Lien-Hang Nguyen : Who Called the Shots in Hanoi?

[ndlr] Le Viêt-Nam en guerre pendant l’année 1967 : une vue de Hanoi. Signalons cet excellent article de l’historienne Lien-Hang Nguyen.

As any account of combat in the Vietnam War will tell you, America fought an “elusive enemy”: guerrillas who would strike and then disappear; battalion commanders who refused to engage in open battles. But there’s more to the cliché than most people realize. Even by 1967, America’s military, intelligence and civilian leaders had no real idea who was actually calling the shots in Hanoi.

To some extent, this is what the North wanted — the impression that decisions were made collectively, albeit under the gentle guiding hand of President Ho Chi Minh. But the American confusion also, inadvertently, reflected the messy, factionalized reality of North Vietnamese politics, one that historians are only now coming to grasp. Thanks to the slow if capricious process of historical declassification, the publications of renegade memoirs and histories, the dissemination of “open letters” by disgruntled former leaders, and the careful and painstaking research and analysis by Vietnam specialists, we now have a better understanding of who was on top in Hanoi and what battles he waged to get there.

Lire la suite / Read more : The New York Times, The Opinion Pages, 14/02/2017.

Lien-Hang Nguyen is a professor of history at Columbia and the author of the forthcoming “Tet 1968: The Battles That Changed the Vietnam War and the Global Cold War.”

Image « à la une » ; Ho Chi Minh, le président de la RDVN et Le Duan, le secrétaire général du Parti des Travailleurs du Viêt-Nam [futur PCV] à Hanoi.