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Pink Sugar

Reconciliation and Reckoning in Vietnam


On March 29, 1973, the last U.S. military unit left Vietnam, ending direct U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War. Fifty years to the day, the release of George Black’s new book, “The Long Reckoning: A Story of War, Peace, and Redemption in Vietnam,” tells the inspirational story of how a small group of people, including U.S. veterans, used their moral authority, scientific and political ingenuity, and sheer persistence to attempt to heal the consequences of U.S. military engagement in Southeast Asia.

The stories of American and Vietnamese veterans, advocates, and their families are foundational to the U.S. Institute of Peace's (USIP’s) 
Vietnam War Legacies and Reconciliation Initiative, launched with support from Congress in 2021. The initiative seeks to understand how the United States and Vietnam moved from a brutal war to cooperation in identifying wartime remains and remediating the effects of Agent Orange and unexploded ordnance.

On March 30, USIP hosted a conversation with George Black and several of the leading figures profiled in his new book. The discussion explored their intersecting efforts to orchestrate political reconciliation and personal redemption, demonstrating how former enemies can transform into friends and partners.

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