Alumni in the News In the News Students in the News

March 11, 2015 at 4:17 pm

History Grad Publishes in Prestigious Diplomatic History

Ohio University alum David Prentice authored an article on “Choosing ‘the Long Road’: Henry Kissinger, Melvin Laird, Vietnamization, and the War over Nixon’s Vietnam Strategy” in the March 2015 edition of Diplomatic History.

Prentice earned an M.A. in 2009 and a Ph.D. in History in 2013, along with a Contemporary History Certificate, from the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University. He is an adjunct instructor at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith.

Diplomatic History is the most prestigious scholarly journal and has the widest circulation of any periodical in international history.

Abstract: Focused on Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, and the Paris negotiations, scholars have overlooked Melvin Laird’s role as secretary of defense though his Vietnamization ended America’s presence in the ground war. Prentice argues that Laird was Vietnamization’s architect and that in 1969 he proved critical in the formation of Nixon’s Vietnam strategy. That year, Nixon and Kissinger devised an elaborate plan to threaten and then launch a bombing campaign against North Vietnam to compel its capitulation. Laird contended the domestic front would not tolerate such a mad scheme. Instead, he developed what became America’s exit strategy, Vietnamization—the strategy of improving South Vietnamese military capabilities while withdrawing U.S. troops. Through Laird’s efforts, Vietnamization replaced Kissinger’s strategy to halt troop withdrawals and use unrelenting military force against North Vietnam. By the end of 1969, Nixon sided with Laird, hoping that Vietnamization could win the war at home and abroad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *