The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Historian
Presents an International Conference on:
“The American Experience in Southeast Asia, 1946–1975”
East Auditorium, George C. Marshall Conference Center
U.S. Department of State
Washington, DC
September 29–30, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

8:00–9:30 Registration and Refreshments: Enter at 320 21st Street NW at Virginia Avenue
9:40–9:45 Welcome and Introductory Remarks: Ambassador Edward Brynn, The Historian, U.S. Department of State
9:45–10:00 Opening Address by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (Video and transcript)
10:05–11:00 Address by Dr. Henry A. Kissinger (Video and transcript)
11:05–12:00 Keynote Address by Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke (Video and transcript)
12:00–2:00 Lunch

The View from Hanoi: Historians from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Video and transcript)

Chair: Ronald Spector, George Washington University

  • Ambassador Tran Van Tung, Director, Diplomatic History Research Center, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, "Vietnam - US Relations during the Vietnam War with Special Reference to the Role of Diplomacy and the Insights of some Turning Points"
  • Dr. Nguyen Manh Ha, Vice Director, Military History Institute of Vietnam, Ministry of Defense, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, "Early Identification and Knowledge of the Opponent: An Important Advantage for Securing Victory in the Vietnam War"

Commentator: Lien-Hang Nguyen, University of Kentucky

3:30–4:00 Break

Senior Scholars’ Interpretations of the American Experience in Southeast Asia (Video and transcript)

Chair: Thomas Schwartz, Vanderbilt University

  • David Elliott, Pomona College
  • George Herring, University of Kentucky, Emeritus
  • John Prados, National Security Archive
5:30–6:00 Refreshments

Media Roundtable Discussion: Convened by Assistant Secretary P.J. Crowley, Bureau of Public Affairs (Video and transcript)

Moderator: Marvin Kalb, Murrow Professor Emeritus, Harvard University

  • William Beecher, Adjunct Professor, University of Maryland
  • Edith Lederer, Reporter, Associated Press
  • Morley Safer, Correspondent, “60 Minutes”
  • Barry Zorthian, Partner, Alcalde & Fay
7:45–9:00 Reception: Benjamin Franklin Room

Thursday, September 30, 2010

8:00-8:45 Registration and Refreshments: Enter at 21st Street
8:55-9:00 Welcome
9:00–9:55 Address by Ambassador John D. Negroponte (Video and transcript)

With Friends Like These: The United States and its Allies (Video and transcript)

Chair: Erin Mahan, Chief Historian, Office of the Secretary of Defense

  • Edward Miller, Dartmouth College, “Vanguard of the “Personalist Revolution”: Ngô Đình Diệm, Ngô Đình Nhu and the Rise of the Cần Lao Party”
  • Effie Pedaliu, University of the West of England-Bristol, “When ‘More Flags’ Meant ‘No European Flags’: The U.S., Its European Allies and the Vietnam War, 1964–74”
  • Andrew Wiest, The University of Southern Mississippi, “Anatomy of a Flawed Alliance: The Nature of the U.S. Alliance with the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces during the Vietnam War”

Commentator: Fred Logevall, Cornell University

11:30-1:15 Lunch

Fighting While Negotiating: Force and Diplomacy in the Vietnam War (Video and transcript)

Chair: Edward Keefer, Historian, Office of the Secretary of Defense

  • Harish Mehta, University of Toronto and Trent University, “‘People’s Diplomacy’: The Diplomatic Front of North Vietnam during the War against the United States, 1965-1972”
  • Stephen Morris, Johns Hopkins University SAIS, “The Effectiveness of Military Force in Achieving a Desired Diplomatic Outcome in Vietnam: From the Cambodian Incursion to the Easter Offensive, 1970- 1972.”
  • Stephen Randolph, National Defense University, “Turning on Both Sides: The Linebacker II Air Campaign, December 1972”

Commentator: Robert McMahon, Ohio State University

2:45-3:00 Break

The Battle for Hearts and Minds: Counterinsurgency and Reconstruction Programs in Vietnam (Video and transcript)

Chair: Richard Hunt, Historian, Office of the Secretary of Defense

  • Elie Tenenbaum, Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), and Jean-Marc LePage, Karraoul High School, “French-American Relations in Intelligence and Counterinsurgency during the First Indochina War”
  • Geoffrey Stewart, University of Western Ontario, “Community Development, Modernization and Exceptionalism in South Vietnam, 1957-1963”
  • Robert Kodosky, West Chester University, “To Forgive and Forget: The Forgotten Lessons of Dai Doan Ket, a Program for National Reconciliation in Vietnam, 1967–1972”

Commentator: Pierre Journoud, Institute for Strategic Research, École Militaire, French Ministry of Defense.

4:30-4:45 Break

Ours to Reason Why: Intervention in Vietnam, Reaction in America (Video and transcript)

Chair: Donald Ritchie, Historian, Senate Historical Office

  • Frank Cain, University of New South Wales, “War for the Asking: How America Became Involved in the Vietnam War”
  • Fabian Hilfrich, University of Edinburgh, “Contesting Patriotism: The Meanings of Patriotism and Dissent in the Debate on the Vietnam War (1964-1968)”
  • Stephen Griffin, Tulane Law School, “The Legal Justification for the Vietnam War: Backwards and Forwards with Nicholas deB. Katzenbach”

Commentator: David Anderson, California State University, Monterey Bay