U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Other State Department Archive SitesU.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Home Issues & Press Travel & Business Countries Youth & Education Careers About State Video
Bureau of Public Affairs
Office of the Historian
Timeline of U.S. Diplomatic History



The war in Vietnam continued into the presidency of Richard M. Nixon, who initially sought a resolution to the conflict in Southeast Asia by decreasing the number of troops on the ground while extending air raids into Cambodia and Laos. However, the combination of domestic anti-war fervor and Congressional determination to extend limits on Presidential war power meant that finding an end to the conflict was a political necessity. The administration introduced the policy of "Vietnamization," a program designed to shift the responsibility of the war from the U.S. to the South Vietnamese, allowing the United States to gradually withdraw its troops from Vietnam. Although this process was not successful, the United States negotiated a peace agreement in 1973 and withdrew from South Vietnam, which soon fell to the communist regime in the north. As the Nixon Administration worked to end the Vietnam War, National Security Adviser and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger worked toward achieving détente with the Soviet Union. Arms limitation talks with the Soviets reduced military spending and increased the sense of security, and established formal commitments to future discussions between the two powers. President Nixon and Secretary Kissinger also reached out to the other major communist power and cleared the way for future American recognition of the People's Republic of China by establishing an American policy toward Taiwan.

Key Issues and Events

  • Détente and Arms Control, 1969-1979
  • Vietnamization, the Nixon Doctrine, and the Bombing of Cambodia, 1969
  • Nigeria and the Succession of the Republic of Biafra, 1967-1970
  • Bombing of Laos, 1971
  • South Asia Crisis and the Founding of Bangladesh, 1971
  • Nixon & Secretary of the Treasury Connally's "new economic policy"
  • Rapprochement with China, 1971-1972
  • SALT I Agreements, 1969-72
  • Arab-Israeli (Yom Kippur) War, 1973
  • Second Arab Oil Embargo, 1973-1974
  • Ending the Vietnam War, 1973-1975
  • The Angola Crisis, 1974-75
  • Kissinger and Shuttle Diplomacy, 1974
  • Helsinki Final Act, 1975
  • The Kissinger Study of Southern Africa: National Security Study Memorandum 39, 1976

    U.S. Department of State
    USA.govU.S. Department of StateWhat's New  |   Frequent Questions  |   Contact Us  |   Email this Page  |   Subject Index  |   Search
    The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
    About state.gov  |   Privacy Notice  |   FOIA  |   Copyright Information  |   Other U.S. Government Information