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Although the agreement initiated a cease-fire that began the next day, the United States did not withdraw all of its troops until April 30, 1975, when the South Vietnamese surrendered to North Vietnam and the city of Saigon fell to the communists.
The conventional wisdom that prevailed in the years immediately following the fall of Saigon--and which dominates dialogue in many circles today--was that the Vietnam War was not only unnecessary, it also was unwinnable.
Part of the tragedy was that those U.S. policymakers who dogged the war, sent the poor and young into battle, never took the time to understand what it was all about. Five minutes of Vietnamese history could have taught lessons which, if learned, could have saved millions of lives.
UN: east141 PW: qwerty
Kissinger also notes some of the U.S. government's significant failures, including unrealistic military predictions, inconsistent political, economic and military policies and a failure to recognize "the nature of the conflict."