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Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Vietnam, officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea, referred to as East Sea, to the east. With a population of over 86 million, Vietnam is the 13th most populous country in the world.

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    Socialist Republic of Vietnam                     

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  • Laird did not explain what could possibly have happened in ten days to bring about the need for another cut, or why he had not informed the White House of the scope of his intentions to begin with. It was clear that he was using European troop reductions to force the President’s hand on increasing the defense budget. To add a bizarre touch, Laird admitted that the Joint Chiefs of Staff believed that these cuts would pose additional risks for the United States: “I agree with the Chiefs but believe that these cuts must be made, given our commitments in SEA [Southeast Asia] and the current tight fiscal situation.” There was no doubt that the Commander-in-Chief was being blackmailed either to increase his defense budget (which he was reluctant to do because of Congressional opposition) or to take the money from Southeast Asia, thereby reducing his negotiating flexibility in Vietnam.

    Henry A. KissingerWhite House Years

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