President Nixon's Foreign Policy Successes and Failures

             Although President Richard Nixon is known more for the Watergate
             scandal and as the only US President to have resigned from office, he was
             responsible for introducing a number of bold and innovative foreign policy
             When Nixon took over the office of US President in 1969, the Vietnam
             War was the main issue in the country. During his election campaign, Nixon
             had promised to bring the American soldiers home. He started to implement a
             "Vietnamization" policy aimed at a gradual withdrawal of US troops from
             Vietnam while encouraging greater involvement of South Vietnam in the war.
             However, Nixon desired that the US should not be perceived as having lost
             the war and "peace should be achieved with honor." These contradictory aims
             led to his escalation of the War in April 1970 when the invasion of
             Cambodia was authorized, supposedly to pursue the North Vietnamese forces.
             By the time Nixon finally pulled out of Vietnam in 1973, thousands of
             additional Vietnamese and American soldiers had died. The US was also
             perceived to have lost the war disastrously and Nixon gained little by
             delaying the withdrawal. His handling of the Vietnam War can be considered
             Nixon was more successful in other foreign policy initiatives. By
             basing the US foreign policy on "realist" rather than "moral" principles,
             Nixon pursued a policy of détente and developed more cordial relations with
             the Soviet Union. This resulted in signing of important anti-ballistic
             missile (ABM) and SALT treaties between the two super-powers and lowered
             the Cold War tensions. Nixon's greatest foreign policy success was the
             development of relations with Communist China. Until his historic visit to
             Mainland China in 1972, any dealings with the Communist Chinese regime were
             considered to be taboo in the United States; therefore Nixon's initiative

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