Vietnam

News Release

Kurlantzick Chronicles the U.S. Secret War in Laos and Creation of a Paramilitary CIA in New Book

“Over the course of the war, U.S. bombing of Laos would become so intense that it averaged one attack every eight minutes for nearly a decade,” observes Joshua Kurlantzick in his new book, A Great Place to Have a War: America in Laos and the Birth of a Military CIA. Kurlantzick, a Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia, mines extensive interviews and recently declassified Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) records to give a definitive account of the secret war in the tiny Southeast Asian nation of Laos, which lasted from 1961 to 1973, and was the largest covert operation in U.S. history. The conflict forever changed the CIA from a relatively small spying agency into an organization with vast paramilitary powers.

See more in Laos; Vietnam; Intelligence; Wars and Warfare

Op-Ed

Beijing’s Actions in the South China Sea Demand a U.S. Response

Authors: Elizabeth C. Economy and Michael A. Levi
Washington Post
The China National Overseas Oil Coorporation (CNOOC) began drilling in Vietnamese-claimed waters late last week, accompanied by more than seventy vessels, including armed Chinese warships. Elizabeth Economy and Michael Levi write that the United States needs to face up to the full magnitude of the Chinese challenge to have any hope of successfully confronting it.

See more in China; Vietnam; Territorial Disputes; Oil

Ask CFR Experts

Why did the United States reestablish diplomatic relations with communist states like China and Vietnam?

Asked by Michael Varacalli, from New York University

The United States did not have diplomatic relations with mainland China in the late 1940s after the communist takeover (though theoretically it maintained diplomatic relations through ties with Taiwan). The United States ended diplomatic relations with Vietnam following the Vietnam War in 1975.

Read full answer

See more in China; Vietnam; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Transcript

A Conversation with Pham Binh Minh

Speaker: Pham Binh Minh
Presider: Bob Woodruff

Pham Binh Minh, minister of foreign affairs for the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, analyzes Vietnam's relationship with the United States and surrounding nations, and outlines the country's strategy for economic growth.

See more in Vietnam; Emerging Markets

Video

A Conversation with Pham Binh Minh

Speaker: Pham Binh Minh
Presider: Robert W. Woodruff

Pham Binh Minh, minister of foreign affairs for the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, analyzes Vietnam's relationship with the United States and the surrounding nations, and outlines the country's strategy for economic growth.

See more in Economic Development; Vietnam

Audio

A Conversation with Pham Binh Minh (Audio)

Speaker: Pham Binh Minh
Presider: Robert W. Woodruff

Pham Binh Minh, minister of foreign affairs for the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, analyzes Vietnam's relationship with the United States and surrounding nations, and outlines the country's strategy for economic growth.

See more in Economic Development; Vietnam