From the Streets of Washington to the Roofs of Saigon: Domestic Politics and the Termination of the Vietnam War   [open pdf - 18MB]

From the thesis abstract: "This is a study of the termination of asymmetrical limited war. Its central thesis is that the major policy choices of a great state's leadership in the closing stages of such a war are best understood from an analysis of domestic politics. Two analytic tasks are undertaken to support this claim. The first task is to elaborate an institutional conception of how domestic politics influences policy making in asymmetrical limited war termination. An institutional view of domestic politics exposes the strong influence which domestic political motivations have on a President's foreign policy decisions and illuminates domestic political processes as powerful instruments which compel the President to respond to domestic imperatives, even in the face of certain external demands. The second analytic task is to defend this approach to the study of war termination against the challenge of structural realism. Wars seem particularly suited to structural-realist analyses because they are essentially contests of power. Knowing the distribution of power in the international system and the location of the belligerents within that system permits relatively certain predictions regarding the outcome of a conflict: strong nations win wars against weak nations. However, big nations don't always win their small wars."

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