After more than 30 years of continuous conflict in Indochina, the guns of war have at last fallen silent. The events of those three decades, however, will leave an indelible mark upon the conduct of world affairs for years to come. From the beginnings of U.S. involvement in Indochina, American officials defined "winning" as preserving South Vietnamese independence. With the fall of Saigon, therefore, the United States has been defeated in its purpose - thwarted by a third-rate agrarian power.
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