Nearly fifty years since the end of the Vietnam War, and more than a quarter century since the normalization of U.S.-Vietnam relations, Vietnam is emerging as a rising power at the heart of the Indo-Pacific region and as an increasingly important U.S. partner. The U.S. Institute of Peace engages in research and dialogue examining the extraordinary arc of U.S.-Vietnam relations, including efforts to come to terms with our difficult history. In August 2021, USIP launched the Vietnam War Legacies and Reconciliation Initiative to support public education, government-to-government and people-to-people dialogue among Vietnamese and Americans.
Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam Peace Settlement
Andrew Wells-Dang on U.S.-Vietnam Relations 48 Years After the War
While U.S.-Vietnam relations have progressed remarkably since the end of the Vietnam War, “we talk about reconciliation as a long-term process … so even though we’re now almost 50 years into the post-war period, that reconciliation process isn’t complete yet,” says USIP’s Andrew Wells-Dang.
We Can Heal War’s Traumas; U.S. and Vietnam Show How
This winter marks 50 years since U.S. and Vietnamese diplomats in Paris ceremoniously signed “peace accords” that did not end the Vietnam War, but that achieved America’s withdrawal from it. Thus, the accords permitted, a half-century later, what is now a durable American-Vietnamese reconciliation. In the face of seemingly intractable wars — in Ukraine, Afghanistan, the eastern Congo basin, Yemen or elsewhere — the growing U.S.-Vietnamese relationship shows that even a peace that seems impossible today can indeed be built for our children.
Andrew Wells-Dang on U.S.-Vietnam Ties 50 Years After the Paris Peace Accords
Fifty years ago, the accords led to the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Vietnam, marking an important step toward a post-war settlement between the United States and Vietnam. Now, “There is a lot of cooperation on economic issues, education, security and on resolving the legacies of the war … we have a comprehensive partnership that is 10 years old,” says USIP’S Andrew Wells-Dang.
Vietnam War Legacies and Reconciliation Initiative
In 2021, the U.S. Institute of Peace launched a multiyear project to foster greater dialogue both in and between the United States and Vietnam on war legacy issues and reconciliation. This project stems from the U.S. Congress’s landmark 2021 authorization for the U.S. government to assist Vietnam in identifying its missing personnel, following decades of Vietnamese cooperation to help the United States conduct the fullest possible accounting of U.S. personnel. This project will support this bilateral initiative while also engaging in the work that remains to addresss legacies of war — including the continuing impacts of Agent Orange and unexploded ordnance — and to deepen reconciliation.
Crisis Communications with China in the Indo-Pacific
In today’s era of strategic competition between the United States and China, crises are more likely than ever in the Indo-Pacific region. Effective mechanisms are therefore needed to prevent such crises from escalating into armed conflict. To this end, USIP is examining crisis communication mechanisms and negotiations between China and its regional neighbors to identify common issues and themes across countries to provide lessons that can be learned and shared.