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Missing Man

Politics and the MIA



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The Missing Man: Politics and the MIA by Douglas L. Clarke
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The matter of American servicemen missing in action (MIA) in Southeast Asia is a poignant and tragic issue resulting from the United States involvement in the Vietnam War. The problem of an adequate MIA accounting remains a principal point of contention between this country and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, as well as a discordant issue separating the United States Government and a small but determined group of its citizens - some of the MIA families. One of the goals of the National Defense University is to provide an opportunity for our students and faculty to contribute to the public dialogue on a broad range of national security issues. Captain Clarke prepared this carefully researched study while a resident student at The National War College during the 1977-78 academic year, and we are pleased to make it available through publication for a wider audience. The author describes the process of determination of MIA status, the political and psychological considerations that impacted on that process, and the development of the MIA question as an example of the intersection of domestic and international considerations impacting on policy. He discusses the manner in which the Vietnamese have attempted to employ this contentious issue for their own purposes, and analyzes the differing approaches taken by Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter toward resolving the problem. By explaining how this painful impasse evolved, Captain Clarke's study not only contributes to public understanding of a sensitive and complex issue but also assists future policymakers in avoiding a repetition of this or similar predicaments. R. G. Gard, Jr. Lieutenant General, United States Army President, National Defense University
Release date NZ
December 1st, 2002
Country of Publication
United States
University Press of the Pacific
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