, U.S. military personnel in Vietnam found it increasingly difficult to carry out their service.

Incidents in which soldiers were absent without leave (AWOL) also became more frequent toward the end of the war. Some soldiers who were AWOL for 30 days or more were administratively classified as deserters. Most deserted for personal, rather than political, reasons. Of 32,000 reported deserters who were assigned to combat duty in Vietnam, 7,000 had failed to report for deployment to Vietnam, and 20,000 had completed a full tour of duty in Vietnam but still had obligations of military service; the remaining 5,000 reported desertions occurred in or near Vietnam. Most who went AWOL or deserted later returned or were found, and they received less-than-honorable discharges. Consequently, they received fewer veterans benefits and little, if any, postcombat rehabilitation.

VII -RESPONSE TO THE WAR IN THE UNITED STATES
Opposition to the war in the United States developed immediately after the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, chiefly among traditional pacifists, such as the American Friends Service Committee and antinuclear activists. Early protests were organized around questions about the morality of U.S. military involvement in Vietnam. Virtually every key event of the war, including the Tet Offensive and the invasion of Cambodia, contributed to a steady rise in antiwar sentiment. The revelation of the My Lai Massacre in 1969 caused a dramatic turn against the war in national polls.

Students and professors began to organize “teach-ins” on the war in early 1965 at the University of Michigan, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of California at Berkeley. The teach-ins were large forums for discussion of the war between students and faculty members. Eventually, virtually no college or university was without an organized student movement, often spearheaded by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).

The first major student-led demonstration against the war was organized by the SDS in April 1965 and stunned observers by mobilizing about 20,000 participants. Another important organization was the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which denounced the war as racist as early as 1965. Students also joined The Resistance, an organization that urged its student members to refuse to register for the draft, or if drafted to refuse to serve. Vietnam Veterans Against the War was organized in the United States in 1967. By the 1970s the participation of Vietnam veterans in protests against the war in the United States had an important influence on the antiwar movement.

While law enforcement authorities usually blamed student radicals for the violence that took place on campuses, often it was police themselves who initiated bloodshed as they cleared out students occupying campus buildings during “sit-ins” or street demonstrations. As antiwar sentiment mounted in intensity from 1965 to 1970 so did violence, culminating in the killings of four students at Kent State in Ohio and of two at Jackson State College in Mississippi.

Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X, and other black leaders denounced the U.S. presence in Vietnam as evidence of American imperialism. Martin Luther King, Jr., had grown increasingly concerned about the racist nature of the war, toward both the Vietnamese and African American soldiers, who suffered disproportionately high casualty rates early in the war. In 1967 King delivered a major address at New York’s Riverside Church in which he condemned the war, calling the United States “the world’s greatest purveyor of violence.”

On October 15, 1969, citizens across the United States participated in The Moratorium, the largest one-day demonstration against the war. Millions of people stayed home from work to mark their opposition to the war; college and high school students demonstrated on hundreds of campuses. A Baltimore judge even interrupted court proceedings for a moment of reflection on the war. In Vietnam, troops wore black armbands in honor of the home-front protest. Nixon claimed there was a “great silent majority” who supported the war and he called on them to back his policies. Polls showed, however, that at that time half of all Americans felt that the war was “morally indefensible,” while 60 percent admitted that it was a mistake.

In November 1969 students from all over the country headed for Washington, D.C., for the Mobilization Against the War. More than 40,000 participated in a March Against Death from Arlington National Cemetery to the White House, each carrying a placard with the name of a young person killed in Vietnam.
Opposition existed even among conservatives and business leaders, primarily for economic reasons. The government was spending more than $2 billion per month on the war by 1967. Some U.S. corporations, ranging from beer distributors to manufacturers of jet aircraft, benefited greatly from this money initially, but the high expense of the war began to cause serious inflation and rising tax rates. Some corporate critics warned of future costs to care for wounded veterans. Labor unions were also becoming increasingly militant in opposition to the war, as they were forced to respond to the concerns of their members that the draft was imposing an unfair burden on working-class people.

Another factor that turned public opinion against the war was the publication of the Pentagon Papers on June 13, 1971, by the New York Times. Compiled secretly by the U.S. Department of Defense, the papers were a complete history of the involvement of numerous government agencies in the Vietnam War. They showed a clear pattern of deception toward the public. One of the senior analysts compiling this history, Daniel Ellsberg, secretly photocopied key documents and gave them to the New York Times. Subsequently, support for Nixon’s war policies plummeted, and polls showed that 60 percent of the public now considered the war “immoral,” while 70 percent demanded an immediate withdrawal from Vietnam.

The Vietnam War cost the United States $130 billion directly, and at least that amount in indirect costs, such as veterans’ and widows’ benefits and the search for Americans missing in action (MIAs). The war also spurred serious inflation, contributing to a substantially increased cost of living in the United States between 1965 and 1975, with continued repercussions thereafter. Nearly 58,000 Americans lost their lives in Vietnam. More than 300,000 U.S. soldiers were wounded, half of them very seriously. No accurate accounting has ever been made of U.S civilians (U.S. government agents, religious missionaries, Red Cross nurses) killed throughout Indochina.

After returning from the war, many Vietnam veterans suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is characterized by persistent emotional problems including anxiety and depression. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimated that 20,000 Vietnam veterans committed suicide in the war’s aftermath. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, unemployment and rates of prison incarceration for Vietnam veterans, especially those having seen heavy combat, were significantly higher than in the general population.

Having felt ignored or disrespected both by the Veterans Administration (now the Department of Veterans Affairs) and by traditional organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion, Vietnam veterans have formed their own self-help groups. Collectively, they forced the Veterans Administration to establish storefront counseling centers, staffed by veterans, in every major city. The national organization, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), has become one of the most important service organizations lobbying in Washington, D.C.

Also in the capital, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in 1982 to commemorate the U.S. personnel who died or were declared missing in action in Vietnam. The memorial, which consists of a V-shaped black granite wall etched with more than 58,000 names, was at first a source of controversy because it does not glorify the military but invites somber reflection. The Asian ancestry of its prizewinning designer, Maya Lin, was also an issue for some veterans. In 1983 a bronze cast was added, depicting one white, one black, and one Hispanic American soldier. This led to additional controversy since some argued that the sculpture muted the original memorial’s solemn message. In 1993 a statue of three women cradling a wounded soldier was also added to the site to commemorate the service of the 11,000 military nurses who treated soldiers in Vietnam. Despite all of the controversies, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial has become a site of pilgrimage for veterans and civilians alike.

While the United States has been involved in a number of armed interventions worldwide since it withdrew from Vietnam in 1973, defense planners have taken pains to persuade the public that goals were limited and troops would be committed only for a specified duration. The war in Vietnam created an ongoing debate about the right of the United States to intervene in the affairs of other nations.

VIII -EFFECTS AND RECOVERY IN VIETNAM
Although South Vietnam was ostensibly the U.S. ally in the conflict, far more firepower was unleashed on South Vietnamese civilians than on northerners. About 10 percent of all bombs and shells went unexploded and continued to kill and maim throughout the region long after the war, as did buried land mines. Vietnam developed high rates of birth defects, probably due to the use of Agent Orange and other chemical defoliants. The defoliants used during the war also destroyed about 15 percent of South Vietnam’s valuable timber resources and contributed to a serious decline in rice and fish production, the major sources of food for Vietnam.

There were 800,000 orphans created in South Vietnam alone. At least 10 million people became homeless refugees in the south. Vietnam’s government punished those Vietnamese who had been allied with the United States by sending thousands to “reeducation camps” and depriving their families of employment. These measures, combined with economic hardships throughout Vietnam, led to the exodus of about 1.3 million people, most as refugees to the United States. The children of U.S. soldiers and Vietnamese women, often called “Amerasians,” were looked down upon by the Vietnamese, and many of them immigrated to the United States.

Nixon promised $3.25 billion in reconstruction aid to Vietnam, but the aid was never granted. Neither Gerald Ford, who became president after Nixon’s resignation, nor Congress would assume any responsibility for the devastation of Vietnam. Instead, in 1975 Ford extended the embargo already in effect against North Vietnam to all of newly unified Vietnam. In the Foreign Assistance Appropriation Act of 1976, Congress forbade any assistance for Vietnam or Cambodia.

President Jimmy Carter attempted to resume relations with Vietnam in 1977, declaring that “the destruction was mutual.” Talks broke down, however, over the issue of American MIAs and over the promised reparations, especially after the Vietnamese released a copy of Nixon’s secret letter of 1973, which promised aid “without any preconditions.” Fearing that reparations would amount to an admission of wrongdoing, Congress added amendments to trade bills that also cut Vietnam off from international lending agencies like the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Normalization of relations was suspended, deepening the economic crisis facing Vietnam in the aftermath of the war’s destruction. The crisis was worsened by new wars with China and Cambodia in 1978 and 1979; China canceled any further aid to Vietnam in June 1978.

Cut off from most major sources of aid, the SRV increasingly relied on the Soviet Union for loans and technical advisers. Faced with widespread hunger and enormous health problems, the SRV placed an emphasis on restoring agricultural production. The government vigorously pursued Communist economic policy, seizing private property, collectivizing plantations, and nationalizing businesses. About 1 million civilians were forcibly moved from cities to new economic zones.

Mismanagement and corruption became common, and popular disillusion with the regime grew. At the Sixth Party Congress in 1986, the SRV leadership declared Communism a failed experiment and vowed radical change. Calling the reforms doi moi (economic renovation), the SRV opened Vietnam to capitalism. After the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the SRV leadership was forced to move further in this direction.

Stepping up efforts to find American MIAs and cooperating with World Bank and IMF guidelines for economic reform, Vietnam worked to improve relations with the United States. In 1994 President Bill Clinton lifted the trade embargo, and in 1995 the United States formally restored full diplomatic relations with Vietnam. This initiated a process of normalization that was completed in 2001 when the U.S. Congress approved an agreement that established normal trade relations with Vietnam.
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Coup d’état


Coup d’état, seizure of an existing government by a small group. This overthrow is sometimes accompanied by limited violence, as when the head of state is killed in the coup. A coup d'état involves relatively few members of the population, and these few frequently are military officers. Participants generally control strategic elements of the armed forces and police and have the cooperation of at least some civilian and political leaders.

For many years the coup d'état has been used to overthrow governments in Latin America. Poverty and illiteracy among the people and a long tradition of military leadership have made these governments especially susceptible to overthrow from within. This pattern now seems to be appearing in some of the newly independent nations of Africa.
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Golan Heights


Golan Heights, region in southwestern Syria, occupied by Israel since 1967. The Golan Heights covers 1,250 sq km (483 sq mi). The territory has been disputed between Israel and Syria since the Six-Day War of 1967.

The Golan Heights is a hilly, basalt plateau with a largely rocky terrain. A high escarpment overlooks Israel to the west and provides a vantage point over the city of Damascus and the southern Syrian plain to the north and east. In the northern part of the region is a mountain range that extends into Lebanon and rises to a peak of 2,814 m (9,232 ft) at Mount Hermon, the highest point on the Golan Heights. Mount Hermon is divided among Lebanon, Israel, Syria, and several United Nations (UN) demilitarized zones. The foothills surrounding Mount Hermon are used primarily as pastureland for livestock raising, while more fertile, agricultural land is located mainly in the south. The Golan Heights and its surrounding area contain various freshwater sources that are of great economic importance to Israel; these include the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias), a large reservoir located below the region's western boundary.

Prior to 1967 the Golan Heights was home to approximately 100,000 Syrians, many of whom were of Druze or Circassian ethnicity. The principal religions of the Golan were the Druze religion and the Sunni and Alawite sects of Islam. Much of the population was involved in supporting Syrian-army bases located in the region. When Israel drove the Syrian army from the Golan in the Six-Day War, most of the local population fled into Syria. Several thousand members of the Druze community remained, however, as well as a small number of Alawites. Today the Golan has a population of about 33,500 (2002 estimate).

This number includes about 15,000 Druze, 17,000 Israelis, and 1,500 Alawites. The Druze live in a number of towns and villages, particularly in Majdal Shams, the largest non-Jewish town in the Golan Heights. Much of the Druze and Alawite population is engaged in orchard agriculture, cattle grazing, and wage labor in Israeli communities. The Israelis live in approximately 32 agricultural communities in the southern Golan Heights. Many Israeli army officers stationed at military bases in the Golan Heights have settled their families in the government-planned town of Katzrin. Most of the Israeli population is involved in cereal, cotton, vegetable, and dairy farming and the region's growing wine industry.

In recent years, the Israeli government has made efforts to expand tourism in the Golan Heights. Local tourist attractions include the archaeological sites at Gamla, the Bāniyās Spring, an ancient synagogue in Katzrin, and the ruins at Hamat Gader, where ancient baths from natural hot springs have been rehabilitated. Another point of interest is the Valley of Tears, where one of the largest tank battles in history took place during the Arab-Israeli War of 1973. Scenic and recreational attractions in the Golan Heights include natural pools, waterfalls, gorges, and the ski slopes of Mount Hermon.

The Golan Heights became part of the French mandate of Syria following World War I (1914-1918), and the region was later passed to independent Syria. After the founding of Israel in 1948, Israelis started a number of kibbutzim, or farming cooperatives, in northern Israel near the Syrian border (see Kibbutz). Syrians fired on the settlements from fortified posts on the western ridge of the Golan. The dispute that ensued over the strategically important region was one of the factors that precipitated the Six-Day War of 1967. During the last two days of the war, Israeli armed forces attacked the Golan Heights. Most of the Syrian army and civilian population fled, and the area was immediately placed under Israeli military administration. In the years that followed, numerous Israeli settlements were established in the region on formerly Arab-held land.

Syria tried but failed to recapture the area in October 1973, when Syrian and Egyptian armies attacked Israel in the 1973 war. The Israeli army suffered heavy casualties in the surprise attack, but defeated the Arab forces, thereby gaining additional territory from Egypt and Syria. Part of the Golan Heights was demilitarized as a result of the disengagement agreements signed following the war. By the terms of these agreements, Al Qunayţirah, a former center of Circassian settlement destroyed in the fighting of 1967, was returned to Syria along with some of the additional land captured in 1973.

Since that time, a buffer zone between the two armies has been patrolled by UN forces. In 1981 Israel effectively annexed the Golan Heights by extending Israeli civil law to the region. Syria has refused to recognize Israeli authority in the region, as have most other countries.

Peace talks between Israel and Syria began in October 1991, centering largely on the status of the Golan Heights. By 1994 the negotiations were deadlocked. In March 1995 Israeli and Syrian leaders agreed to meet for a new round of talks in Washington, D.C. Israel offered to withdraw from the Golan over a four-year period, and Syria countered with a demand for an 18-month withdrawal. Neither side compromised significantly, and in March 1996, following several attacks on Israelis by fundamentalist Muslims, Israel suspended the talks.

The talks were further postponed after Israel's conservative Likud Party, which was far less likely to cede territory than its predecessor, won the country's May election. Whereas Syrian president Hafez al-Assad wanted to continue the talks from the point reached with Israel’s former leadership, Likud prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that future negotiations would have to start over from the beginning. Neither course was pursued, and negotiations were nonexistent during the tenure of the next Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak (1999-2001). Subsequent Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon shows little sign of willingness to compromise, and the same is true of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, who took office upon his father’s death in 2000.
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Post De Facto

De Facto


De Facto, in law, phrase used to signify the exercise of a power in spite of the absence of legal authority. De facto contrasts with de jure, which signifies the lawful exercise of a power. The phrase is applied when a person or group occupies public office or purports to exercise political or other authority without legal right.

In constitutional and international law, de facto means a power exercised but without established legal basis. It has been applied to a revolutionary government, such as the Continental Congress, which had no legal basis but which showed that its authority was effective by its victorious conduct of the American Revolution. Success in the war resulted in recognition of the independence of the 13 colonies and in de jure recognition of the Continental Congress by Britain and other countries. For various reasons, if a country wishes to enter into relations with a government, revolutionary or otherwise, but is unwilling to accord de jure recognition, it will generally accord de facto recognition.

In business law, a de facto corporation is one that is functioning and in pursuance of an effort made in good faith to organize a corporation within existing law. If a de facto corporation that has exercised corporate powers for a considerable period of time inadvertently omits a requirement for establishing a regular corporation, most courts hold that the corporation is entitled to practically the same rights and protection as a regularly constituted, or de jure, corporation.
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International Monetary Fund


I -INTRODUCTION
International Monetary Fund (IMF), international economic organization whose purpose is to promote international monetary cooperation to facilitate the expansion of international trade. The IMF operates as a United Nations specialized agency and is a permanent forum for consideration of issues of international payments, in which member nations are encouraged to maintain an orderly pattern of exchange rates and to avoid restrictive exchange practices. The IMF was established, along with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, at the UN Monetary and Financial Conference held in 1944 at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. The IMF began operations in 1947. Membership is open to all independent nations and included 183 countries in 2001.

II -ACTIVITIES
Members undertake to keep the IMF informed about economic and financial policies that impinge on the exchange value of their national currencies so that other members can make appropriate policy decisions. On joining the fund, each member is assigned a quota in special drawing rights (SDRs), the fund's unit of account, whose value is based on the weighted average value of five major currencies. (In October 2001 the SDR was worth about U.S. $1.29.) Each member's quota is an amount corresponding to its relative position in the world economy. As the world's leading economy, the United States has the largest quota. In 2001 the U.S. quota was about SDR 37.1 billion. The smallest quota, that of the Republic of Palau, was about SDR 3.1 million. The amount of the quota subscription determines how large a vote a member will have in IMF deliberations, how much foreign exchange it may withdraw from the fund, and how many SDRs it will receive in periodic allocations.

Members who have temporary balance-of-payments difficulties may apply to the fund for needed foreign currency from its pool of resources, to which all members have contributed through payment of their quota subscriptions. The member may use this foreign exchange for a certain time (up to about five years) to extricate itself from its balance-of-payments problem, after which the currency is to be returned to the IMF's pool of resources. The borrower pays a below-market rate of interest for the IMF resources it uses; the member whose currency is used receives almost all of these interest payments; the remainder goes to the fund for operating expenses.

III -ORGANIZATION
The board of governors, made up of leading monetary officials from each of the member nations, is the highest authority in the IMF. Day-to-day operations are the responsibility of the 24-member executive board, which represents member nations individually (for larger countries) or in groups. The managing director serves as chairperson of the executive board. The IMF has its main headquarters in Washington, D.C.
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Default Balance of Power

Balance of Power


I -INTRODUCTION
Balance of Power, theory and policy of international relations that asserts that the most effective check on the power of a state is the power of other states. In international relations, the term state refers to a country with a government and a population. The term balance of power refers to the relatively equal power capabilities of rival states or alliances. For example, the United States and the Soviet Union maintained equivalent arsenals of nuclear weapons in the 1970s and 1980s, which helped sustain a military balance of power.

The balance of power theory maintains that when one state or alliance increases its power or applies it more aggressively, threatened states will increase their own power in response, often by forming a counter-balancing coalition. For example, the rise of German power before and during World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945) triggered the formation of an anti-German coalition, consisting of the Soviet Union, Britain, France, the United States, and other countries.

II -SIGNIFICANCE TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
As a policy, balance of power suggests that states counter any threat to their security by allying with other threatened states and by increasing their own military capabilities. The policy of forming a geographically based coalition of states to surround and block an expansionist power is known as containment. For example, the United States followed a containment policy towards the Soviet Union after World War II by building military alliances and bases throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

As a theory, balance of power predicts that rapid changes in international power and status—especially attempts by one state to conquer a region—will provoke counterbalancing actions. For this reason, the balancing process helps to maintain the stability of relations between states.

A balance of power system functions most effectively when alliances are fluid, when they are easily formed or broken on the basis of expediency, regardless of values, religion, history, or form of government. Occasionally a single state plays a balancer role, shifting its support to oppose whatever state or alliance is strongest. Britain played this role in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, particularly in its relations with France, Russia, and Germany. China acted as a balancer during the Cold War, when it shifted its support between the Soviet Union and the United States.

A weakness of the balance of power concept is the difficulty of measuring power. Ultimately a state’s power derives from the size of its land mass, population, and its level of technology. But this potential power—measured roughly by a state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)—translates imperfectly into military capability. The effective use of military force depends on such elements as leadership, morale, geography, and luck. Furthermore, leaders’ misperceptions can seriously distort the calculation of power. During the Vietnam War (1959-1975), for example, U.S. presidents consistently underestimated the strength of the Vietnamese Communists because by conventional measures of power they were much weaker than the United States.

III -FROM ANCIENT TIMES TO WORLD WAR II
Historical examples of power balancing are found throughout history in various regions of the world, leading some scholars to characterize balance of power as a universal and timeless principle. During the Period of the Warring States in China (403-221 BC), the development of large, cohesive states accompanied the creation of irrigation systems, bureaucracies, and large armies equipped with iron weapons. These Chinese states pursued power through a constantly shifting network of alliances. In ancient Greece during the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC), the rising power of Athens triggered the formation of a coalition of city-states that felt threatened by Athenian power. The alliance, led by Sparta, succeeded in defeating Athens and restoring a balance of power among Greek cities.

In the 17th century the Habsburg dynasty, which ruled Austria and Spain, threatened to dominate Europe. During the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), a coalition that included Sweden, Britain, France, and the Netherlands defeated the rulers of the Habsburg Empire. Early in the 19th century, french emperor Napoleon I repeatedly made efforts to conquer large areas of Europe. A broad coalition of European states—including Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia—defeated France in a series of major battles that climaxed with Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The classical European balance of power system emerged thereafter in an alliance known as the Concert of Europe, organized in 1815 by Austrian statesman Klemens von Metternich.

This loose alliance between Britain, Russia, Austria, Prussia, and France ensured that a handful of great powers would coexist, with none able to dominate the others. Under this system, and with Britain playing a balancer role, peace largely prevailed in Europe during the 19th century. During World War II, Germany’s rising power, aggressive conquests, and alliance with Italy and Japan triggered yet another coalition of opposing states—notably the capitalist democracies of Britain and the United States, and the Communist Soviet Union.

IV -IN THE NUCLEAR AGE
The Cold War standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union shaped the global balance of power after World War II. Although an actual war between these two superpowers never occurred, the balance of power process instead took the form of a massive arms race, in which each superpower responded by adding to their military buildup. The possession of large arsenals of nuclear weapons by both the United States and the Soviet Union ensured that any potential war would prove disastrous for both.

Because of the threat to human survival posed by nuclear weapons, military strategists often referred to the balance of power as a “balance of terror.”
During the Cold War, the U.S. policy of containment encircled the Soviet Union with military and political alliances in Western Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. The major U.S. and Soviet military interventions of the Cold War—in Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan—took place in politically contested regions of the world where both superpowers jockeyed for influence. Small states sometimes benefited from the superpower competition. In the 1960s, for example, Cuba’s relations with the United States soured. At that time, Cuba allied itself with the Soviet Union and received large economic and military subsidies.

V -IN THE POST-COLD WAR ERA
The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world’s sole superpower. Balance of power theory suggests that without the Soviet threat the United States, as the dominant world power, will face difficulties in its relations with such states as China and the European powers. For example, in 1995 and 1996 France openly challenged U.S. actions or proposals on a range of issues. These included Middle East policy, the command structure of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the United Nations, world trade regulations, and responses to conflicts in Africa and the former Yugoslavia. At the same time, Russian-Chinese relations, which had been very hostile in the 1970s and 1980s, improved dramatically in the 1990s. This improvement occurred largely because both countries feared the predominant power of the United States.

In regional conflicts, balance of power continues to operate in a traditional manner in the post-Cold War era. For example, in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, aggression by Iraq catalyzed a broad alliance against that nation. In the future, the balance of power principle should continue to reduce the likelihood of aggression. Great powers such as China and Russia, along with smaller states such as Iraq and North Korea, generally understand that aggression creates new sources of resistance and is thus self-defeating.
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