THE WAR: Waiting for Another Tet

It is mid-February. Shortly before President Nixon flies off on his historic visit to China, all hell suddenly breaks loose in South Viet Nam. From the DMZ to the Delta, North Vietnamese troops raid towns, rocket cities, throw Saigon's forces into confusion. In the vulnerable Central Highlands, the Communists capture the inland city of Kontum and then sweep on to the seacoast, slicing the country in two.

The fighting crackles on for days. The jittery Laotian government starts negotiations with the Communists and withdraws the 1963 "request" that permits the U.S. to...

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