March 18, 2013 1:45 pm
Nixon Prolonged Vietnam War for Political Gain—And Johnson Knew About It, Newly Unclassified Tapes
In 1968, the Paris Peace talks, intended to put an end to the 13-year-long Vietnam War, failed because an aide working for then-Presidential candidate Richard Nixon convinced the South Vietnamese to walk away from the dealings, says a new report by the BBC’s David Taylor. By the late 1960s Americans had been involved in the the Vietnam War for nearly a decade, and the ongoing conflict was an incredibly contentious issue, says PBS:
In 1967, with American troop strength in Vietnam reaching 500,000, protest against U.S. participation in the Vietnam War had grown stronger as growing numbers of Americans questioned whether the U.S. war effort could succeed or was morally justifiable. They took their protests to the streets in peace marches, demonstrations, and acts of civil disobedience. Despite the country’s polarization, the balance of American public opinion was beginning to sway toward “de-escalation” of the war.
Nixon’s Presidental campaign needed the war to continue, since Nixon was running on a platform that opposed the war. The BBC:
Nixon feared a breakthrough at the Paris Peace talks designed to find a negotiated settlement to the Vietnam war, and he knew this would derail his campaign