The Woodrow Wilson Center Press
Confronting Vietnam: Soviet Policy toward the Indochina Conflict, 1954-1963
Cold War International History Project Series
Based on extensive research in the Russian archives, this book examines the Soviet approach to the Vietnam conflict between the 1954 Geneva conference on Indochina and late 1963, when the overthrow of the South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem and the assassination of John F. Kennedy radically transformed the conflict.
The author finds that the USSR attributed no geostrategic importance to Indochina and did not want the crisis there to disrupt detente. Initially, the Russians had high hopes that the Geneva accords would bring years of peace in the region. Gradually disillusioned, they tried to strengthen North Vietnam, but would not support unification of North and South. By the early 1960s, however, they felt obliged to counter the American embrace of an aggressively anti-Communist regime in South Vietnam and the hostility of its former ally, the People's Republic of China. Finally, Moscow decided to disengage from Vietnam, disappointed that its efforts to avert an international crisis there had failed.
What People are Saying
"The subject is intrinsically important. The best features of the book are Gaiduk's utilization of archival documents. I found the materials on Geneva and Laos to be truly fascinating--I was learning as I turned each page."--Larry Berman, University of California, Davis, and author of No Peace, No Honor:Nixon, Kissinger, and Betrayal in Vietnam.
"From the time of the war itself, jounalists and scholars have attempted to decipher Soviet policy toward the conflicts in Vietnam and Laos from printed sources, mostly the Soviet press and speeches of top Soviet leaders. This is the first work solidly grounded in Soviet archival material. It will immediately supplant all prior studies on the subject."--George Herring, University of Kentucky
Chapter 1. The Origins
Chapter 2. To Divide or Not to Divide
Chapter 3. Making Peace at Geneva
Chapter 4. From Support to Cooperation
Chapter 5. Neither Peace nor War
Chapter 6. If the Fractured Friendship Collapses
Chapter 7. Crisis in Laos
Chapter 8. Back to Geneva
Chapter 9. A Disposition to War