The World

The influential Prussian military theorist wrote about war as an extension of politics, and that theory is supported in these recordings. Here’s a highlight from April 15th, 1972: The National Security Advisor reported back to his boss after meeting with Soviet officials and they were speaking about a bombing campaign in North Vietnam. Kissinger tells Nixon that this miserable little country is not going to destroy two U.S. Presidents and Nixon says we’ll destroy Vietnam first. At one point Nixon asks about the progress of U.S. bombing raids. Kissinger says a million pounds of bombs were dropped in one area alone and Nixon sounds pleased with the news. They’re being punished, Nixon says. This analyst says what’s illuminating about this conversation is it shows how Nixon and Kissinger doggedly pursued a flawed strategy in Vietnam. He says the conversation also shows how much domestic politics had an effect on the war.

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