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Cambodia, Vietnam's western neighbor, sought to stay officially neutral throughout the war. This effort was not successful however, as the U.S. pursued Communist units traveling through and setting up bases in Cambodia. The nation was subjected to heavy bombing, ordered by the Nixon administration, during the final stages of U.S. military involvement.
Quangtri was the target of the largest one-day U.S. bombing campaign of the entire Vietnam War, on November 7, 1972. The city was of particular strategic importance to the North Vietnamese because of an oil pipeline that originated there and ran to the town of Locninh, 75 miles northwest of Saigon.
As the war dragged on into the early 1970s, U.S. bombers targeted major cities in North Vietnam such as Haiphong more regularly. The U.S. came under heavy international criticism for endangering civilian populations, but maintained that their bombs were directed solely at military targets. The U.S. mined Haiphong harbor in 1972 to stop military equipment from reaching the Communists.