Friday, September 24, 2010

"X" Marks the Spot of Latest FRUS Volume

Another day, another new FRUS volume:

The Department of State released today Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976, Volume X, Vietnam, January 1973–July 1975. This specific volume covers U.S. policy towards Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from the signing of the Paris Peace Accords on January 27, 1973, to the fall of Phnom Penh and Saigon in April 1975. The final chapter covers the May 1975 SS Mayaguez incident.

This volume addresses the ending of the Vietnam war; a story central to the U.S. experience in the 20th century. Similar to other Foreign Relations volumes, this collection of documents emphasizes the formation of policy over day-to-day diplomacy. Several themes dominated U.S. policy and policy objectives in Indochina during this period: the relationship between force and diplomacy, the struggle between the President and Congress in the formation and implementation of U.S. policy, U.S. credibility in the world, and the limits of American power. These themes dictated the selection of documents in this volume. Soon after the fall of Saigon in April 1975, American officials in several agencies began looking back at U.S. policy toward, and political and military actions, in Vietnam in an effort to understand and learn from the American experience in Indochina beginning in the early 1960s. This volume places those analyses within the broader documentary context.

This volume concludes with documentation covering the May 1975 seizure by Cambodia of the SS Mayaguez and the successful recovery by U.S. forces of the ship and its crew. The documents cover the crisis deliberations in Washington among civilian and military officials that led to President Ford’s decision to use military force to recover the ship.

You can download Volume X (here) courtesy of the Office of the Historian's website, and read it from the comfort of your own home or favorite Wi-Fi hotspot. Is that the greatest thing ever, or what?

No comments: