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Abstract

An essay written in April 1972 on General Giap and the North Vietnamese 1972 gamble for a telling victory. The offensive that began in April is not in the protracted-warfare style projected by Ho Chi Minh. It is an all-out effort that sacrifices all economic development at home and creates a drain on the North that cannot be indefinitely maintained. Not only has this made the nation dependent on its allies for the basic necessities of life; it has also forced the army to draft skilled workers, university students, and the sons of party leaders. If the gamble is won, Giap's prestige will be boundless, but if not, the nation may well be bankrupted, deprived of its elite, and rendered vulnerable to pressures from its backers.

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