John Negroponte
Career of a Conservative Idealist


In this career biography of John Negroponte, the new US National Intelligence Director, David Bennett argues that Mr Negroponte's career experiences, particularly in Vietnam and Honduras, demonstrate his commitment to upholding democratic principles in the face of the forces of totalitarianism, even to the detriment of his own career. This commitment makes Negroponte an ideal choice both for National Security Chief and his previous role as US Ambassador to Iraq.
Negroponte and Legacy of VietnamOpponents of the March 2003 US-led coalition invasion of Iraq have inevitably drawn parallels with the American led military campaign to save South Vietnam that was conducted between 1964 and 1973. Such an analogy is accurate to the extent that should American commitment to Iraq fail then the Iraqi people will suffer, just as the peoples of South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos suffered as a result of the United States abandoning them to communist totalitarianism.
It is therefore noteworthy, indeed reassuring, that the American ambassador to Iraq from the time of the restoration of its sovereignty in July 2004 has been John Negroponte (1939- ), who distinguished himself as a US State Department official who was sincerely dedicated to the interests of the South Vietnamese people to the detriment of his career. In February 2005 Negroponte was nominated as national intelligence director ('US intelligence super chief') in charge of intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Should he be confirmed in this position, it will mark another important phase in Negroponte's career of fighting against anti-American totalitarianism, be it communist or Islamic fundamentalist.
A review of Negroponte's diplomatic career during and since the Vietnam War leads to the emergence of a view that American involvement in another country, far from being 'imperialist', can potentially offer it the best hope to ward off totalitarianism and become a democracy.
South Vietnam 1964In 1964, Negroponte, a twenty five year old Yale University graduate and State Department official, was posted to the American embassy in Saigon South Vietnam as a political officer. The young official would have his work cut out for him because the nation he was posted to was in turmoil.
In November of the preceeding year, the Kennedy Administration had helped instigate a coup against South Vietnam's autocratic president, Ngo Dinh Diem in which he sadly lost his life. The coup against Diem was backed by the US on the false premise that the autocratic (although financially honest) president, a Catholic, was persecuting the nation's Buddhist population. Diem's unpopularity in fact derived from his narrow-minded delegation of power to members of his family rather than religious bigotry on his part. Due to this misreporting by a select group of American correspondents in Saigon, the American public subsequently believed Diem was persecuting Buddhists and this provided impetus for the Kennedy Administration to support the coup against Diem.
The November 1963 coup was a political and military disaster for South Vietnam because it created a power vacuum, which helped precipitate a breathtaking series of coups and counter-coups between 1964 and 1965. To stave off South Vietnam's collapse, troops from the United States (as well as from Australia and South Korea) were deployed to help counter communist aggression. By early 1968 American troop levels reached over half a million as the United States assumed primary responsibility for South Vietnam's defence.
It was into this chaotic milieu that Negroponte was initially 'blooded'. As a political officer at the US Embassy it can be assumed that he liaised with the various political factions as South Vietnam endured a dizzying turnover of provisional civilian governments and military juntas between 1964 and 1965. Hope that South Vietnam would gain a modicum of stability became a distinct possibility after General Nguyen Van Thieu and Air Vice-Marshall Ky formed a military junta in June 1965.
Misreporting of the Vietnam WarReporting of the war by the American media was generally inaccurate because it portrayed South Vietnam as a nation that was enveloped by a peasant guerilla insurgency. It is true that up until 1968 a significant proportion of the communist insurgency was composed of native South Vietnamese, however their war effort could not have been sustained had it not been for the influx of regular North Vietnamese Army (NVA) troops and equipment down the Ho Chi Minh Trail. This 'trail' was in fact an ingenious and elaborate series of trails and tunnels that meandered down from North Vietnam through Cambodia and Laos.
Ignoring the reality of the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the consequent nature of the war, the myth took hold in the United States and much of the western world that the Americans were going against the tide of history by fighting against a local, popular and widespread guerilla insurgency. Consequently 'anti-war' activists deluded themselves that they were the idealists. In fact, the true American idealists in the Vietnam War were those officials who were serving in South Vietnam (such as Negroponte) because they were trying to save the country from a totalitarian takeover.
Negroponte's most substantial contribution in assisting South Vietnam during his tenure in the American embassy was the role that he fulfilled in helping to organise elections to a Constituent Assembly in September 1966. Following these elections he liaised with the various groups in the assembly as it drew up a new constitution. This was a positive process not only because a new constitution would help provide South Vietnam with a viable political structure but also because it established a basis for further democratic development.
South Vietnam's Constituent Assembly, in contrast to the Iraqi Constitutent Assembly elected on 30th January 2005, was not vested with the executive authority to elect a new provisional government which would subsequently conduct elections for a permanent government. Thieu and Ky as incumbents, were consequently able to adapt themselves to the promulgation of a new constitution in 1967 and gain election as President and Vice-President respectively, later that year. By contrast a future elected Iraqi government will not be shadowed by any ambiguity as to its democratic legitimacy because of the checks and balances present throughout the transition process.
Ho Chi Min and the Tet OffensiveThe fact that much of the US media and Congress denounced South Vietnam's transition to constitutional rule as a sham was indicative of division amongst sections of US public opinion toward their country's Vietnam commitment. Intending to capitalise on this division, in late 1967 North Vietnam's diabolical dictator Ho Chi Minh raised the prospect of negotiating a withdrawal of American troops from South Vietnam. It is noteworthy that Ho's offer only encompassed negotiating the terms of US and allied military withdrawal and did not countenance overall political settlement which took South Vietnam's existence into account.
North Vietnam's masterstroke in terms of breaking US morale came in February 1968 when it launched its 'Tet Offensive'.1 During this offensive North Vietnamese and 'National Liberation Front' (NLF) troops launched attacks on South Vietnam's major cities.1 So named because it occurred during Vietnamese New Year (Tet) celebrations during which there was normally an unofficial truce
Although the campaign was a military failure in terms of securing any population centres (except for Hue which was held by the communists for a month, during which they carried out an appalling massacre) it was an outstanding political success due to US media misreporting. Television images of the offensive gave the impression that the military situation was hopeless because all of South Vietnam had been engulfed by the uprising. In fact thousands of communist troops lost their lives in their attacks on carefully selected targets, such as the US Embassy. Consequently it was not until North Vietnam's March 1972 invasion of South Vietnam that the communists regained the military initiative.
In addition to alienating the majority of US public opinion against South Vietnam another dividend for Hanoi was that thousands of NLF (native South Vietnamese guerillas) lost their lives during the offensive instead of North Vietnamese regular troops. Consequently any scope for the NLF to emerge as a political force with a degree of independence from Hanoi was fatally undermined. For good measure Hanoi dispatched Le Duc Tho, a senior politburo member to carry out a bloody purge of any potentially unreliable elements within the NLF in 1968.
The Paris ConferenceFalling into Ho Chi Minh's trap, the Johnson administration undertook tentative contacts with North Vietnamese officials to explore the possibility of convening an international conference aimed at reaching a political settlement. As a political counselor Negroponte made contact with communist emissaries in the period following the Tet offensive and the US presidential election in November 1968. The ramifications of the Tet offensive were such that by October that year an agreement to hold a conference would probably have swung the US presidential election in favor of the Democrat nominee Hubert Humphrey.
President Thieu's last minute declaration in late October 1968 that South Vietnam would not participate in an international conference probably helped swing the election in favor of the Republican nominee, Richard Nixon. However the war-weariness of the US public was such that momentum for such a conference could not be stopped and in July 1969 a 'Peace Conference' was held in Paris between the United States, South and North Vietnam and the NLF (which had recently declared itself the 'Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam', PGR).
Negroponte played a behind the scenes role in organising the Paris Conference by liaising with the North Vietnamese and briefing the US delegation. The July 1969 Conference essentially offered the Nixon administration the opportunity to abandon South Vietnam by helping to impose a coalition government on that country that included the NLF/PGR and by the US unilaterally withdrawing its troops from the country.
Fortunately the Nixon administration was not prepared to follow such an unethical course (which a Humphrey administration probably would have as an inheritor of the Johnson administration's war weariness). This was because President Nixon and his National Security adviser, Dr. Henry Kissinger were aware that the US's international reputation as a reliable ally would have been severely undermined had South Vietnam been betrayed.
In fact, the true American idealists in the Vietnam War were those officials, such as Negroponte, who were serving in South Vietnam because they were trying to save the country from a totalitarian takeover
Consequently the full wrath of the 'anti-war' movement was unleashed against the Nixon administration. The domestic realities of American politics were such that it was not politically viable for American troops to remain in South Vietnam beyond President Nixon's first term. Accordingly, over the next three and a half years the US took a number of policy initiatives as part of its strategy of ensuring that South Vietnam was militarily and politically viable by the time of the final US military withdrawal.
The centerpiece of this withdrawal strategy was a policy called 'Vietnamization', which entailed South Vietnamese troops being equipped and trained to take over from American combat troops as they withdrew. A successful US administered land reform program was undertaken and the role of village militias was correspondingly expanded. Although the Ho Chi Minh Trail had not been severed, by the end of 1971 the communist guerilla insurgency had petered out.
Although Negroponte had helped organise the July 1969 conference, as subsequent events would prove he was sincerely committed to the interests of the South Vietnamese people. As part of its withdrawal strategy, the Nixon administration engaged in secret talks with Hanoi between 1970 and 1972. The US delegation was led by Dr. Kissinger, while the North Vietnamese side was led by Le Duc Tho. As the Nixon administration's National Security Council's (NSC) officer in charge of the Vietnam section between 1970 and 1972, Negroponte advised Dr. Kissinger about the political aspects of the conflict.
Up until the near end of the talks in late 1972, Tho dogmatically insisted on Thieu's removal and the formation of a 'neutralist' government in South Vietnam. Nonetheless, as Kissinger later noted, Tho never forwarded any names for such a government or how it would be formulated.
By the end of 1971, with the communist insurgency in South Vietnam having fizzled out, North Vietnam changed tack and launched a conventional invasion across the 17th parallel, the border point that separated the two Vietnams in late March 1972. Without any support from the remaining 40,000 US ground troops in South Vietnam, but with crucial US air support, the South Vietnamese army successfully withstood the invasion. However the effect of the invasion was to increase anxiety on the US public's part that their country would become further embroiled in the war. This only increased the pressure on the Nixon administration to disengage from the war.
In late October 1972 Kissinger fell into the trap Tho had set for him. Tho suddenly dropped his demand that Thieu be removed from office and agreed to Kissinger's formula that national elections in South Vietnam be held under the auspices of a tripartite body composed of representatives of the Thieu regime, the NLF and an ill-defined 'third force'. The catch however was that over 140,000 North Vietnamese troops based in jungle sanctuaries in South Vietnam adjoining Laos and Cambodia, would remain. Consequently, at the point at which the US was about to militarily disengage from South Vietnam a substantial component of North Vietnam's army would remain in the country with a capacity for its numbers to be reinforced.

During the impasse between Saigon and Washington, Negroponte stood out amongst the American negotiating team for essentially siding with the South Vietnamese.
An incredulous Thieu balked at the agreement and refused to endorse it. Despite intense pressure placed on him by Nixon and Kissinger between October and December 1972, Thieu refused to budge. Believing that they had engineered a fatal rift between Saigon and Washington, North Vietnam broke off negotiations with the United States. Nixon countered by ordering the Christmas 1972 bombings of North Vietnamese military and industrial installations.
During the impasse between Saigon and Washington, Negroponte stood out amongst the American negotiating team for essentially siding with the South Vietnamese. He saw that unless North Vietnam was compelled to withdraw its troops, South Vietnam was doomed. The effect of the Christmas 1972 bombing was such that both North and South Vietnam agreed to sign a peace agreement in Paris in January 1973.
At the time of the January 1973 Paris Agreement, the military advantage lay with the South due to the intensity of the bombing campaign of North Vietnam and the massive influx of US military aid to South Vietnam before a dovish US Congress convened that month. Although the military advantage initially was with the South, Negroponte realised that the situation was easily reversible should the US Congress cut off or substantially reduce aid to South Vietnam. By April 1973 with the paralysing effects of the Watergate Affair in effect, the US Congress commenced the process of fatally undercutting South Vietnam such that by April 1975 it was weakened to the extent that the country was overrun by North Vietnam.
Ambassador to EcuadorAs a matter of principle, Negroponte (who acidly observed that the Christmas 1972 bombing campaign had forced Hanoi to accept America's negotiating concessions) refused to endorse the January 1973 Agreement, correctly perceiving that it had fatally undermined South Vietnam. He was subsequently banished into diplomatic exile as US ambassador to Ecuador between 1973 and 1975.
During his period in Ecuador, Negroponte witnessed its military ruler General Guillermo Rodriquez survive a military coup attempt in 1975. (Rodriquez eventually succumbed to a military coup the following year). Negroponte's posting to Ecuador was subsequently to prove invaluable to him because he gained an insight into South American politics and culture that would stand him in good stead in the 1980s.
US Consul in GreeceBetween 1975 and 1977 Negroponte served as the US Consul in Thessaloniki, Greece. As the son of Greek immigrants, Negroponte was undoubtedly an appropriate choice. Greece was recovering from the trauma of the Colonels' regime (1967 to 1974) and the successful Turkish invasion and occupation of Northern Cyprus in July/August 1974.
During this period, Andreas Papandreou the leader of the left wing Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok) was building a political base for himself by promoting the myth that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had engineered the Colonels' coup and sustained their dictatorship. Papandreou's success in propagating an anti-American political culture was such that it helped underwrite his political dominance between 1981 and 1989 and 1993 and 1996 as prime minister despite credible charges of corruption against him. (In fact American pressure on the Colonels, which had led to Papandreou's release in late 1967 and the US arms embargo during the Cyprus crisis was a crucial dynamic in precipitating the Colonels' fall in 1974).
Abassador for FishFrom 1977 to 1979 Negroponte served as assistant secretary of state with the rank of ambassador for oceans and fish (or 'Ambassador for Fish' as the post was dubbed). This position was a step down for Negroponte, but his Vietnam experience held him in good stead because from 1980 to 1981 he served as deputy assistant for East Asia and Pacific Affairs.
Ambassador to HondurasNegroponte's chance to ensure that the mistakes of the Vietnam War were not repeated came when he was posted as US ambassador to Honduras between 1981 and 1985. At the time of Negroponte's appointment, Central America was the key ideological and political battleground of the Cold War.
Honduras was of great strategic significance during this period because it was situated between a then Marxist Nicaragua and a worn torn El Salvador. In July 1979, a Marxist guerilla army called the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) came to power by hijacking a broad based revolution against the corrupt Somoza family dictatorship.
Advised by Cuba's communist dictator Fidel Castro, the Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega moved to centralise civil and political power with the FSLN. Similar to Castro's period of consolidation between 1959 and 1961, wariness that Ortega was establishing a Marxist dictatorship in Nicaragua was dismissed by US 'liberal-democrats'2 as paranoid McCarthyism or cultural insensitivity.2 Such as Senator Ted Kennedy and
The success of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua spurred five Marxist groups in El Salvador under Cuban mediation to form the Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) in 1980. In early January 1981 the FMLN unsuccessfully launched an offensive to take the Salvadorian capital San Salvador before the inauguration of Ronald Reagan as president of the United States.
The FMLN insurgency was fuelled by grossly inequitable distribution of land in this densely populated Central American republic. The lynchpin of American strategy in El Salvador was to bolster the decent and courageous (if at times vacillating) Christian Democratic Party leader, Jose Napoleon Duarte throughout most of the 1980s. He was a circuit breaker against the Marxist left and the bloody-minded hard right. Without US support it is improbable that Duarte would have survived.
In 1989, at Cuba's instigation, the FMLN launched another unsuccessful offensive to take San Salvador to counter act the ramifications of Central and Eastern Europe breaking free from Marxist-Leninist rule during this period. The Soviet Union's implosion at the end of 1991 was the crucial determinant in compelling the FMLN to abandon its military campaign in February 1992 and continue its political struggle as an avowedly left of centre party.
On leaving Honduras Negroponte could take credit for not only bolstering that country as an anti-communist bastion but also for helping promote democratic reform.
As the nation situated between El Salvador and Nicaragua, Honduras was arguably the key Central American domino in the 1980s. Since 1963 Honduras had been ruled either directly or indirectly by its military. During the periods of nominal civilian rule Honduran electoral politics was dominated by the National and Liberal Parties, which essentially represented the interests of the nation's land owning oligarchy. In January 1982 Dr. Roberto Suazo Cordova of the Liberal Party assumed nominal power as president following his election victory in the preceeding November.
As US ambassador Negroponte liaised with Honduras' then de facto military ruler, General Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, providing US military aid to bolster the Honduran military against Nicaragua. At that time Nicaragua had Central America's largest armed forces due to Soviet and Cuban military assistance. The US commitment to Honduras was manifested by joint American/Honduran military exercises held in Honduras in 1983 and 1984. The purpose of these exercises (which were known as 'Big Pine') was to deter Nicaragua.
During this period it can be assumed that Negroponte was involved in helping to support anti-communist Nicaraguan guerillas based in Honduras who subsequently became known as the 'contras'. Initially based in Honduras these rebels became operative in late 1981/early 1982. Their personnel were initially drawn from Somoza's former National Guard.
But in 1983, at the instigation of the US, a political wing of the contras was formed, called the National Democratic Front (FDN). Anti-Samoza political figures were included on the FDN's ruling directorate at US insistence. What leverage they had over the FDN's military wing was derived from American backing. Ironically, and shamefully, the FDN as a political party in the 1990s aligned itself with Daniel Ortega in the 1996 presidential election in which he failed to regain the presidency.
On a domestic level as ambassador to Honduras, Negroponte was faced with the acute dilemma of how to pre-empt the emergence of a Marxist insurgency while simultaneously promoting democracy. Under Alvarez's command the Honduran military waged a brutal counter-insurgency campaign.
The Argentine-trained Alvarez followed the model that Argentina's armed forces had pursued between 1976 and late 1981 during the 'dirty war', in which potential bases of support for a guerilla insurgency were targeted. This terror campaign was conducted on a decentralist basis and in military terms it was highly successful. Naturally Negroponte has been accused of complicity in this campaign, but 'liberal-democrat' critics have never been able to produce any substantial proof beyond the fact he was the American ambassador at this time.
While the Honduran military's campaign was successful, it had created the scope (fairly or unfairly) for an anti-American backlash, which could have facilitated a left wing revolution. Anti-Americanism in Honduras was also generated by the fear that US military aid to El Salvador could be used to re-invigorate that nation thereby precipitating another border war between those two countries, similar to the 'Soccer War' of June/July 1969.
Honduras' potential revolutionary melt-down was averted by a March 1984 barracks coup, which led to Alvarez being deposed as armed forces chief of staff and deported. What role Negroponte played in facilitating this coup is not exactly known.
The new Honduran armed forces chief, Air Force Brigadier General Walter Lopez Reyes, won strong public support by terminating the military's counter-insurgency campaign (which had already succeeded) and publicly distancing himself from the American military presence and the contras. (Lopez' selection as armed forces chief may have been derived from the prestige the air force derived from its decisive role in turning back the plucky El Salvadorians in during the 'Soccer War').
Nonetheless, Lopez continued to support the Contras on a more discreet basis. US-Honduran relations were also considerably bolstered when in October that year the United States undertook to provide over $US140 in supplementary aid.
Following Alvarez' ouster Honduras commenced a bizarre transition toward becoming a real democracy for the first time in its history. In this process, Negroponte played a conspicuous role. Ironically, President Suazo, instead of having any sympathy for democracy as a former puppet of Alvarez, moved to establish his own dictatorship. He tried to gain control of the respective Liberal and National party membership lists so that he could manipulate the presidential nomination process.
It was Suazo's intention to secure the nomination of the elderly Oscar Mejia Arellano as his successor so that he could run the country from behind the scenes after he formally retired as president. The majority of National Assembly members, who had supported Alvarez' ouster, moved to thwart the president by sacking pro-Suazo members on the Supreme Court and appointing their own nominees. As the final legal arbiter, the Supreme Court would ultimately decide the issue of control over party membership lists and the nomination process.
In April and May 1985 Honduras was engulfed in a constitutional crisis over control of the Supreme Court. Matters reached a climax when President Suazo moved to imprison the National Assembly's nominee as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. In the ensuing crisis Negroponte sided with the National Assembly against the president.
Due to opposition from the US Embassy, the Honduran military, an incipient trade union movement and the Roman Catholic Church, President Suazo was forced to forgo his attempts to control the nomination process. Out of this crisis Honduras made a gigantic step towards becoming a real democracy when it was agreed that the various factions within the two parties could run their own candidates for president under their respective party banners.
In the ensuing November 1985 presidential election the Liberal and National parties were allowed to put up four candidates each for president. Therefore previously marginalised sectors of society such as the labour movement were able to break into the electoral mainstream.
By opposing Suazo's power grab Negroponte played an invaluable role in facilitating this fundamental political reform. Ironically the two principal pillars of the Honduran oligarchy's dominance, the military and the two traditional political parties, instead of being the obstacles to democracy had been integral to the process of facilitating it. Therefore on leaving Honduras Negroponte could take credit for not only bolstering that country as an anti-communist bastion but also for helping promote democratic reform.
Between 1985 and 1987 Negroponte served as head of the State Department's Bureau of International Environmental Affairs. In this post he unambiguously left his mark by promoting an international protocol to protect the Ozone Layer. His previous experience as 'Ambassador to Fish' had probably helped prepare Negroponte for this post because he was acquainted with the world's environmental problems and the international bureaucracies that deal with them.
Assistant National Security AdviserDue to his part NSC and Honduran experience Negroponte was appointed Assistant National Security Adviser in 1987. His main legacy in this post was to prepare the groundwork for the December 1989 US invasion of Panama, which removed the despised dictator General Manuel Antonio Noriega from de facto power. The subsequent abolition of Panama's National Guard has since ensured civilian dominance and democracy in Central America's most prosperous and strategic republic. Although so-called 'liberal democrats' during the 1980s had attacked the Reagan and Bush administrations for supporting right wing military dictatorships, by the early 1990s (with the possible exception of Guatemala which still has a powerful military and where American influence has been traditionally weak) all the Central American republics were authentic representative democracies.
MexicoFrom 1989 to 1993 Negroponte served as American ambassador to Mexico, which for the US is probably the most important Latin American country because of their shared border. Between 1929 and 2000 Mexico was ruled by an ostensibly revolutionary party, which from 1950 was called the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). As indicated by its oxymoronic name, the PRI's revolutionary bona fides were doubtful. Its revolutionary credentials were based on the party's professed anti-clericalism and anti-Americanism. Therefore Negroponte's role in negotiating North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico in August 1992 over a fourteen month period was a remarkable achievement because of Mexico's traditional wariness of being dominated by the United States.
PhilippinesSimilarly as US ambassador to the Philippines between 1993 and 1996 Negroponte served during a period when sensitivity was required. In September 1991 the Philippine Senate voted against extending the US leases on the Clark Air Force Base and the Subic Naval Station. Consequently the most important task Negroponte performed as ambassador to the Philippines was to help ensure that the US maintained its special relationship with that country, a former colony.
From 1996 to 1997 Negroponte headed a task force that negotiated agreements with the Panamanian government regarding the terms for a continued US presence when the Panama Canal passed to Panamanian sovereignty in December 1999.
In a distinct career turn, Negroponte left the State Department and served as a consultant on security and intelligence matters in private industry between 1997 and 2001. This period in private industry has served as another aspect of his career that has helped prepare him as a national security director.
IraqIn 2001 Negroponte returned to the foreign affairs arena by serving as US ambassador to the United Nations. As US Ambassador Negroponte lobbied the United Nations to support the American-led military action to liberate Iraq from Saddam's rule.
During his tenure as US ambassador to Iraq, Negroponte displayed a determination to avoid the mistakes that he had witnessed in South Vietnam, which stemmed from an incorrect mindset that US involvement in another country's internal affairs is inherently wrong. Negroponte's chief beneficial legacy in Iraq was the support he gave to that nation conducting a democratic election despite intense opposition from an unrepresentative insurgency and from American so-called liberal-democrats who were trying to sabotage the establishment of a democracy instead of supporting it.
The mythologies that the Vietnam War perpetuated were unfortunate because they induced US isolationism in the 1970s which in turn helped totalitarianism to spread around the world. One of the prime reasons that these mythologies took hold was because too few of the American public understood the connection between US action abroad and their nation's own well-being.
As with World War II, most Americans see that 'war on terror' renders US military and political engagement abroad necessary. In this respect, Negroponte is well placed to serve his nation and the security of the world during the war on terror because of the lessons he drew from his experiences during the Vietnam War.



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Copyright 2005 David Bennett, Perspectives on World History and Current Events