Why the North Vietnamese Will Keep Fighting

by Brian Michael Jenkins

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Abstract

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.

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