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Clark CliffordThe Wise Man of Washington$
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John Acacia

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125510

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125510.001.0001

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October Surprise

October Surprise

(p.314) 11 October Surprise
Clark Clifford

John Acacia

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter discusses the events leading up to the October Surprise. Clark Clifford suggested that there were two possible courses of action: postpone the bombing pause and wait to hear what Nguyen Van Thieu had to say, or simply inform him that the United States was going ahead with the bombing pause anyway. Despite Thieu's stonewalling, Lyndon B. Johnson decided to go ahead with the bombing halt anyway. He planned to announce the decision on television that evening, but he scheduled a conference call with the presidential candidates to inform them first. Speaking on television that evening the president announced that he had ordered a complete halt of all bombardment of North Vietnam. The role of Clifford during the Vietnam War is especially significant because of the insight it sheds on the influence of domestic politics on foreign policy.

Keywords:   October Surprise, Clark Clifford, bombing, Nguyen Van Thieu, United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, North Vietnam, Vietnam War, politics, foreign policy

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