July 18

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Jul 18, 1968:

Johnson meets Thieu in Honolulu

President Lyndon B. Johnson meets South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu in Honolulu to discuss relations between Washington and Saigon. Johnson reaffirmed his administration's commitment "to defend South Vietnam." Thieu stated that he had "no apprehensions at all" concerning the U.S. commitment. In a joint communique, Thieu further asserted that his government was determined "to continue to assume all the responsibility that the scale of forces of South Vietnam and their equipment will permit," thus tacitly accepting current U.S. efforts to "Vietnamize" the war. The two presidents also agreed that South Vietnam "should be a full participant playing a leading role in discussions concerning the substance of a final settlement" to the conflict. Johnson's successor, Richard Nixon, made "Vietnamization" one of the pillars of his Vietnam policy. Under the plan, he directed that the combat capability of the South Vietnamese armed forces be improved so that they could ultimately assume full responsibility for the war and U.S. forces could be withdrawn.

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