The U.S. and Vietnam have cooperated since 1985 in seeking the fullest possible accounting of the 1,973 Americans listed as missing in action (MIA) at the end of the war — the first major step towards normalization of U.S.-Vietnam relations. In 2021, after years of information-sharing, the U.S. Department of Defense and Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defense launched a joint program to expand Vietnamese efforts to account for the estimated 300,000 Vietnamese personnel who remain missing.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Vietnamese Defense Minister Phan Van Giang, July 29, 2021 (DoD/Chad J. McNeeley/Flickr)
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Vietnamese Defense Minister Phan Van Giang, July 29, 2021 (DoD/Chad J. McNeeley/Flickr)

Accounting for missing personnel is an essential component of postwar reconciliation and building a secure peace. With support from Congress, USIP launched the Vietnam War Legacies and Reconciliation Initiative in August 2021. The initiative supports reconciliation between the U.S. and Vietnamese governments and peoples, as well as among Vietnamese inside and outside the country, and aims to document and promote the ongoing cooperation to address legacies of war as the basis for a comprehensive partnership build on trust and shared interests. 

Join USIP for a discussion that looks at U.S.-Vietnam cooperation in the search for, and identification of, wartime Vietnamese remains along with personal stories of Vietnamese families who lost relatives in the war.

Take part in the conversation on Twitter with #USAVietnam.

Speakers

Ambassador George Moose, welcoming remarks
Chair, Board of Directors, U.S. Institute of Peace

Kelly K. McKeague
Director, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) 

Maj. Gen. Trần Quốc Dũng
Chair of the Executive Office, National Steering Committee 515

Hải Nguyễn
Director, Global Vietnam Wars Studies Initiative, Harvard University

Tim Rieser
Foreign Policy Aide to U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy

Thảo Griffiths
Independent Consultant on War Legacies, Hanoi

Hoàng Thanh Nga
Deputy Chief of Mission, Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the United States

Andrew Wells-Dang, moderator
Senior Expert, Vietnam, U.S. Institute of Peace

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