Nixon Cambodian Speech : Transcription of Speech
The Cambodian Campaign (also known as the Cambodian Incursion) was a series of military operations conducted in eastern Cambodia during mid-1970 by the United States (U.S.) and the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) during the Vietnam War. These invasions were a result of policy of President Richard Nixon whose decision it was to invade. A total of 13 major operations were conducted by the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) between 29 April and 22 July and by U.S. forces between 1 May and 30 June.
The objective of the campaign was the defeat of the approximately 40,000 troops of the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) and the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NLF, also known as Viet Cong) who were ensconced in the eastern border regions of Cambodia. As great a prize as the defeat of these forces was the possibility of the occupation and destruction of large communist base areas and sanctuaries, which had been protected by Cambodian neutrality since their establishment in 1966. As far as the U.S. was concerned, such a course of action would provide a shield behind which the policy of Vietnamization and the withdrawal of U.S. forces from South Vietnam could proceed unmolested.
A change in the Cambodian government allowed a window of opportunity for the destruction of the base areas in 1970 when Prince Norodom Sihanouk was deposed and replaced by pro-American General Lon Nol. Allied military operations failed to eliminate many communist troops or to capture their elusive headquarters, known as the Central Office for South Vietnam (COSVN), but the haul of captured material in Cambodia prompted claims of success and victory which remain controversial to this day.