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Abstract

Written as a report which might be filed from Saigon and Hanoi two years from now, a hypothetical scenario of what could happen in Vietnam between now and 1975. A political struggle continues after the ceasefire. While junior officers make deals with the Viet Cong, Thieu is overthrown by his own generals. Despite the formation of a coalition government in Saigon and nationwide local elections, South Vietnam remains unpacified. Fighting continues between right wing irreconcilables, Viet Cong holdouts, local warlords, and simple bandits. Meanwhile in North Vietnam, Party and Army leaders confront one another on the issue of military strategy. Thieu's fall proves the Party to be right. The Army turns its attention to the Laotian and Cambodian campaigns. The postwar letdown is successfully countered by a major propaganda and disciplinary campaign against "capitalist heresies" and "economic saboteurs." In foreign relations, North Vietnam turns away from the Soviet Union, disagrees with China over the futures of Laos and Cambodia, and moves closer to the United States.

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.

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