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3 - Expanding the US Agenda

from Part II - 1980–1989

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 April 2021

Amanda C. Demmer
Affiliation:
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
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Summary

As the Reagan administration reinvigorated the Cold War during its first term, US officials also expanded ongoing dialogue with Hanoi. This incongruity is explained by the fact that the issues American officials championed all painted vivid pictures of the evils of communism, including PO/MIA accounting and emigration programs for South Vietnamese, including Amerasians and former reeducation camp detainees. US officials described these causes as “humanitarian” causes.While discussions on “political” issues remained suspended, humanitarian concerns dominated the US-SRV agenda. US officials consistently earmarked more than 50% of annual refugee admissions slots for Indochinese throughout the 1980s.

Reagan’s celebration of the Vietnam War as a “noble cause” and casting of the American soldier as a national hero reverberated widely. Veterans’ rising political capital opened even more space for members of Congress who had served in Vietnam to become some of the most prominent American voices in the US-SRV normalization process. At the same time, nonstate actors continued to play crucial roles. This chapter uses Ginetta Sagan’s Aurora Foundation to highlight the importance of NGO advocacy, the ongoing linkage between humanitarian and human rights rhetoric, and the ways gender dynamics played an important part in solidifying connections between nonexecutive actors.

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After Saigon's Fall
Refugees and US-Vietnamese Relations, 1975–2000
, pp. 97 - 128
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Expanding the US Agenda
  • Amanda C. Demmer, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Book: After Saigon's Fall
  • Online publication: 08 April 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108770354.004
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  • Expanding the US Agenda
  • Amanda C. Demmer, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Book: After Saigon's Fall
  • Online publication: 08 April 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108770354.004
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Expanding the US Agenda
  • Amanda C. Demmer, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Book: After Saigon's Fall
  • Online publication: 08 April 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108770354.004
Available formats
×