The Absolute Weapon and the Unwinnable War

The United States never used nuclear weapons in the Vietnam war but American leaders did think about it. This article brings together for the first time the evidence regarding when, where, and why presidents and generals mulled over using these ultimate weapons, and how this never happened. The 1968 Battle of Khe Sanh and the 1972 “Nixon Shock” attacks on North Vietnam figure prominently. The heady idea of resorting to the absolute weapon in Vietnam tempted American leaders, who fortunately turned away from this course. Read why.

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