The Impact of U.S. Domestic Law on the Last Days of American Presence in Vietnam

by T. M. Carhart

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A discussion of Public Law 93-50 forbidding expenditure of U.S. funds for combat in Cambodia, Laos, North Vietnam and South Vietnam after 15 August 1973, and the War Powers Resolution limiting the President's power to engage U.S. troops, and how these laws affected U.S. actions during the collapse of South Vietnam following President Thieu's order of troop withdrawal from the Central Highlands in March 1975. This study examines the military situation as it developed chronologically, based primarily on reports published in the [New York] [Times]. It attempts to provide insight into the limitations placed on the American effort by the two laws and explores the latitude the President may have had in any proposed support or rescue effort.

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