Some factors explaining why the North Vietnamese will probably not abandon the war. Arguments in favor of its continuation are formidable and are based on the Confucian upbringing and Communist ideology of Hanoi's leaders, the historical experience of the Vietnamese, and the reluctance of old men in Hanoi to give up a course of action that has been the mission of their entire adult lives. Their losses may not be unacceptable to the North Vietnamese, and the prize, if they win, is great. Abandoning the war involves great political risks for Hanoi's leaders. The question of what to do with the North Vietnamese army if the war is concluded may pose a dilemma.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.