Led by the Trump administration, American POW/MIA insiders are surprised and pleased at the unprecedented progress made with Vietnam government officials on this issue that has lain dormant in the public eye in recent years. As the poet Elizabeth Browning wrote, let us count the ways.
After remaining reticent for nearly a year on the topic of finding, identifying and returning to America the remains of 1,601 Americans missing in Southeast Asia (SEA) from the Vietnam War, President Donald J. Trump spoke out on the issue at least twice while visiting Vietnam late last year following the Asia Pacific Economic Conference in Da Nang. He also traveled to Hanoi where he said,
Our decades-long joint humanitarian efforts with the Vietnamese people and government to account for and recover personnel still missing – so important to us – from the war, honors these horrors of this horrendous war. We want our service members’ support – and we give total support to the families, and we strengthen the foundation of our comprehensive partnership. That is so important to us.”
A few weeks after that historic trip, a U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIA Affairs (USRJC) met in Russia on Nov. 8 for the 21st Plenum of the USRJC in Moscow at the Ministry of National Defense in their External Affairs facility. U.S. Co-Chairman General Robert “Doc” Foglesong, USAF (Ret), and Russian Co-Chairman General Colonel Valery Vostrotin led the talks.