A U.S. foreign policy group said this week it had asked Hanoi to help bring together top U.S. and Vietnamese wartime policymakers for a review of the war and its lessons.
Former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, who wrote in a book published this week that U.S. involvement in Vietnam had been based on faulty premises and was "terribly wrong," said in an interview he would be "delighted" to participate.The dialogue has been proposed to the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry by the Council on Foreign Relations, a private New York-based group with members throughout the U.S. government, press and foreign policy establishment.
"We've had discussions with Vietnamese officials," Karen Sughrue, the council vice president for programs and media projects, said in a telephone interview. She said the talks were in an "extremely preliminary stage," with an agenda and a choice of war years to be covered still to be worked out.
The council hoped the review could begin early next year with sessions in Vietnam or the United States or both. The proceedings would be videotaped or published, she said.
Ideally, participants would use war-era records to document their memories and archivists would also be invited.