Richard M. Nixon: Address to the Nation on the Situation in Southeast Asia

(1970)

On April 30, 1970, President Richard Nixon delivered a major televised address about the war in Vietnam. The Address to the Nation on the Situation in Southeast Asia contained two primary announcements. One was to remind the nation that under the policy of “Vietnamization”—that is, of turning as many of the war's combat operations as possible over to South Vietnamese troops—the United States was withdrawing 150,000 troops (out of nearly 400,000) from South Vietnam.


The other announcement turned out to be a bombshell. Running along South Vietnam's western border is the nation of Cambodia. During the Vietnam War, Cambodia was a neutral nation. However, Communist North Vietnam declined to recognize Cambodia's neutrality and established numerous sanctuaries and bases for its troops along the Cambodian side of the border. These troops could make hit-and-run incursions into South Vietnam and then flee over the border to safety, secure in the belief that the United States and...

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Richard M. Nixon (Library of Congress)

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