Overcoming War Legacies: The Road to Reconciliation and Future Cooperation Between the United States and Vietnam

Aspen Institute, MARCH 26, 2019  • THE AGENT ORANGE IN VIETNAM PROGRAM

On March 26th the governments of the United States of America and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, in partnership with the United States Institute of Peace, hosted a landmark event examining the transformation from enemies to partners by the two countries since the end of the war in 1975.

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy- Remarks

Ambassador Ha Kim Ngoc- Keynote Speech

Charles Bailey- Panel 2 Healing from the Destruction of War

USIP Event Summary and Speaker Videos

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Fifty Years After, A Daunting Cleanup of Vietnam’s Toxic Legacy

A Vietnamese soldier next to a hazardous warning sign for dioxin contamination at Bien Hoa air base last October.A Vietnamese soldier next to a hazardous warning sign for dioxin contamination at Bien Hoa air base last October. KHAM/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

From 1962 to 1971, the American military sprayed vast areas of Vietnam with Agent Orange, leaving dioxin contamination that has severely affected the health of three generations of Vietnamese. Now, the U.S. and Vietnamese governments have joined together in a massive cleanup project.

In the thriving industrial city of Bien Hoa, about 20 miles east of Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon, there is a large air base, just beyond a sweeping bend in the Dong Nai River. During the American war in Vietnam, it was said to be the busiest airport in the world. Since the war ended in 1975, a dense cluster of four residential neighborhoods has grown up around the base. Their total population is perhaps 111,000, while the base itself, now home to advanced long-range fighter-bombers of the Vietnam People’s Air Force, has another 1,200 permanent residents. Tiếp tục đọc “Fifty Years After, A Daunting Cleanup of Vietnam’s Toxic Legacy”

The Lethal Legacy of the Vietnam War

Fifty years after the first US troops came ashore at Da Nang, the Vietnamese are still coping with unexploded bombs and Agent Orange.

On a mild, sunny morning last November, Chuck Searcy and I drove out along a spur of the old Ho Chi Minh Trail to the former Marine base at Khe Sanh, which sits in a bowl of green mountains and coffee plantations in Vietnam’s Quang Tri province, hard on the border with Laos. The seventy-seven-day siege of Khe Sanh in early 1968, coinciding with the Tet Offensive, was the longest battle of what Vietnamese call the American War and a pivotal event in the conflict. By the off-kilter logic of Saigon and Washington, unleashing enough technology and firepower to produce a ten-to-one kill ratio was a metric of success, but the televised carnage of 1968, in which 16,592 Americans died, was too much for audiences back home. After Tet and Khe Sanh, the war was no longer America’s to win, only to avoid losing. Tiếp tục đọc “The Lethal Legacy of the Vietnam War”

Các nữ đại sứ thăm đội rà phá toàn nữ của RENEW-NPA – Women Ambassadors Visit RENEW-NPA’s All-Woman Clearance Team

English after Vietnamese

Các nữ đại sứ thăm đội rà phá toàn nữ của RENEW-NPA

Project RENEW

Đội rà phá hiện trường giao tranh toàn nữ RENEW-NPA và bốn nữ đại sứ, hàng trước (từ trái qua phải Deborah Paul, Canada; Wendy Matthews, New Zealand; Grete Løchen, Na Uy; và Beatrice Maser Mallor, Thụy Sĩ). Hải Lăng, Quảng Trị, 09/5/2019. © Hien Ngo / RENEW-NPA.

Hải Lăng, Quảng Trị (9/5/2019) – Bốn nhà lãnh đạo của cộng đồng quốc tế ở Việt Nam, các nữ đại sứ của Thụy Sĩ, Na Uy, Canada, và New Zealand (được biết đến là Nhóm G4) tại Việt Nam, hôm thứ Năm đến Quảng Trị để xem một đội rà phá hiện trường toàn nữ làm việc.

Đoàn gồm có Đại sứ Deborah Paul (Canada), Wendy Matthews (New Zealand), Grete Løchen (Na Uy), và Beatrice Maser Mallor (Thụy Sĩ). Chuyến thăm chính thức dài hai ngày của họ là để trực tiếp tìm hiểu về hậu quả chiến tranh ở Quảng Trị, đặc biệt là nỗ lực đang diễn ra để khảo sát và rà phá bom mìn còn sót lại sau chiến tranh mà còn đe dọa cuộc sống của người dân địa phương. Các đại sứ cũng thăm các dự án phát triển do các nước nhóm G4 tài trợ. Tiếp tục đọc “Các nữ đại sứ thăm đội rà phá toàn nữ của RENEW-NPA – Women Ambassadors Visit RENEW-NPA’s All-Woman Clearance Team”

Meet the Team Leader of Vietnam’s First All-Female Clearance Team

Project RENEW update

April 14, 2019

At age 30, Nguyen Thi Thuy has started in a job that everyone in Vietnam believed that only men could do. This mother of one daughter now leads an all-female clearance team of 16 members for clearing cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war contaminated land in Quang Tri Province.

The youngest from a family of eight children in Gio Chau Commune, Gio Linh District, Nguyen Thi Thuy has been working with the Survey and Clearance Program of Project RENEW and Norwegian People’s Aid (RENEW-NPA) in Quang Tri Province since 2013.

Tiếp tục đọc “Meet the Team Leader of Vietnam’s First All-Female Clearance Team”

How Vietnam, US heal wounds of war to build up comprehensive partnership

Vietnam Net Bridge

03/04/2019

Vietnam and the US have together marked the transformation from enemies to partners since the end of the war in 1975 by overcoming war legacies, among priorities in the bilateral ties. 

How Vietnam, US heal wounds of war to build up comprehensive partnership?, Government news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news
US expert helps Vietnam settle unexploded odnance. Photo: PeaceTrees

Tackling war legacies has required both time and efforts that neither Hanoi nor Washington have been reluctant to do over the past decades, making the relationship a case study of foe-turned-friend. Tiếp tục đọc “How Vietnam, US heal wounds of war to build up comprehensive partnership”

On the outside looking in: A US American in Vietnam

VnExpress By Mark A. Ashwill   February 7, 2019 | 11:03 am GMT+7

On the outside looking in: A US American in Vietnam

Vietnamese women at a wet market in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Valentina Aru

 
An ‘other’ reflects on the ways in which he and many others feel they belong, why Vietnam is home.

I have spent over 40 percent of my adult life outside of my home country, never content with having my soul controlled by geography, to paraphrase George Santayana. I carry a U.S. passport but it doesn’t define me. I am a U.S. ex-patriot and global citizen who calls Vietnam home.

It was during my first visit to Hanoi 23 years ago this month that this country – with its tragic yet inspirational millennia-long history – cast its spell on me.  After moving here in 2005, I joined a select group of expats – an estimated 100,000 of them, according to official sources – who live in the midst of 97 million Vietnamese.

Tiếp tục đọc “On the outside looking in: A US American in Vietnam”

Vietnam’s Latest Demand for Agent Orange Compensation Described as Last Resort

VOA August 29, 2018 6:10 AM


FILE - The cleaning operation of the area that was used for storing Agent Orange is seen from a plane taking off from Danang international airport.
FILE – The cleaning operation of the area that was used for storing Agent Orange is seen from a plane taking off from Danang international airport.

How a U.S.-Backed University in Vietnam Unleashed Old Demons

Politico

Former Sen. Bob Kerrey is pictured. | AP Photo
U.S. State Department via AP

Former Senator Bob Kerrey thought he could help heal the wounds of war. Instead, he reopened them.

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — On May 25, 2016, Secretary of State John Kerry took the stage at the luxury Rex Hotel in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. Earlier on their trip together, President Barack Obama had announced a major development in a project Kerry had championed: The Vietnamese government had granted a license for Fulbright University Vietnam, the country’s first independent, private and nonprofit liberal arts university. About $40 million from the U.S. government would go toward the project, along with 25 hectares of rent-free land donated by the Ho Chi Minh City government. On this day, the two countries would officially mark the milestone. Tiếp tục đọc “How a U.S.-Backed University in Vietnam Unleashed Old Demons”

Vietnam’s Sad Hunt: 300,000 Missing Souls

New York Times
Dec. 21, 2018

Decades after the war with America ended, Vietnamese families continue to search for the remains of their kin who are still missing in action.

By Joseph Babcock  (Mr. Babcock, a teacher of writing, is working on a book about contemporary Vietnam)

A war veteran places incense on graves in Hanoi on the national Day for Martyrs and Wounded Soldiers. Credit Hoang Dinh Nam / Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

On July 27, the day a collection of remains believed to be those of American soldiers lost in the Korean War were flown out of North Korea, I was driving from Hanoi to Vietnam’s rural northern province of Yen Bai. My host that morning was Ngo Thuy Hang, the 42-year-old vice director of Marin, a local nonprofit devoted to helping Vietnamese families locate the remains of their loved ones. Tiếp tục đọc “Vietnam’s Sad Hunt: 300,000 Missing Souls”

Forest Harvester Reported 750-pound Bomb on Acacia Plantation in Hai Lang District

Chuck Searcy: This report is from my colleague Ngo Xuan Hien at Project RENEW, describing another finding of a big bomb in Quang Tri Province which was safely removed to the demolition site and destroyed.  The bomb is bigger than most ordnance cleaned up and destroyed every day — usually cluster bombs, grenades, artillery rounds, mortars — but now even these infrequent occurrences of 500-pound or 750-pound bombs are treated somewhat routinely.  That is to say, local people are no longer alarmed, once they report the finding they are confident that NPA-RENEW technicians or other NGO teams coordinated by the Provincial Legacy of War Coordination Center will come quickly to the site and handle the threat skillfully and professionally, and residents can soon return to their normal activities.  The situation is being managed, and that is the key to long-term safety and protection of villagers, farmers, school children.

Hai Lang District, Quang Tri (28 November 2018) — Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams managed by NPA-Project RENEW on Wednesday safely destroyed a 750-pound U.S. aircraft bomb at their Central Demolition Site in Hai Que Commune. It was identified an air-dropped general purpose bomb, M117 series, that was extensively used by U.S. military forces during the Vietnam War. Read more here.

Hien Xuan Ngo
Communications & Development Manager
Project RENEW

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200 years to go before Laos is cleared of unexploded US bombs from Vietnam war era

SCMP

  • In the world’s most heavily bombed country, 20 million UXO have been cleared in the 45 years since clandestine US war ended
  • That leaves another 80 million still to be dug out and defused, if foreign governments continue funding the work.
  • BY PADRAIC CONVERY

     / UPDATED ON 

    Thanksgiving is an American tradition that is unknown in most of the world. Fifty years ago, however, it landed in Laos, the small, impoverished Southeast Asian nation that was to become perhaps the longest-suffering casualty of the United States’ war in Vietnam.

    Thanksgiving is held on the fourth Thursday in November. In 1968, that fell on November 28, and on that day, at the height of the war and on the orders of president Lyndon B. Johnson, turkey dinners were helicoptered in to American soldiers who were on a mission to sever the Ho Chi Minh Trail – the network of paths and tracks that constituted North Vietnam’s military supply lines to the south of the country – that ran through eastern Laos.

    Vietnam war photographer on PTSD and his final battle, with cancer

    LBJ’s festive dinners were flown in at the same time as the US began dropping millions of bombs on the trail, which it had already been targeting for four years. Half a century later, Laos is still dealing with the deadly legacy of that bombing campaign, which left an estimated 100 million pieces of unexploded ordnance on the ground. Tiếp tục đọc “200 years to go before Laos is cleared of unexploded US bombs from Vietnam war era”

    Quang Tri mobilises resources to settle post-war landmines

    VNA WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2018 – 9:45:00

    Unexploded bombs and mines found in Quang Tri province (Photo: VNA)

    Quang Tri (VNA) – The central province of Quang Tri has mobilised more than 20 projects and non-project aid packages worth over 4 million USD in the first nine months of the year to address the lingering consequences of bombs and mines left by wars across the locality. Tiếp tục đọc “Quang Tri mobilises resources to settle post-war landmines”

    U.S. prepares for biggest-ever Agent Orange cleanup in Vietnam

    U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis (R) meets Vietnam’s Defence Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam October 17, 2018. 

    REUTERS WED OCT 17, 2018

    Phil Stewart

    BIEN HOA AIR BASE, Vietnam (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday visited a former American air base in southern Vietnam that will soon become the biggest-ever U.S. cleanup site for contamination left by the defoliant Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.

    Standing near a skull-and-crossbones warning sign meant to keep people away from toxic soil, Mattis was briefed by Vietnamese officials about the massive contamination area. Tiếp tục đọc “U.S. prepares for biggest-ever Agent Orange cleanup in Vietnam”

    RENEW project handles 590 explosive devices in Quang Tri

    VNA SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2018 – 17:52:00 PRINT


    Various explosive devices found at the construction site in Quang Tri (Photo: nhandan.com.vn)

    Quang Tri (VNA) – A team of the “Restoring the Environment and Neutralising the Effects of the War” (RENEW) project said it safely moved 590 explosive devices from a construction site in the central province of Quang Tri.

    The mission took place from October 10-11, right after the team received a report on explosive devices from workers, who were building a guest house of Quang Tri town’s military high command at a location near the southern bank of Thach Han river.

    At the site, the team found many devices, including shells and mortar shells, at a depth of 2 metres, with their detonators remained intact.

    The devices were moved to a safe site for defusing in Trieu Trach commune, Trieu Phong district.

    RENEW, mainly sponsored by the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), aims to help Quang Tri, known as one of the provinces hardest hit by the war, settle post-war bomb and landmine impacts.

    To date, more than 131 million square metres of land in Quang Tri province have been mapped out as confirmed hazardous areas that need full clearance. The NPA’s teams have destroyed about 70,000 pieces of dangerous ordnance, helping to eliminate the risks of death and injury for local residents.-VNA