In December 1968, only weeks after his election, Nixon names Henry Kissinger as his national security advisor. The appointment will prove to be the most consequential of his presidency. The two men barely know each other, but Kissinger moves swiftly and brilliantly to make himself the linchpin – some would say the architect – of Nixon’s enormously ambitious foreign policy agenda. Immediately, and with the new president’s blessing, Kissinger marginalizes both State and Defense, concentrating the making of US foreign policy within the White House. The first challenge: how to force the implacable North Vietnamese leadership back to the negotiating table. By late January ’69, a plan is in place: Operation Menu, a massive and completely secret bombing assault, not on Vietnam but on North Vietnamese army sanctuaries in neighboring (and neutral) Cambodia. Over the next eight years, the U.S. will drop more bomb tonnage on Cambodia than the combined Allied forces dropped in all of World War II. While the bombing remains largely a secret in the U.S., it fails to move the needle on negotiations with the North. By the fall of ’69, the lack of progress has re-energized the anti-war movement, which mobilizes a wave of demonstrations across the country. In response, Nixon takes his case to the country, with the Silent Majority speech, which will come to be remembered as perhaps the most effective address of his presidency.