1964 – North Vietnamese Foreign Minister Xuan Thuy writes to Communist China and other signers of the Geneva Agreements and urges them ‘to demand that the US government give up its…provocation and sabotage against North Vietnam.’
1965 – President Johnson appeals to the United nations to persuade North Vietnam to negotiate a peace.
1971 – As announced by the North Vietnamese Paris peace talks delegation, the Pathet Lao renew their peace plan proposal which includes an immediate end to US military involvement and bombing raids in Laos. Laotian Premier Souvanna Phouma rejects the plan by calling for Vientiane as the site of the proposed Laotian peace talks and by calling for the prior withdrawal of North Vietnamese troops from Laos.
1964 – A bomb explodes in an airport hangar near where General Westmoreland is addressing US servicemen returning to the United States. Two servicemen are injured, Westmoreland is not.
1965 – Hanoi Radio announces that the Vietcong now have ‘death lists,’ headed by the names of Ambassador Taylor, his deputy Alexis Johnson, Premier Ky, and General Thieu.
1965 – General Westmoreland is given formal authority to commit US forces to battle when he decides that they are necessary to strengthen relative positions of the “GVN” (Government of Vietnam) forces.
1967 – An unarmed US Phantom jet strays off course and is shot down by Chinese planes near Hainan Island. The two crewmen eject safely and are rescued from the China Sea by a US Navy helicopter.
1968 – Speaking on behalf of the South Vietnamese House of Representatives, Duong Van Ba demands that Saigon be given a role in the Paris peace talks, asserting that ‘we should tell the United States government and the United States people that we suspect that there is now a plot to sell out South Vietnam to the Communists.’
1968 – Cyrus Vance, deputy US delegate to the peace talks, seeks to break a continuing impasse in the negotiations by appealing to North Vietnam for some sign that it is taking steps to scale down the level of military violence. Although this is the first time that US negotiators have urged military reciprocity in such broad terms, Xuan Thuy rejects the initiative and repeats Hanoi’s demand that all US bombing raids on North Vietnam be unconditionally terminated. Thuy also insists that the Saigon government be replaced by a coalition regime committed to a neutral foreign policy and eventual reunification.
1970 – Secretary of State Laird affirms the US plans to continue bombing raids inside Cambodia after 30 June. Laird makes clear the ‘primary emphasis’ of the raids will be the denial of routes for enemy troops and supplies, but refuses to rule out air support for allied ground combat troops.
1972 – The United States establishes a 25-mile-wide buffer zone along Vietnam’s border with China, within which it will not bomb.
1950 – President Truman announces he is accelerating the program of military aid for Vietnam he began in April. This includes a military mission and military advisors. Aid is funneled through Paris. The United States has been indirectly supporting a buildup of an anti-Communist Vietnamese Army since 146. Fifteen million dollars is granted in military aid to the French for the war in Indochina on 26 July. By November 1952, the United States will be carrying between one half and one third of the financial burden for the Indochina War.
1963 – President Kennedy appoints Henry Cabot Lodge, his former Republican political opponent, to succeed Nolting as ambassador to Vietnam. In Washington the Kennedy administration begins seriously speculating on a coup against Diem.
1968 – LTC Richard A. McMahon denounces the body count as a ‘dubious and dangerous’ method of determining the enemy’s combat potential.
1968 – Prince Souvanna Phouma declares that, until North Vietnam agrees to withdraw its forces from Laos, the United States should continue to reject Hanoi’s demands for a bombing halt.
1969 – US sources in Saigon say that North Vietnamese infiltration into South Vietnam in January-May is 40% lower than the corresponding period in 1968.
1969 – A Gallup Poll shows that 42% of the American people favor a faster withdrawal of US troops than has been ordered by President Nixon, while 16% favor a slower rate. 29% favor a total withdrawal, 61% are opposed.
1969 – After several days of fighting around the US Special Forces base at Benhet, a 1,500-man South Vietnamese force begins new sweeps of the area. US forces remain in an advisory role and supply only air and artillery support. The US command considers the Benhet campaign a test of the ability of the South Vietnamese forces to stand up against the North Vietnamese and Vietcong.
1968 – South Vietnamese Premier, Tran Van Huong expresses concern that, because of its impatience to end the war, the United States is making too many concessions at the peace talks, behavior which the North Vietnamese interpret as a sign of weakness.
1972 – President Nixon agrees to the resumption of peace talks in Paris ‘on the assumption that the North Vietnamese are prepared to negotiate in a constructive and serious way.’ Talks will begin again on 13 July.
1973 – Congress agrees that bombing in Cambodia can continue until 15 August, after which spending for any military activity in Indochina must be approved by Congress.
1978 – Vietnam becomes a member of Comecon (The Council of Mutual Economic Assistance), the Soviet-Bloc East European economic community.
1958 – The Communists have formed a coordinated command structure in the eastern Mekong Delta. Most of the 37 companies formed in October 1957 are located in the western Mekong Delta.
1965 – US forces in Vietnam are assigned to operate under the so-called enclave strategy. The marines are now at Danang, Phubai, and Chulai, and the Army at Vungtau. US forces are expected to defend these coastal areas, leaving ARVN troops to take the offensive in the rest of the country.
1966 – Congressional reaction to the Hanoi-Haiphong air attacks of the previous day ranges from applause to denunciation. In voicing his approval, Senator Richard Russell (R-GA) states that the raid will reduce American casualties. Sixteen Democratic Representatives issue a joint statement declaring that the expanded air strikes commit the US to ‘a profoundly dangerous policy of brinksmanship’ which challenges China. Peking, meanwhile calls the raids a serious escalation of the war, warning that it is prepared for any eventuality.
1967 – Several sources report attacks by US planes on foreign ships in Haiphong harbor. The Soviet government charges that a second Russian merchant vessel, Mikhail Frunze, was bombed by US planes in Haiphong on June 29. A protest is delivered to the US embassy in Moscow on June 30. The North Vietnamese news agency reports that two other foreign ships were also struck.
1971 – In an attempt to knock out Communist rocket emplacements that have been shelling US and South Vietnamese bases south of the DMZ during the past two weeks, 14 US F-4 Phantom fighters hit the North Vietnamese region of the DMZ.