President Richard Nixon, on Wednesday night (26 April) in Washington, ordered the withdrawal of 20,000 more U.
GV White House
CU Nixon speaking
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 2: NIXON: "First, I have decided that Vietnamisation has proved itself sufficient, so that we can continue our programme of withdrawing American forces without detriment to our overall goal of insuring South Vietnam's survival as an independent country. And consequently, tonight, I am announcing that over the next two months twenty-thousand more Americans will be brought home from Vietnam. This decision has the full approval of President Thieu and of General Abrams. It will bring our troop ceiling down to forty-nine thousand by July one, a reduction of half of million men since this administration came into office. Second, I have instructed Ambassador Perter to return to the negotiating table in Paris tomorrow, but with one very specific purpose in mind.
We are not resuming the Paris talks simply in order to hear empty propaganda and bombest from the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong delegates. But to get on with the constructive business of making peace. We are resuming the Paris talks with the firm expectation that productive talks leading to rapid progress will follow through all available channels. As far as we are concerned the first order of business will be to get the enemy to halt his invasion of South Vietnam and to return the American prisoners of war. And finally I have ordered that our air and naval attacks on military installations in North Vietnam be continued until the North Vietnamese stop their offensive in South Vietnam. I have flatly rejected the proposal that we stop the bombing of North Vietnam as a condition for returning to the negotiating table. They sold that package to the United States once before, in 1968. And we're not going to buy it again in 1972."
THE SOUND ON FILM IS A PORTION OF MR. NIXON'S SPEECH. A TRANSCRIPT FOLLOWS.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: President Richard Nixon, on Wednesday night (26 April) in Washington, ordered the withdrawal of 20,000 more U.S. troops from Indochina by July 1st. In a televised speech broadcast to the nation, the President also said that the United States was going back to the suspended peace talks in Paris on Thursday (27 April), "with the firm expectation that productive talks leading to rapid progress will follow through all available Channels."
The new withdrawal from Vietnam will reduce the total force there to 49,000 men, a reduction of half a million since Mr. Nixon came to office in 1969. The withdrawal rate of 10,000 men a month represents a slow down of the pull-out programme, which earlier this year ran at a rate of about 23,000 men a month.
in what some observers regard as an attack on Congressional critics of his war policy, he said his programme was designed to bring about a secure peace in Indochina and to tell the world that the United States intended to honours its commitments.
Mr. Nixon, who later left for a long weekend in Florida, quotedthe American commander in Vietnam, General Creighton Abrams as saying that several more weeks of very hard fighting were ahead in Vietnam, but that if the U.S. continued to provide air and sea support, the communists would fail.