Page 004

[Image 1: Marine
Corps Historical
Collection. Between
27 January and 27 March 1973 the last American military forces
left South Vietnam. U.S. Army soldiers and U.S. Air Force
airmen board a plane bound for the United States while representatives
of the four-power Joint Military Commission observe.

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charges and countercharges of landgrabbing, deception, and deceit by both the North and South Vietnamese. Having little or no success, it merely served as a conduit for frustration and diplomatic infighting. The U.S., North Vietnam, South Vietnam, and Viet Cong representatives of the Four-Power group resolved little, leaving as a legacy to the Two-Power Joint Military Commission (South Vietnam and Viet Cong) and the International Commission of Control and Supervision unresolved problems, misguided efforts, and mutual distrust.3


The ICCS, virtually powerless, found enforcement of the Paris Peace Accords impossible. The North Vietnamese indifference and flagrant disregard of the peace terms so frustrated Canada that it gave proper notice and quit the commission on 31 July 1973. Announcement of the decision to withdraw came on the heels of the 15 July Viet Cong release of two Canadian observers whom the Communists had illegally seized and held captive since the 28th of June. After a personal request from President Richard M. Nixon to Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, Iran agreed to replace Canada on the ICCS and on 29 August its first observers arrived in South Vietnam. The new member soon learned what Canada and the other members of the ICCS already knew: some of the signatories to the Paris Peace Agreement had chosen to ignore their own words. Just prior to its departure from Southeast Asia, Canada charged that North Vietnam regularly had been violating Article 7 "... by moving thousands of troops into South Vietnam and that the infiltration was continuing on a 'massive' scale."4 The terms of that pan of the protocol allowed only a one-for-onc replacement of worn-out or damaged armaments, munitions, and war materials, and precluded anyone from introducing troops, military advisors, or military personnel including technical assistants into South Vietnam.5


The Communists argued that the United States did not adhere to the spirit of the Accords. General Tran Van Tra, the Viet Cong representative to the Four-Power Commission, maintained that the United States and South Vietnam attempted to use the agreement, "in accordance with their existing plans, ... to pacify, encroach, and build a strong army in order to change the balance of forces in their favor and gain



 

 









Page 4(The Bitter End)