What happened to the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia in c. 1975 and c.1990?

What happened to the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia in c. 1975 and c.1990?

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can someone tell me what happened in 1973 and 1988. Thank you.

Here is a better version of the graph (click to enlarge).

As you can see, the first dip follows, and can be nicely explained by the 1973-4 oil shock as @sempaiscuba commented. The second period you highlighted, however, actually bottomed out only in 1991, four years after the 1987 stock market crash. The Hang-Seng Index for the Hong Kong stock market, where Black Monday began, had actually returned to its pre-crash value by 1991.

Rather than the stock market crash, the early 1990s recession in the Philippines was actually due to a combination of long term macroeconomic weakness, natural disasters, the oil price shock, and general global economic downturn.

Beginning first in 1989, a drought hit the agricultural sector, at the time almost 1/4 of the Philippines economy, hard. Next the islands were struck the twin disasters of the Luzhon Earthquake and Typhoon Ruping. Together they killed over two thousand people and inflicted billions in damages. Then Mount Pinatubo erupted, killing almost another 1000 Filipinos. Agriculture was once again devastated by millions in damages as hundreds of thousands of acres of crops were wiped out along with nearly a million livestock.

In addition to the series of unfortunate events, the global economy went into a downturn due to an oil price shock induced by the Gulf War. The weakness of the economy of the Philippines came to the fore under these pressures. Notice how while Thailand and Indonesia did fine, the Filipino economy crashed in the mid 1980s. Dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was in power until 1980s, left behind a huge debt - over $60 billion. Inflation and unemployment were both well above 10%.

The cumulative effect of all these is that the Filipino economy lost $3 billion in 1990 and 1991 - representing about 5% of the Gross National Product at the time. Hence the sudden drop you see on the GDP growth charts.


  • Rantucci, Giovanni. "The damage to the economy of the Philippines." Geological Disasters in the Philippines. Dipartimento per l'informazione e l'editoria: Rome (1990).
  • Bucog, Oscar R. "Philippine economic policy in the 1980S and 1990S: An appraisal." Philippine quarterly of culture and society 32.3/4 (2004): 203-229.

1953 - Cambodia wins its independence from France. Under King Sihanouk, it becomes the Kingdom of Cambodia.

1955 - Sihanouk abdicates to pursue a political career. His father becomes king and Sihanouk becomes prime minister.

1960 - Sihanouk's father dies. Sihanouk becomes head of state.

1965 - Sihanouk breaks off relations with the US and allows North Vietnamese guerrillas to set up bases in Cambodia in pursuance of their campaign against the US-backed government in South Vietnam.

1969 - The US begins a secret bombing campaign against North Vietnamese forces on Cambodian soil.

1970 - Prime Minister Lon Nol overthrows Sihanouk in coup. He proclaims the Khmer Republic and sends the army to fight the North Vietnamese in Cambodia. Sihanouk - in exile in China - forms a guerrilla movement. Over next few years the Cambodian army loses territory against the North Vietnamese and communist Khmer Rouge guerrillas


The ethnically diverse people of the Philippines collectively are called Filipinos. The ancestors of the vast majority of the population were of Malay descent and came from the Southeast Asian mainland as well as from what is now Indonesia. Contemporary Filipino society consists of nearly 100 culturally and linguistically distinct ethnic groups. Of these, the largest are the Tagalog of Luzon and the Cebuano of the Visayan Islands, each of which constitutes about one-fifth of the country’s total population. Other prominent groups include the Ilocano of northern Luzon and the Hiligaynon (Ilongo) of the Visayan islands of Panay and Negros, comprising roughly one-tenth of the population each. The Waray-Waray of the islands of Samar and Leyte in the Visayas and the Bicol (Bikol) of the Bicol Peninsula together account for another one-tenth. Filipino mestizos and the Kapampangans (Pampango) of south-central Luzon each make up small proportions of the population.

Many smaller groups of indigenous and immigrant peoples account for the remainder of the Philippines’ population. The aboriginal inhabitants of the islands were the Negritos, a term referring collectively to numerous peoples of dark skin and small stature, including the Aeta, Ita, Agta, and others. Those communities now constitute only a tiny percentage of the total population. From the 10th century, contacts with China resulted in a group of mixed Filipino-Chinese descent, who also account for a minority of the population. Small numbers of resident Chinese nationals, emigrants from the Indian subcontinent, U.S. nationals, and Spanish add to the population’s ethnic and cultural diversity.

U.S. Relations With the Philippines

The United States established diplomatic relations with the Philippines in 1946.

U.S.-Philippine relations are based on strong historical and cultural linkages and a shared commitment to democracy and human rights. The 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty provides a strong foundation for our robust security partnership, which began during World War II. Strong people-to-people ties and economic cooperation provide additional avenues to engage on a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues. The U.S.-Philippine Bilateral Strategic Dialogue is the annual forum for forward planning across the spectrum of our relationship. There more than four million U.S. citizens of Philippine ancestry in the United States, and more than 350,000 U.S. citizens in the Philippines, including a large number of United States veterans. An estimated 650,000 U.S. citizens visit the Philippines each year. Many people-to-people programs exist between the United States and the Philippines, including the longest continuously running Fulbright program in the world, International Visitor Leadership Program, and Kenney-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study program.

Manila is home to the only Veterans Administration regional office outside the United States, and the American Cemetery in Manila is the largest American military cemetery outside the United States.

U.S. Assistance to Philippines

The U.S. government’s goals in the Philippines are to strengthen democratic governance and support Philippine government efforts to promote inclusive development and contribute to security and development cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. U.S. assistance to the Philippines fosters broad-based economic growth improves the health and education of Filipinos promotes peace and security advances democratic values, good governance, and human rights and strengthens regional and global partnerships Department of State, Department of Defense, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs in conflict-affected areas of Mindanao aim to create a sustainable foundation for peace and stability in areas at risk from terrorism and violent extremism. U.S. assistance seeks to intensify cooperation through a whole-of-government approach that supports a free and open Indo-Pacific. The United States has had a Peace Corps program in the Philippines for over 50 years.

Over the last decade, disaster relief and recovery has also become an increasingly important area of assistance to the Philippines. The United States has provided over $143 million in assistance to date to the people of the Philippines in relief and recovery efforts after Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda devastated the country in 2013. The United States continues to support long-term reconstruction and rebuilding efforts, and has allocated over $60 million to support ongoing humanitarian assistance and stabilization funding in response to the Marawi siege.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States and the Philippines have a strong trade and investment relationship, with over $27 billion in goods and services traded (2086). The United States is one of the largest foreign investors in the Philippines, and is the Philippines’ third-largest trading partner.

Key imports from the Philippines are semiconductor devices and computer peripherals, automobile parts, electric machinery, textiles and garments, wheat and animal feeds, coconut oil, and information technology/business process outsourcing services. Key U.S. exports to the Philippines are agriculture goods, machinery, cereals, raw and semi-processed materials for the manufacture of semiconductors, electronics, and transport equipment. The two countries have a bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, signed in 1989, and a tax treaty. There are over 600 members in the Philippines chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce, which has national reach.

Philippines’s Membership in International Organizations

The Philippines and the United States belong to a many of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, ASEAN Regional Forum, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. The Philippines is also an observer to the Organization of American States. The Philippines served as chair and host of ASEAN for 2017.

Bilateral Representation

Principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.

The Philippines maintains an embassy in the United States at 1600 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036 (tel. 202-467-9300).

More information about Philippines is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Cambodia has an area of 181,040 square kilometers or 69,900 square miles.

It is bordered by Thailand to the west and north, Laos to the north, and Vietnam to the east and south. Cambodia also has a 443 kilometer (275 miles) coastline on the Gulf of Thailand.

The highest point in Cambodia is Phnum Aoral, at 1,810 meters (5,938 feet). The lowest point is the Gulf of Thailand coast, at sea level.

West-central Cambodia is dominated by Tonle Sap, a large lake. During the dry season, its area is about 2,700 square kilometers (1,042 square miles), but during the monsoon season, it swells to 16,000 sq. km (6,177 sq. miles).

What happened to the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia in c. 1975 and c.1990? - History


A Losing War: The South Vietnamese are losing the war to the Viet Cong. No one can assure you that we can beat the Viet Cong or even force [Page 107] them to the conference table on our terms no matter how many hundred thousand white foreign (US) troops we deploy.

No one has demonstrated that a white ground force of whatever size can win a guerrilla war—which is at the same time a civil war between Asians—in jungle terrain in the midst of a population that refuses cooperation to the white forces (and the SVN ) and thus provides a great intelligence advantage to the other side. Three recent incidents vividly illustrate this point: (a) The sneak attack on the Danang Air Base which involved penetration of a defense perimeter guarded by 9,000 Marines. This raid was possible only because of the cooperation of the local inhabitants. (b) The B-52 raid that failed to hit the Viet Cong who had obviously been tipped off. (c) The search-and-destroy mission of the 173rd Airborne Brigade which spent three days looking for the Viet Cong, suffered 23 casualties, and never made contact with the enemy who had obviously gotten advance word of their assignment.

The Question to Decide: Should we limit our liabilities in South Viet-Nam and try to find a way out with minimal long-term costs?

The alternative—no matter what we may wish it to be—is almost certainly a protracted war involving an open-ended commitment of US forces, mounting US casualties, no assurance of a satisfactory solution, and a serious danger of escalation at the end of the road.

Need for a Decision Now: So long as our forces are restricted to advising and assisting the South Vietnamese, the struggle will remain a civil war between Asian peoples. Once we deploy substantial numbers of troops in combat it will become a war between the United States and a large part of the population of South Viet-Nam, organized and directed from North Viet-Nam and backed by the resources of both Moscow and Peiping.

The decision you face now, therefore, is crucial. Once large numbers of US troops are committed to direct combat they will begin to take heavy casualties in a war they are ill-equipped to fight in a non-cooperative if not downright hostile countryside.

Once we suffer large casualties we will have started a well-nigh irreversible process. Our involvement will be so great that we cannot—without national humiliation—stop short of achieving our complete objectives. Of the two possibilities I think humiliation would be more likely than the achievement of our objectives—even after we had paid terrible costs.

  • A. Military Program (1) Complete all deployments already announced (15 battalions) but decide not to go beyond the total of 72,000 men represented by this figure. (2) Restrict the combat role of American forces to the June 9 announcement, 2 making it clear to General Westmoreland that this announcement is to be strictly construed. (3) Continue bombing in the North but avoid the Hanoi-Haiphong area and any targets nearer to the Chinese border than those already struck.
  • B. Political Program (1) In any political approaches so far, we have been the prisoners of whatever South Vietnamese Government was momentarily in power. If we are ever to move toward a settlement it will probably be because the South Vietnamese Government pulls the rug out from under us and makes its own deal or because we go forward quietly without advance pre-arrangement with Saigon. (2) So far we have not given the other side a reason to believe that there is any flexibility in our negotiating approach. And the other side has been unwilling to accept what in their terms is complete capitulation. (3) Now is the time to start some serious diplomatic feelers, looking towards a solution based on some application of the self-determination principle. (4) I would recommend approaching Hanoi rather than any of the other probable parties (the National Liberation Front, Moscow or Peiping). Hanoi is the only one that has given any signs of interest in discussion. Peiping has been rigidly opposed. Moscow has recommended that we negotiate with Hanoi. The National Liberation Front has been silent. (5) There are several channels to the North Vietnamese but I think the best one is through their representative in Paris, Mai Van Bo. Initial feelers with Bo should be directed toward a discussion both of the four points we have put forward and the four points put forward by Hanoi as a basis for negotiation. We can accept all but one of Hanoi’s four points and hopefully we should be able to agree on some ground rules for serious negotiation—including no pre-conditions. (6) If the initial feelers lead to further secret exploratory talks we can inject the concept of self-determination that would permit the Viet Cong some hope of achieving some of their political objectives through local elections or some other device. (7) The contact on our side should be handled through a non-governmental cutout (possibly a reliable newspaperman who can be repudiated.) (8) If progress can be made at this level the basis can be laid for a multi-national conference. At some point obviously the government of South Viet-Nam will have to be brought on board but I would postpone this step until after a substantial feeling out of Hanoi. (9) Before moving to any formal conference we should be prepared to agree that once the conference is started (a) the United States will stand down its bombing of the North, (b) the South Vietnamese will initiate no offensive operations in the South, and (c) the DRV will stop terrorism and other aggressive acts in the South. (10) Negotiations at the conference should aim at incorporating our understanding with Hanoi in the form of a multi-national agreement guaranteed by the United States, the Soviet Union and possibly other parties, and providing for an international mechanism to supervise its execution.

Attachment A 3


  • First, the local effect of our action on nations in or near Southeast Asia.
  • Second, the effect of our action on the credibility of our commitments around the world.
  • Third, the effect on our position of world leadership.

A. Effect on Nations in or Near Southeast Asia

Free Asian reactions to a compromise settlement in South Viet-Nam would be highly parochial, with each country interpreting the event primarily in terms of (a) its own immediate interest, (b) its sense of vulnerability to Communist invasion or insurgency, and (c) its confidence in the integrity of our commitment to its own security based on evidence other than that provided by our actions in SVN .

Within this framework, the following groupings emerge: 1. The Republic of China and Thailand, staunch allies whose preference for extreme U.S. actions, including a risk of war with Communist China, sets them apart from all other Asian nations 2. The Republic of Korea and the Philippines, equally staunch allies whose support for strong U.S. actions short of a war with Communist China would make post-settlement reassurance a pressing U.S. need 3. Japan, an ally that would prefer wisdom to valor in an area remote from its own interests where escalation could involve its Chinese or Russian neighbors, or both 4. Laos, a friendly neutral dependent on a strong Thai-US guarantee of support in the face of increased Vietnamese-Pathet Lao pressures 5. Burma and Cambodia, suspicious neutrals whose fear of antagonizing Communist China would increase their leaning toward Peking in a conviction that the US presence is not long for Southeast Asia and 6. Indonesia, whose opportunistic marriage of convenience with both Hanoi and Peking would carry it further in its covert aggression against Malaysia, convinced that “foreign imperialism” is a fast fading entity in the region.

Of these varied reactions, the critical importance of Japan and Thailand calls for more detailed examination.

According to our Embassy, Japanese public opinion is largely unreceptive to our interpretation of the situation in Viet-Nam. Many if not most Japanese consider that the US is endeavoring to prop up a tottering government that lacks adequate indigenous support. Public media stress the civil war aspects of the struggle, portray Hanoi’s resistance as determined and justified, and question our judgment as to the dangers of an eventual war with Communist China.

The government as such supports our strong posture in Viet-Nam but stops short at the idea of a war between the US and China. Governmental leadership can—to a considerable extent—influence the public reaction in Japan. Government cooperation would, therefore, be essential in making the following points to the Japanese people: (1) US support was given in full measure, as shown by our casualties, our expenditures, and our risk-taking and (2) the US record in Korea shows the credibility of our commitment so far as Japan is concerned.

Thai commitments to the struggles in Laos and South Viet-Nam are based upon a careful evaluation of the regional threat to Thailand’s security. The Thais are confident that they can contain any threats from Indochina alone. They know, however, that they cannot withstand the massive power of Communist China without foreign assistance.

Unfortunately, the Thai view of the war has seriously erred in fundamental respects. They believe American power can do anything, both militarily and in terms of shoring up a Saigon regime. They now assume that we really could take over in Saigon and win the war if we felt we had to. If we should fail to do so the Thais would initially see it as a failure of US will.

Yet time is on our side, provided we employ it effectively. Thailand is an independent nation with a long national history and—unlike South Viet-Nam—an acute national consciousness. It has few domestic Communists and none of the instability that plagues its neighbors, Burma and Malaysia. Its one danger area, in the Northeast, is well in hand so far as preventive measures against insurgency are concerned. Securing the Mekong Valley will be critical in any long-run solution, whether by the partition of Laos, with Thai-US forces occupying the western half, or by some cover arrangement. Provided we are willing to make the effort, Thailand can be a foundation of rock and not a bed of sand on which to base our political-military commitment to Southeast Asia.

As for the rest of the Far East, the only serious point of concern might be South Korea. But if we stop pressing the Koreans for more troops to Viet-Nam (the Vietnamese show no desire for additional Asian forces since it affronts their sense of pride) we may be able to cushion Korean reactions to a compromise in South Viet-Nam by the provision of greater military and economic assistance. In this regard, Japan can play a pivotal role now that it has achieved normal relations with South Korea.

B. Effect[Page 112]on the Credibility of Our Commitments Around the World

With the exception of the nations in the Southeast Asian area, a compromise settlement in South Viet-Nam should not have a major impact on the credibility of our commitments around the world. Quite possibly President De Gaulle will make propaganda about perfidious Washington, but even he will be inhibited by his much-heralded disapproval of our activities in South Viet-Nam.

Chancellor Erhard has told us privately that the people of Berlin would be concerned by a compromise settlement in South Viet-Nam. But this was hardly an original thought and I suspect he was telling us what he believed we would like to hear. After all, the confidence of the West Berliners will depend more on what they see on the spot than on news of events half way around the world. They have much to gain by the prevention of a confrontation between East and West elsewhere and by the gradual developments of a spirit of entente that might pave the way for ultimate reunification.

In my observation, the principal anxiety of our NATO allies is that we have become too preoccupied with an area which seems to them an irrelevance and may be tempted to neglect our NATO responsibilities. Moreover, they have a vested interest in an easier relationship between Washington and Moscow.

By and large, therefore, they would be inclined to regard a compromise solution in South Viet-Nam more as new evidence of American maturity and judgment than of American loss of face.

These would be the larger and longer-term reactions of the Europeans. In the short run, of course, we could expect some cat-calls from the sidelines and some vindictive pleasure on the part of Europeans jealous of American power. But that would, in my view, be a transient phenomenon with which we could live without sustained anguish.

Elsewhere around the world, I would see few unhappy implications for the credibility of our commitments. No doubt the Communists will try to gain propaganda value in Africa, but I cannot seriously believe that the Africans care too much about what happens in Southeast Asia.

Australia and New Zealand are, of course, special cases since they feel lonely in the far reaches of the Pacific. Yet even their concern is far greater with Malaysia than with South Viet-Nam, and the degree of their anxiety would be conditioned largely by expressions of our support for Malaysia.

C. Effect on Our Position of World Leadership

On balance I believe we would more seriously undermine the effectiveness of our world leadership by continuing the war and deepening our involvement than by pursuing a carefully plotted course toward a compromise solution. In spite of the number of powers that have—in response to our pleading—given verbal support from feelings of loyalty and dependence, we cannot ignore the fact that the war is vastly unpopular and that our role in it is perceptibly eroding the respect and confidence [Page 113] with which other nations regard us. We have not persuaded either our friends or allies that our further involvement is essential to the defense of freedom in the Cold War. Moreover, the more men we deploy in the jungles of South Viet-Nam, the more we contribute to the growing world anxiety and mistrust.

The Economic Development of Southeast Asia

This major four-volume collection brings together the key analytical contributions on the economies of Southeast Asia, countries which together have a population of more than 500 million people.

This group of economies is of interest for a number of reasons. Firstly, they feature great diversity – Singapore has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, while several of the mainland Southeast Asian states are among the poorest. Brunei is a tiny oil sultanate, while Indonesia is the world’s fourth largest nation. In addition, several of these economies have been consistently among the world’s most open, while others are emerging from a long period of international commercial isolation. Thirdly, the group includes one sizeable country, the Philippines, which for reasons still only poorly understood has consistently under-performed compared to its potential. Four of the economies – Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand – grew extremely quickly in the three decades through to the recent Asian economic crisis. Lastly, the Asian economic crisis of 1997–98 particularly affected three of the countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. The factors explaining this sudden, and largely unanticipated, event are still only poorly understood.

This comprehensive reference collection is essential reading for all those interested in the economic performance of these economies.

Volume I
Introduction Hal Hill
A Historical Backdrop
1. H. Myint (1967), ‘The Inward and Outward Looking Countries of Southeast Asia’
2. Anne Booth (1991), ‘The Economic Development of Southeast Asia: 1870–1985’
B Country Overviews
3. Romeo M. Bautista and Mario B. Lamberte (1996), ‘The Philippines: Economic Developments and Prospects’
4. Hal Hill (1994), ‘The Economy’
5. W.G. Huff (1999), ‘Singapore’s Economic Development: Four Lessons and Some Doubts’
6. Robert E.B. Lucas and Donald Verry (1999), ‘National Economic Trends’
7. James Riedel and Bruce Comer (1997), ‘Transition to a Market Economy in Viet Nam’
8. Peter G. Warr (1993), ‘The Thai Economy’
A Outcomes and Policy Instruments
9. W. Max Corden (1996), ‘Pragmatic Orthodoxy: Macroeconomic Policies in Seven East Asian Economies’
10. Ross H. McLeod (1997), ‘Explaining Chronic Inflation in Indonesia’
B Exchange Rate Policy
11. Ross Garnaut (1999), ‘Exchange Rates in the East Asian Crisis’
12. Stephen Grenville and David Gruen (1999), ‘Capital Flows and Exchange Rates’
C International Financial Markets
13. Gordon de Brouwer (1999), ‘Capital Flows to East Asia: The Facts’
14. David C. Cole and Betty F. Slade (1999), ‘The Crisis and Financial Sector Reform’
D Fiscal Policy
15. Mukul G. Asher, Ismail Muhd Salleh and Datuk Kamal Salih (1994), ‘Tax Reform in Malaysia: Trends and Options’
16. Malcolm Gillis (1994), ‘Indonesian Tax Reform, 1985–1990’
E Domestic Saving and External Debt
17. Eli M. Remolona, Mahar Mangahas and Filologo Pante, Jr. (1986), ‘Foreign Debt, Balance of Payments, and the Economic Crisis of the Philippines in 1983–84’
18. Steven Radelet (1995) ‘Indonesian Foreign Debt: Headed for a Crisis or Financing Sustainable Growth?’
19. Ross H. McLeod (1996), ‘Indonesian Foreign Debt: A Comment’ and Steven Radelet (1996), ‘Indonesian Foreign Debt: A Reply’
20. Frank Harrigan (1998), ‘Asian Saving: Theory, Evidence, and Policy’
F ASEAN Economic Cooperation
21. Chia Siow Yue (1996), ‘The Deepening and Widening of ASEAN’
Name Index

Volume II
An Introduction by the editor to all four volumes appears in Volume I
A Growth
1. Helen Hughes (1995), ‘Why Have East Asian Countries Led Economic Development?’
2. Asian Development Bank (1997), excerpt from ‘Economic Growth and Transformation’
B The Crisis
3. Prema-chandra Athukorala (2000), ‘Capital Account Regimes, Crisis, and Adjustment in Malaysia’
4. Hal Hill (2000), ‘Indonesia: The Strange and Sudden Death of a Tiger Economy’
5. Joseph Y. Lim (1998), ‘The Philippines and the East Asian Economic Turmoil’
6. Steven Radelet and Jeffrey D. Sachs (1998), ‘The East Asian Financial Crisis: Diagnosis, Remedies, Prospects’
7. Peter G. Warr (1999), ‘What Happened to Thailand?’
A Poverty and Inequality
8. Arsenio M. Balisacan (1995), ‘Anatomy of Poverty During Adjustment: The Case of the Philippines’
9. Anne Booth (2000), ‘The Impact of the Indonesian Crisis on Welfare: What Do We Know Two Years On?’
10. Medhi Krongkaew (1994), ‘Income Distribution in East Asian Developing Countries: An Update’
11. Martin Ravallion and Monika Huppi (1991), ‘Measuring Changes in Poverty: A Methodological Case Study of Indonesia During an Adjustment Period’
B Labour Markets and Human Resources
12. Prema-chandra Athukorala and Jayant Menon (1999) ‘Outward Orientation and Economic Development in Malaysia’
13. Anne Booth (1999), ‘Education and Economic Development in Southeast Asia: Myths and Realities’
14. Sirilaksana Khoman (1995), ‘Thailand’s Industrialization: Implications for Health, Education, and Science and Technology’
15. Chris Manning (1994), ‘What Has Happened to Wages in the New Order?’
16. Chris Manning (1999), ‘Labour Markets in the ASEAN-4 and the NIEs’
C Demographics
17. Gavin W. Jones (1999), ‘The Population of South-East Asia’
D Environmental Issues
18. Harold Brookfield (1993), ‘The Dimensions of Environmental Change and Management in the South-East Asian Region’
19. Ian Coxhead (2000), ‘Consequences of a Food Security Strategy for Economic Welfare, Income Distribution and Land Degradation: The Philippine Case’
20. Thomas P. Tomich, Meine van Noordwijk, Stephen A. Vosti and Julie Witcover (1998), ‘Agricultural Development with Rainforest Conservation: Methods for Seeking Best Bet Alternatives to Slash-and-burn, with Applications to Brazil and Indonesia’
21. Jeffrey R. Vincent and Rozali Mohamed Ali with Chang Yii Tan, Jahara Yahaya, Khalid Abdul Rahim, Lim Teck Ghee, Anke Sofia Meyer, Mohd. Shahwahid Haji Othman and G. Sivalingam, (1997), ‘Conclusions’
E Regional Development
22. Hal Hill (1997), ‘Regional Development in Southeast Asia: The Challenges of Subnational Diversity’
23. M. Govinda Rao (2000), ‘Fiscal Decentralization in Vietnam: Emerging Issues’
Name Index

At Clark Air Base in the Philippines, Ghosts of U.S. Power

Clark Air Base and Subic Bay were symbols of America’s global might. Then the Cold War ended. Mt. Pinatubo erupted. They closed. Now China is the unassailable power in these seas.

Donald Kirk

Bullit Marquez/AP

CLARK FREEPORT, Philippines—The tarnished carcasses of old fighter planes litter the landscape here, relics of what once was the biggest American air base outside the United States. In the Cold War days, combat aircraft and transports would take off in their hundreds, heading for targets from the Middle East to Vietnam to Korea. But these days, as new Cold Wars loom on the horizon with Russia and especially China, this historic former base is a symbol of emptiness in American defense policy.

The storied parade ground is still here, an expanse of greensward over which generals once presided as the base grew from an old Spanish cavalry post in 1898 to a symbol of global U.S. power.

As tremors in mid-June 1991 shook Mount Pinatubo, looming ominously 10 miles to the west, a U.S. Geological Survey team warned of one of history’s most dramatic volcanic blasts. The American commander, Air Force Major General William Studer, ordered the withdrawal of all 14,500 troops and civilians along with almost all the planes two days before the first of 42 eruptions in three days coughed up a firestorm of lava, mud and dust.

The Americans would never return—but not because the base, covered by ash and volcanic mud was beyond repair. The reason was rejection three months later of a new bases treaty by a Philippine senate eager to defy the “imperial power” that had ruled the Philippines as successor to the Spanish until the Japanese in 1942 inflicted one of the most humiliating defeats in U.S. military history.

True, the Americans, having recovered the country in terrible battles with the Japanese in 1945, granted independence to the Philippines in 1946, appropriately on July 4. But over the years Philippine “nationalists,” as they called themselves, resented the close ties between the Americans and Philippine leaders, notably the long-ruling Ferdinand Marcos, deposed in 1986 in a bloodless “People Power” revolution. In 1991 the senate president, Jovito Salonga, proudly cast the deciding ballot as the senate spurned the treaty, 12 to 11, a triumph recounted by Salonga in his book, The Senate that Said No.

The Americans were gone for good—and not only from Clark but from Subic Bay, their biggest overseas naval base, on the other side of Pinatubo, 47 miles southwest in the South China Sea.

Today, the Chinese Communist Party is claiming more of those waters as its own. And this place that is now a tawdry Philippine Air Force base is a sad symbol of misplaced nationalism at a time when officials in Manila watch with consternation as Beijing marauds.

China purports to rule virtually all the South China Sea, menacing Philippine forces still clinging to tiny enclaves in the Spratly Islands where the Chinese have built an air strip and facilities for warships. As if that weren’t enough, Chinese boats, buoys and a floating chain keep Philippine fishermen from the fish-rich Scarborough Shoal, long claimed by the Philippines, 165 miles west of Subic.

President Rodrigo Duterte, best known for his brutal crackdown on drug dealers and users, has been trying to curry favor with China’s President Xi Jinping, whom he saw last week on his fifth trip to Beijing since his election three years ago.

Talk of a revival of the old relationship between the U.S. and the Philippines, still bound by a mutual defense treaty with the United States dating from 1951, has faded since Duterte stopped American warships from paying courtesy calls at Subic. Several thousand U.S. and Philippine troops do stage annual Balikatan—“shoulder to shoulder”—exercises but stay clear of the Chinese, a force the Americans are in no position to challenge without their historic bases.

Reminders of a bygone era are visible around the Clark Freeport in the form of old buildings that once served the Americans. Some are hollow shells, others rebuilt after a wave of looting in which Filipinos, with the connivance of high-ranking military officers, stripped the base of just about anything that might be sold on the open market, including copper wiring, pipes, and plumbing, as well as weapons and expensive electronic gadgetry. That era of massive thievery, an epidemic that officials prefer not to discuss, appears forgotten while planners welcome new investment, and headlines proclaim the dangers posed by the Chinese.

The contrast between old and new times is nowhere so clear as in the transition of Clark Field from a strategic military base to a civilian airport. The Philippine Air Force, reduced to a handful of helicopters, old transports and jet trainers, manages only occasional flights off a single strip serving a dozen airliners packed with hard-charging passengers in pursuit of all the fun on offer at both Clark and in adjacent Angeles City.

“We say there’s not just life after the bases,” says Noel Tulabut, communications manager of the Clark Development Corporation, “There’s new life, period.” That includes factories and shops on the base, two 18-hole and two 9-hole golf courses and four casinos.

In a society said to have emerged from 400 years in a convent and 50 years in Hollywood, beyond the guarded entries to Clark the city of Angeles throbs to the beat of one of Asia’s most raucous, wide-open entertainment districts.

Young women, clad in brief but not overly revealing attire, as required by law, prance and dance on stages while still more women saunter up and down Fields Avenue and nearby streets ogled by men from around the world. Lingerie shops and massage parlors are interspersed among the nightclubs while drugs are available on back streets and narrow alleys despite Duterte’s war on dealers, said to have cost 10,000 lives in police raids and vengeance killings.

U.S. military people who once lit up “the red light district,” as it’s widely known, may no longer be around, but greying retirees, most of them living with Filipinas, hang out in the bars and clubs. Some of them congregate at Margarita Station, a legendary restaurant and pool hall run by a retired U.S. air force officer near what was once the main gate to the former base.

Old-timers at Margarita Station complain authorities are imposing new rules for the gaudy clubs, but visitors from South Korea and other Asian countries, plus Europe, Australia and the U.S., keep the place humming. The district flourishes decades after American GIs crowded the strip, rivalled only by the wild nightclubs of Olongapo by Subic Bay, a 90-minute drive to the west.

These days the goal is “to make Clark the main airport for the Philippines,” says Augusto Sanchez at the Clark International Airport Corporation. By the time Duterte steps down when his six-year term ends in 2022, says Sanchez, “a whole new infrastructure will be in place, all part of the Clark Freeport managed by the Clark Development Corporation.”

Now the most numerous visitors to Clark are Koreans, who fill the flights from South Korea in pursuit of all Clark and Angeles City have to offer. The three G’s of golf, gambling and girls lure so many visitors that the airport is adding another terminal and two more strips.

After all that’s done, maybe by next year, Clark should be poised to surpass Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport as the Philippines’ main gateway. Befitting its rising stature, it’s even getting a new name, Lipad, which means “fly” in Tagalog and also is the acronym for Luzon International Premier Airport Development—Luzon being the name of the Philippines’ main island.

If Clark is already a center for business plus entertainment, what’s left of the Philippine Air Force shows the futility of standing up to Chinese claims to the entire South China Sea.

The weakness of the Philippines militarily was evident in the rhetoric of the Philippines foreign affairs secretary, Teodoro Locsin Jr., as he protested the encroachment of a Chinese vessel among Philippine islands far to the south.

“Fire diplomatic protests over the Chinese warship,” Locsin inveighed before an indignant Philippine senate committee. “Drop the diplomatic crap. Say it is ours, period. Say they are trespassing.”

Sure, as if the big talk would have the slightest impact on the Chinese, building new bases of their own on the Spratly Islands in defiance of claims by not only the Philippines but also Vietnam, Malaysia and even the small sultanate of Brunei, on the southern fringe of the sea.

Such remarks appear all the more absurd considering that President Duterte has assiduously cozied up to China. He’s repeatedly implied that China may be a more reliable friend than the U.S. as a result of the withdrawal of U.S. forces in 1991 and 1992 from Clark and Subic

Duterte, sensitive to criticism that he’s been overly friendly to Beijing, believes the latter-day Americans simply won’t do much, if anything, to defend the Philippines in a showdown. In a commentary dripping with sarcasm he told a local TV audience, “I would like America to gather all their Seventh Fleet in front of China.” Were that to happen, he said, “I will join them.”

More seriously, in Beijing last week, Duterte raised the issue of Chinese poaching in Philippine waters with President Xi—and even dared to say a ruling in 2016 by a U.N.-backed panel in The Hague rejecting China’s claim to sovereignty over the entire South China Sea was “binding,” not subject to appeal.

Good luck with that. Xi brushed aside Duterte’s claim, restating the oft-repeated Chinese position that the panel has no jurisdiction over anything China does. Rather, said the New China News Agency, reporting not a word about the ruling, the two preferred to “set aside disputes, eliminate external interference, and concentrate on conducting cooperation, making pragmatic efforts and seeking development.”

For Duterte, the payoff might lie in a deal for sharing the bounty of the sea, perhaps agreeing to a code of conduct for all competing claimants. But there’s a lot more at stake than fishing rights.

“I’m most interested in the extraction of the natural resources,” oil and natural gas, Duterte told reporters. In another rhetorical flourish, a spokesperson said bravely, “Either we get a compliance in a friendly manner or we enforce it in an unfriendly manner.”

In fact, the weakness of the Philippine armed forces is manifest. Its 170,000 troops have to defend the country’s 8,000 or so islands against not only external threats but also twin Muslim and communist revolts.

Among Duterte’s foes is the country’s vice president, Leni Robredo, a lawyer whose husband, a former cabinet minister, died in a plane crash seven years ago. The winner in a separate vote for vice president in the 2016 elections, Robredo accuses Duterte of “selling out” to China.

“The president has made a lot of statements which give a sense we are acquiescing to what China wants,” she said in an interview with Bloomberg. “We might wake up one day, and many of our territories are no longer ours.”

At Clark, such dire verbiage causes little concern. The civilian airport here passed a milestone of two million passengers in the first half of this year, and Texas Instruments and Samsung Electronics spin out semiconductors and other electronic products inside the zone. Three hours from Manila by a congested expressway and teeming city streets, the airport will in a few years be connected by a railroad, bringing it within an hour of the swarming capital.

Robert Brady, a pilot for FedEx who spent five years living on Clark while his father was based here in the 1970s, recalls the good old days with mixed feelings. “There used to be houses here,” he says, taking pictures by the old parade ground in between flights. “My old house was destroyed.” But he’s hopeful about the future: “The base is looking better. I wish them well. The Koreans are investing. The Koreans are everything.”

As for the danger posed by the Chinese in the South China Sea, that’s a bad dream on a distant horizon. In Air Force City, a corner of the sprawling former base still dedicated to the armed forces, decrepit cement barracks still show signs of the damage inflicted by Pinatubo’s cinder and ash. On the grass outside, signs warn, “Watch Out for Low-Flying Golf Balls,” nothing about enemy planes or missiles.

Ordering Power

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  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Online publication date: June 2012
  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online ISBN: 9780511760891
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511760891
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics
  • Subjects: Politics and International Relations, Comparative Politics

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Book description

Like the postcolonial world more generally, Southeast Asia exhibits tremendous variation in state capacity and authoritarian durability. Ordering Power draws on theoretical insights dating back to Thomas Hobbes to develop a unified framework for explaining both of these political outcomes. States are especially strong and dictatorships especially durable when they have their origins in 'protection pacts': broad elite coalitions unified by shared support for heightened state power and tightened authoritarian controls as bulwarks against especially threatening and challenging types of contentious politics. These coalitions provide the elite collective action underpinning strong states, robust ruling parties, cohesive militaries, and durable authoritarian regimes - all at the same time. Comparative-historical analysis of seven Southeast Asian countries (Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Vietnam, and Thailand) reveals that subtly divergent patterns of contentious politics after World War II provide the best explanation for the dramatic divergence in Southeast Asia's contemporary states and regimes.


‘Three cheers for Dan Slater! One for showing that elite opposition to democracy has taken quite different forms in Southeast Asia. Another for revealing how different kinds of counterrevolutionary politics have been a response to different types of political challenges. And the third for demonstrating how comparative-historical analysis can brightly illuminate just these kinds of large and consequential processes. All serious students of state formation and democratization will want to read Ordering Power.’

Jeff Goodwin - New York University

‘Ordering Power is one of the most important books on either political regimes or state-building to be published in the last two decades. Though focused on Southeast Asia, the book will be required reading for all students of democratization and state-building. Slater brings the state back into contemporary regime analyses, showing why state infrastructural power is critical to authoritarian stability. Based on impressive historical analysis, the book explores the roots of state power in Southeast Asia. Whereas much previous work on state-building focused on external military conflict, the book shows how internal conflict - and specifically, early periods of mass mobilization and communal conflict - may induce elites to enter a protection pact that can serve as a foundation for long-term authoritarian stability. Of the many recent studies of the sources of authoritarian stability, I find Ordering Power to be most compelling.’

Steven Levitsky - Harvard University

‘Ordering Power tackles big questions in a powerful and nuanced way, connecting to a broad range of important debates. Dan Slater has produced an extremely powerful and important book that will be of considerable interest to a wide-ranging audience in the social sciences, history, and Southeast Asian studies.’

T. J. Pempel - University of California, Berkeley

‘With the publication of Ordering Power, Dan Slater has demonstrated with impressive skill and sophistication the importance of social forces and conflicts for underpinning authoritarian rule, in Southeast Asia and beyond, as well as the broader intellectual promise of an approach to comparative politics rooted in the tradition of comparative historical sociology. Slater has singlehandedly raised the standards - and the stakes - of cross-national comparative analysis of Southeast Asian politics. It is to be hoped that serious scholars of the region will rise to the challenge of engaging with his work.’

What happened to the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia in c. 1975 and c.1990? - History

"No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now. Rarely have so many people been so wrong about so much. Never have the consequences of their misunderstanding been so tragic." [Nixon]

The Vietnam War has been the subject of thousands of newspaper and magazine articles, hundreds of books, and scores of movies and television documentaries. The great majority of these efforts have erroneously portrayed many myths about the Vietnam War as being facts. [Nixon]

Myth: Most American soldiers were addicted to drugs, guilt-ridden about their role in the war, and deliberately used cruel and inhumane tactics.

91% of Vietnam Veterans say they are glad they served [Westmoreland]

74% said they would serve again even knowing the outcome [Westmoreland]

There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and non veterans of the same age group (from a Veterans Administration study) [Westmoreland]

Isolated atrocities committed by American soldiers produced torrents of outrage from antiwar critics and the news media while Communist atrocities were so common that they received hardly any attention at all. The United States sought to minimize and prevent attacks on civilians while North Vietnam made attacks on civilians a centerpiece of its strategy. Americans who deliberately killed civilians received prison sentences while Communists who did so received commendations. From 1957 to 1973, the National Liberation Front assassinated 36,725 South Vietnamese and abducted another 58,499. The death squads focused on leaders at the village level and on anyone who improved the lives of the peasants such as medical personnel, social workers, and schoolteachers. [Nixon] Atrocities - every war has atrocities. War is brutal and not fair. Innocent people get killed.

Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison - only 1/2 of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes. [Westmoreland]

97% were discharged under honorable conditions the same percentage of honorable discharges as ten years prior to Vietnam [Westmoreland]

85% of Vietnam Veterans made a successful transition to civilian life. [McCaffrey]

Vietnam veterans' personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent. [McCaffrey]

Vietnam veterans have a lower unemployment rate than our non-vet age group. [McCaffrey]

87% of the American people hold Vietnam Vets in high esteem. [McCaffrey]

Myth: Most Vietnam veterans were drafted.

2/3 of the men who served in Vietnam were volunteers. 2/3 of the men who served in World War II were drafted. [Westmoreland] Approximately 70% of those killed were volunteers. [McCaffrey] Many men volunteered for the draft so even some of the draftees were actually volunteers.

Myth: The media have reported that suicides among Vietnam veterans range from 50,000 to 100,000 - 6 to 11 times the non-Vietnam veteran population.

Mortality studies show that 9,000 is a better estimate. "The CDC Vietnam Experience Study Mortality Assessment showed that during the first 5 years after discharge, deaths from suicide were 1.7 times more likely among Vietnam veterans than non-Vietnam veterans. After that initial post-service period, Vietnam veterans were no more likely to die from suicide than non-Vietnam veterans. In fact, after the 5-year post-service period, the rate of suicides is less in the Vietnam veterans' group." [Houk]

Myth: A disproportionate number of blacks were killed in the Vietnam War.

86% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasians, 12.5% were black, 1.2% were other races. (CACF and Westmoreland)

Sociologists Charles C. Moskos and John Sibley Butler, in their recently published book "All That We Can Be," said they analyzed the claim that blacks were used like cannon fodder during Vietnam "and can report definitely that this charge is untrue. Black fatalities amounted to 12 percent of all Americans killed in Southeast Asia - a figure proportional to the number of blacks in the U.S. population at the time and slightly lower than the proportion of blacks in the Army at the close of the war." [All That We Can Be]

Myth: The war was fought largely by the poor and uneducated.

Servicemen who went to Vietnam from well-to-do areas had a slightly elevated risk of dying because they were more likely to be pilots or infantry officers.

Vietnam Veterans were the best educated forces our nation had ever sent into combat. 79% had a high school education or better. [McCaffrey]

Myth: The domino theory was proved false.

The domino theory was accurate. The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand stayed free of Communism because of the U.S. commitment to Vietnam. The Indonesians threw the Soviets out in 1966 because of America's commitment in Vietnam. Without that commitment, Communism would have swept all the way to the Malacca Straits that is south of Singapore and of great strategic importance to the free world. If you ask people who live in these countries that won the war in Vietnam, they have a different opinion from the American news media. The Vietnam War was the turning point for Communism. [Westmoreland]

Democracy Catching On - In the wake of the Cold War, democracies are flourishing, with 179 of the world's 192 sovereign states (93%) now electing their legislators, according to the Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union. In the last decade, 69 nations have held multi-party elections for the first time in their histories. Three of the five newest democracies are former Soviet republics: Belarus (where elections were first held in November 1995), Armenia (July 1995) and Kyrgyzstan (February 1995). And two are in Africa: Tanzania (October 1995) and Guinea (June 1995). [Parade Magazine]

Myth: The fighting in Vietnam was not as intense as in World War II.

The average infantryman in the South Pacific during World War II saw about 40 days of combat in four years. The average infantryman in Vietnam saw about 240 days of combat in one year thanks to the mobility of the helicopter.

One out of every 10 Americans who served in Vietnam was a casualty. 58,169 were killed and 304,000 wounded out of 2.59 million who served. Although the percent who died is similar to other wars, amputations or crippling wounds were 300 percent higher than in World War II. 75,000 Vietnam veterans are severely disabled. [McCaffrey]

MEDEVAC helicopters flew nearly 500,000 missions. Over 900,000 patients were airlifted (nearly half were American). The average time lapse between wounding to hospitalization was less than one hour. As a result, less than one percent of all Americans wounded who survived the first 24 hours died. [VHPA 1993]

The helicopter provided unprecedented mobility. Without the helicopter it would have taken three times as many troops to secure the 800 mile border with Cambodia and Laos (the politicians thought the Geneva Conventions of 1954 and the Geneva Accords or 1962 would secure the border) [Westmoreland]

Approximately 12,000 helicopters saw action in Vietnam (all services). [VHPA databases]

Army UH-1's totaled 9,713,762 flight hours in Vietnam between October 1966 and the end of American involvement in early 1973. [VHPA databases]

Army AH-1G's totaled 1,110,716 flight hours in Vietnam. [VHPA databases]

We believe that the Huey along with the Huey Cobra have more combat flight time than any other aircraft in the history of warfare assuming you count actual hostile fire exposure versus battle area exposure. As an example, heavy bombers during World War II most often flew missions lasting many hours with only 10 to 20 minutes of that time exposed to hostile fire. Helicopters in Vietnam seldom flew above 1,500 feet which is traffic pattern altitude for bombers and were always exposed to hostile fire even in their base camps.

Myth: Air America, the airline operated by the CIA in Southeast Asia, and its pilots were involved in drug trafficking.

The 1990 unsuccessful movie "Air America" helped to establish the myth of a connection between Air America, the CIA, and the Laotian drug trade. The movie and a book the movie was based on contend that the CIA condoned a drug trade conducted by a Laotian client both agree that Air America provided the essential transportation for the trade and both view the pilots with sympathetic understanding. American-owned airlines never knowingly transported opium in or out of Laos, nor did their American pilots ever profit from its transport. Yet undoubtedly every plane in Laos carried opium at some time, unknown to the pilot and his superiors. For more information see http://www.air-america.org

Facts about the fall of Saigon

Myth: The American military was running for their lives during the fall of Saigon in April 1975.
The picture of a Huey helicopter evacuating people from the top of what was billed as being the U.S. Embassy in Saigon during the last week of April 1975 during the fall of Saigon helped to establish this myth.

This famous picture is the property of UPI Corbus-Bettman Photo Agency. It is one of 42 pictures of this helicopter that UPI photographer, Hubert Van Es took on 29 April 1975 from UPI's offices on the top floor of the Saigon Hotel which was several blocks from the Pittman Apartments. [People]

Here are some facts to clear up that poor job of reporting by the news media.

It was a "civilian" (Air America) Huey not Army or Marines.

It was NOT the U.S. Embassy. The building is the Pittman Apartments, a 10 story building where the CIA station chief and many of his officers lived, located at 22 Ly Tu Trong St. The U.S. Embassy and its helipad were much larger. The platform is the top of the elevator shaft for the building and was not designed as a helipad. [People]

The evacuees were Vietnamese not American military. Two high ranking Vietnamese where among those taken that day to Tan Son Nhut airport, General Tran Van Don and the head of the secret police Tran Kim Tuyen. Both immigrated to Europe and both have since died. [People]

The person who can be seen aiding the refugees was CIA operations officer, Mr. O.B. Harnage, who is now retired in Arizona. The pilots who were flying this helicopter, tail number N4 7004, were Bob Caron who lives in Florida and Jack "Pogo" Hunter who died in 1997. [People]

Myth: Kim Phuc, the little nine year old Vietnamese girl running naked from the napalm strike near Trang Bang on 8 June 1972, was burned by Americans bombing Trang Bang.

No American had involvement in this incident near Trang Bang that burned Phan Thi Kim Phuc. The planes doing the bombing near the village were VNAF (Vietnam Air Force) and were being flown by Vietnamese pilots in support of South Vietnamese troops on the ground. The Vietnamese pilot who dropped the napalm in error is currently living in the United States. Even the AP photographer, Nick Ut, who took the picture was Vietnamese. The incident in the photo took place on the second day of a three day battle between the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) who occupied the village of Trang Bang and the ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) who were trying to force the NVA out of the village. Recent reports in the news media that an American commander ordered the air strike that burned Kim Phuc are incorrect. There were no Americans involved in any capacity. "We (Americans) had nothing to do with controlling VNAF," according to Lieutenant General (Ret) James F. Hollingsworth, the Commanding General of TRAC at that time. Also, it has been incorrectly reported that two of Kim Phuc's brothers were killed in this incident. They were Kim's cousins not her brothers.

Myth: The United States lost the war in Vietnam.

The American military was not defeated in Vietnam. The American military did not lose a battle of any consequence. From a military standpoint, it was almost an unprecedented performance. (Westmoreland quoting Douglas Pike, a professor at the University of California, Berkley a renowned expert on the Vietnam War) [Westmoreland] This included Tet 68, which was a major military defeat for the VC and NVA.

THE UNITED STATES DID NOT LOSE THE WAR IN VIETNAM, THE SOUTH VIETNAMESE DID after the U.S. Congress cut off funding. The South Vietnamese ran out of fuel, ammunition and other supplies because of a lack of support from Congress while the North Vietnamese were very well supplied by China and the Soviet Union.

Facts about the end of the war:

The fall of Saigon happened 30 April 1975, two years AFTER the American military left Vietnam. The last American troops departed in their entirety 29 March 1973. How could we lose a war we had already stopped fighting? We fought to an agreed stalemate. The peace settlement was signed in Paris on 27 January 1973. It called for release of all U.S. prisoners, withdrawal of U.S. forces, limitation of both sides' forces inside South Vietnam and a commitment to peaceful reunification. [1996 Information Please Almanac]

The 140,000 evacuees in April 1975 during the fall of Saigon consisted almost entirely of civilians and Vietnamese military, NOT American military running for their lives. [1996 Information Please Almanac]

There were almost twice as many casualties in Southeast Asia (primarily Cambodia) the first two years after the fall of Saigon in 1975 then there were during the ten years the U.S. was involved in Vietnam. [1996 Information Please Almanac]

POW-MIA Issue (unaccounted-for versus missing in action)

Politics & People , On Vietnam, Clinton Should Follow a Hero's Advice, contained this quote about Vietnam, there has been "the most extensive accounting in the history of human warfare" of those missing in action. While there are still officially more than 2,200 cases, there now are only 55 incidents of American servicemen who were last seen alive but aren't accounted for. By contrast, there still are 78,000 unaccounted-for Americans from World War II and 8,100 from the Korean conflict.
"The problem is that those who think the Vietnamese haven't cooperated sufficiently think there is some central repository with answers to all the lingering questions," notes Gen. John Vessey, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Reagan and Bush administration's designated representative in MIA negotiations. "In all the years we've been working on this we have found that's not the case." [The Wall Street Journal]

More realities about war: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - it was not invented or unique to Vietnam Veterans. It was called "shell shock" and other names in previous wars. An automobile accident or other traumatic event also can cause it. It does not have to be war related. The Vietnam War helped medical progress in this area.

Myth: Agent Orange poisoned millions of Vietnam veterans.

Over the ten years of the war, Operation Ranch Hand sprayed about eleven million gallons of Agent Orange on the South Vietnamese landscape. (the herbicide was called "orange" in Vietnam, not Agent Orange. That sinister-sounding term was coined after the war) Orange was sprayed at three gallons per acre that was the equivalent of .009 of an ounce per square foot. When sprayed on dense jungle foliage, less that 6 percent ever reached the ground. Ground troops typically did not enter a sprayed area until four to six weeks after being sprayed. Most Agent Orange contained .0002 of 1 percent of dioxin. Scientific research has shown that dioxin degrades in sunlight after 48 to 72 hours therefore, troops exposure to dioxin was infinitesimal. [Burkett]

Restraining the military in Vietnam in hindsight probably prevented a nuclear war with China or Russia. The Vietnam War was shortly after China got involved in the Korean war, the time of the Cuban missile crisis, Soviet aggression in Eastern Europe and the proliferation of nuclear bombs. In all, a very scary time for our country.

[Nixon] No More Vietnams by Richard Nixon

[Parade Magazine] August 18, 1996 page 10.

[CACF] (Combat Area Casualty File) November 1993. (The CACF is the basis for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, i.e. The Wall ), Center for Electronic Records, National Archives, Washington, DC

[All That We Can Be] All That We Can Be by Charles C. Moskos and John Sibley Butler

[Westmoreland] Speech by General William C. Westmoreland before the Third Annual Reunion of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA) at the Washington, DC Hilton Hotel on July 5th, 1986 (reproduced in a Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association Historical Reference Directory Volume 2A )

[McCaffrey] Speech by Lt. Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey , (reproduced in the Pentagram , June 4, 1993) assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Vietnam veterans and visitors gathered at "The Wall", Memorial Day 1993.

[Houk] Testimony by Dr. Houk, Oversight on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, 14 July 1988 page 17, Hearing before the Committee on Veterans' Affairs United States Senate one hundredth Congress second session. Also "Estimating the Number of Suicides Among Vietnam Veterans" (Am J Psychiatry 147, 6 June 1990 pages 772-776)

[The Wall Street Journal] The Wall Street Journal , 1 June 1996 page A15.

[VHPA 1993] Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association 1993 Membership Directory page 130.

[VHPA Databases] Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association Databases .

[1996 Information Please Almanac] 1995 Information Please Almanac Atlas & Yearbook 49th edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston & New York 1996, pages 117, 161 and 292.

Watch the video: ASEAN Traditional Music Challenge: Team Thailand