ARMED FORCES: A Strong but Risky Show of Force

"Have been fired on and boarded by Cambodian armed forces. Vessel being escorted to unknown Cambodian port."

When that last distress call crackled over the air from the beleaguered U.S. merchant ship Mayaguez in the Gulf of Siam last week, it set in motion a dramatic, controversial train of events that significantly changed the image of U.S. power in the world—and the stature of President Gerald Ford. By calling up U.S. military might and successfully forcing the Cambodians to surrender the ship and free the 39-man crew, Ford acted more firmly and decisively than at any other time in his...

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