November 16

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Nov 16, 1970:

Ky defends South Vietnamese operations in Cambodia

South Vietnamese Vice President Nguyen Cao Ky, speaking at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, says Cambodia would be overrun by communist forces "within 24 hours" if South Vietnamese troops currently operating there are withdrawn.

Ky described the Cambodian operation of the previous spring (the so-called "Cambodian Incursion," in which President Nixon had sent U.S. and South Vietnamese soldiers into Cambodia to destroy North Vietnamese base camps) as the "turning point" of the war. He said that as a result of that operation, the enemy had been forced to revert to low-level guerrilla warfare. Ky also reported that his government was concerned that the Nixon administration might be yielding to the "pressure of the antiwar groups" and pulling out the remaining U.S. troops too quickly.

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