Lead: Given all the broken promises it is surprising that South Vietnam survived as long as it did.
Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.
Content: In 1969 newly elected President Richard Nixon faced a decision. Over a half million U.S. troops were involved in Vietnam. The war was not winnable. Absent an invasion of the North or the unlikely chance that North Vietnam would give up its attempt to absorb the South, America would continue to use up men and materiel hopelessly shoring up a regime in the South many considered hardly better than the one seeking to replace it. At home the war was unpopular. Some were opposed to the fighting on general terms, but most Americans were frustrated at the continuing hemorrhage of blood and treasure in a conflict that was going nowhere. Democracies are capable of great sacrifices in wartime, but continuing public support requires that the purposes of the war be very clear and the ultimate goal be to win. The sooner the better. Nixon knew he could not deliver a victory and therefore was going to have to break America's promises to Vietnam and pull out the troops.