With the exception of Cambodia, there is hardly a country in the world that could claim to have suffered as much as Vietnam in the post–World War II period. Continual conflict, with only a brief period of peace following the Geneva settlement of 1954, has marked its recent history. Millions of Vietnamese children grew to adulthood carrying memories of bloodshed, terror, bombing, dislocation—man’s inhumanity to man. Vietnam occupied the front page of newspapers and figured prominently in other media consistently for years, more than any other single country. The long undeclared war there in which the United States was involved divided public opinion all over the globe, affecting human values, national economies, presidential prospects, and military strategies. The spectacle of a Third World people with far less sophisticated weaponry than their opponents and with no use of aircraft immobilizing the most advanced, militarily best-equipped nation in human history questioned the very basis of strategic defense in the modern world. Hopes were that the end of the conflict in 1975 and the reunification of Vietnam a year later would usher in an era of peace and reconstruction to that war-ravaged country. Instead, Vietnam’s occupation of Cambodia in late 1978 and China’s “punitive” action in Vietnam in early 1979 revived tensions in the region for a decade.