United States National Interests in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam   [open pdf - 12MB]

A major paradigm shift has occurred in Southeast Asia. Once known as a center of instability, conflict and poverty, the countries of Southeast Asia are emerging into global prominence. Some of the most dramatic shifts occurring in Southeast Asia are in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Since the end of its involvement in the conflict in Indochina in 1975, the U.S. has predicated its relations with Vietnam almost entirely on accounting for more than 2,000 Americans still missing as a result of U.S. involvement there. If the U.S. is to retain is influence in Southeast Asia, it must now base its relations with Vietnam on realistic national interests rather than on an emotional issue on which significant progress has already been made. The U.S. has significant national interests in Vietnam to include: the security of U.S. allies, the non- proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the enhancement of regional stability, cooperation on counter-narcotics activities, access to markets and raw materials, security of sea lines of communication, promotion of tree-market economies, success of emerging democracies, protection of U.S. citizens abroad, achievement of the fullest possible accounting for unaccounted-for Americans, and promotion of human rights. This paper analyzes each area and recommends policy positions to achieve/protect these interests.

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