South Viet Nam: The Curious Passivity

Departing Hanoi last week, Soviet Envoy Aleksandr Shelepin proclaimed that the Soviets, as a result of his week of talks with Ho & Co., will "support and assist the Vietnamese with all their might in consolidating the defense potential of North Viet Nam." Carefully left unsaid was whether the Kremlin troubleshooter had promised Hanoi significantly more arms for the war or urged an arm's-length look at the possibility of a negotiated peace. Or both.

Whatever the case, U.S. officials have been struck by the curious passivity of North Vietnamese troops in recent...

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