Military Review English Edition September-October 2014 - Page 79

MACRO-ETHICS and wanted the RVN [Republic of Vietnam, the South, with its capital in Saigon] to cease being obstructionist. To both sides Nixon was saying that the United States remained strong and willing to use forceful action even as it was showing a readiness to compromise.25 It worked. Unlike previous bombing campaigns on limited and highly restricted targets, which had little effect on the North Vietnamese, Operation Linebacker II compelled them to return to the talks and sign a cease-fire. One can view the earlier limited bombing campaigns from a Cynefin Framework perspective as ineffective probes. The expanded bombing can be considered another probe, which proved effective even when the bombing involved morally dubious, but not prohibited, targeting. The action had a morally acceptable strategic result: peace talks. Whether the final peace agreement held for more than a few years is moot. The reluctance of the parties involved to adhere to their ends of the agreement (nonaggression by the North and military support