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CIAO Focus, January 2007:
U.S. Foreign Policy and Vietnam



President Bush’s recent decision to deploy more troops to Iraq has resurrected memories of the escalation of the war in Vietnam, which ended more than 30 years ago.  Last November, Bush made his first official visit to Vietnam, a country that boasts one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia and is scheduled to join the World Trade Organization later this month.  Following the normalization of relations between the two countries in 1995, Vietnam is today considered one of America’s most important trading partners.    

One can only speculate as to what kind of relations the U.S. will have with Iraq in 30 years. At the moment the situation appears quite bleak, with Bush’s “troop surge” plan under attack from both Democrats and Republicans.  There are of course many parallels between the current war in Iraq and the Vietnam War, but there are profound and important differences as well.  Unlike Vietnam, the conflict in Iraq is compounded by the country’s vast oil reserves and the ethno-sectarian strife that threatens to drag in neighboring countries, especially if the U.S. does decide to pull out.             

This month CIAO examines U.S. foreign policy and Vietnam.

From the CIAO Database:

Reflections on Vietnam and the Iraq War

No More Vietnams

Mind the Gap: Countdown to Viet Nam's Accession to the WTO

Trade Liberalization and Spatial Inequality: A Methodological Innovation in Vietnamese Perspective

Les arcanes de la « démocratie socialiste » vietnamienne: Evolution des assemblées populaires et du système juridique depuis le lancement du Dôi moi

Outside Sources:

Vietnam: A Country Study (U.S. Library of Congress)

Cornell University Vietnam Studies Resources

Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Journal of Vietnamese Studies

Chronology of U.S.--Vietnam Relations

* Outside links are not maintained. For broken outside links, CIAO recommends the Way Back Machine.