Nixon, Kissinger, and the “Decent Interval”
Nixon, Kissinger, and the "Decent Interval"
In this conversation, President Richard Nixon and his National Security Adviser, Henry Kissinger, discuss a time frame for pulling American troops out of Vietnam. President Nixon acknowledges that South Vietnam will probably fall to the North but he and Kissinger want to make sure that its collapse does not negatively impact the 1972 presidential election or the Nixon administration’s foreign policy. Kissinger advises that they need a “formula” to hold South Vietnam together until which time the public not only looses interest in the matter but that it also holds Saigon, and not the Nixon administration, responsible for the political and military defeat.
Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin's record of conversation with Kissinger and Nixon, May 14, 1969. Source: George Washington University.