The Case for Recognition: Dialogue With Vietnam about Cambodia

Washington's decision to open a dialogue with Vietnam about Cambodia suggests that the U.S. may finally be ready to jettison the psychological baggage that has so burdened attitudes toward Hanoi and contorted the policies of the Carter, Reagan and Bush administrations in Southeast Asia. But a case can be made that it doesn't go far enough because it fails to address the critical question of relations with Vietnam itself.

The Bush Administration believes it is taking a political and diplomatic risk by reaching out to Hanoi at all. But the President knew he was running out of ways to prevent the...

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