Interview with Clark M. Clifford, 1981

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Clark Clifford served as Lyndon Johnson’s Secretary of Defense. He discusses the effects of Eisenhower’s “domino theory” on his initial thinking about Vietnam and how this changed after he visited the country. He recalls behind–the-scenes efforts to convince the President to pursue peace after the Tet Offensive, and recalls Johnson’s announcement that he would not run for re-election in March of 1968. Finally, he describes the attitudes of the South Vietnamese toward American involvement and characterizes the war as, in his opinion, a mistake.