EVER since President Nixon announced last June that he planned to begin bringing U.S. troops home from Viet Nam, Washington has waited anxiously for some sign of a reciprocal move by Hanoi. In the U.S., Nixon's Viet Nam position rests heavily on some form of favorable response from the North. So far, the North Vietnamese have not obliged. Last week, in the wake of a presidential decision to delay further withdrawals until Hanoi's position becomes clearer, a sharp debate broke out at the highest levels of the Nixon Administration over the enemy's intentions and the appropriate U.S. response.

The exchange was touched...

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