The Soviet Union and the Vietnam War

Ilya V. Gaiduk, Author, I. V. Gaiduk, Author Ivan R. Dee Publisher $28.5 (320p) ISBN 978-1-56663-103-7
Based partly on recently released archival documents, this noteworthy, nuanced study challenges previous views on Soviet policy toward the Vietnam War. Gaiduk, a Russian historian based in Moscow, reveals that in 1971, the Kremlin drew up plans to make Vietnam the U.S.S.R.'s main channel for Soviet influence in Southeast Asia. Nevertheless, the Kremlin was apprehensive that the conflict might spread to other regions and develop into an East-West confrontation or a nuclear disaster. Consequently, Soviet leaders adopted a two-pronged policy, supplying economic and military aid to Hanoi on the one hand, but also making strenuous behind-the-scenes efforts to convince both North and South Vietnam of the need for a negotiated settlement. Another revelation is that North Vietnamese communist leaders, fearful of jeopardizing aid from Moscow, clandestinely kept Soviet diplomats in Paris informed of the contents of private meetings with Henry Kissinger. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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