Legal and Policy Issues of the Indochina War

Advanced Topics in National Security Law


Guest Speakers

Fall 2018

George J. Veith

September 12: War, Peace, and the War Again: Searching for Peace in the Vietnam War, 1969-1975

SorleyGeorge J. Veith, a former Army captain, is the author of Code-Name Bright Light: The Untold Story of U.S. POW Rescue Efforts During the Vietnam War (1998), Leave no Man Behind: Bill Bell and the Search for American POW/MIAs from the Vietnam War (2004) and Black April: The Fall of South Vietnam 1973-75 (2012). He has written extensively on the Vietnam War, spoken at many conferences, and testified on the POW/MIA issue before Congress.

Gary Solis

October 3: War Crimes and the Law of Armed Conflict: My Lai, Hue, and Related Issues

Gary SolisGary Solis is a retired U.S. Marine, having twice served in Vietnam.  After Vietnam service he attended law school at the University of California at Davis, after which he was a Marine judge advocate and court-martial judge.  His Master of Laws degree is from George Washington University School of Law.  After receiving a Ph.D. in the law of war from the London School of Economics & Political Science, he taught law at the LSE for three years, moving to the United States Military Academy in 1996.  He taught there for five years, initiating and directing West Point’s law of war program.  Leaving the Military Academy, he was the Marine Corps’ Chief of Oral History, returning to the Military Academy in 2004.  He retired as a West Point professor of law in 2006.

He is an adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, and teaches at The International Institute of Humanitarian Law, in San Remo, Italy.  His books are Marines and Military Law in Vietnam, Son Thang: An American War Crime, and The Law of Armed Conflict: International Humanitarian Law in War (2nd ed. 2016).  He is a member of the bars of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas, the District of Columbia, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Stephen B. Young

October 17: Defeating a Communist Insurgency: Vietnamese Nationalism and the American CORDS Program

Stephen B. Young became the Global Executive Director of the Caux Round Table
(www.cauxroundtable.org) in 2000. He wrote the book Moral Capitalism to explicate the economic and moral approach of the Caux Round Table to free market capitalism. In 2008, Young was named one of the 23 persons who developed the corporate social responsibility movement by Professor Sandra Waddock in her book, The Difference Makers.

Young served for the American Agency for International Development in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War, working on village government reforms and economic development. Young developed unusual relationships with the Tan DaiViet Party of Vietnamese nationalists who formulated the strategy of pacification, rural development and constitutional reform that defeated the Communist insurgency in South Vietnam. Young’s work on village community development was recognized in his book on the Vietnam War by CIA Director William Colby and Young’s understanding of the realities of the Vietnam War were admired by President Richard Nixon, who asked Young to advise him in the writing of his book No More Vietnams.

Upon the fall of South Vietnam in April 1975, Young initiated with the help of his friends then working in the United States State Department efforts to accept refugees fleeing the Communist military conquest of South Vietnam. In 1978, Young was a member of the Citizens Commission for Indochinese Refugees. This effort facilitated the flight of over 1 million Vietnamese from Communist rule and more from the killing fields of Cambodia and Communist repression in Laos. He is the author of The Theory and Practice of Associative Power: CORDS in the Villages of Vietnam 1967-1972.

Dr. Lewis "Bob" Sorley

October 24: A Military Historian Reflects on Vietnam

Lewis Sorley, a former soldier and then civilian official of the SorleyCentral Intelligence Agency, is a third-generation graduate of the United States Military Academy who also holds a doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. He has served on the faculties at West Point and the Army War College.

His Army service also included leadership of tank and armored cavalry units in Germany, Vietnam and the United States and staff positions in the offices of the Secretary of Defense and the Army Chief of Staff.

He is the author of a book on foreign policy entitled Arms Transfers Under Nixon and two biographies, Thunderbolt: General Creighton Abrams and the Army of His Times and Honorable Warrior: General Harold K. Johnson and the Ethics of Command. The Johnson biography received the Army Historical Foundation's Distinguished Book Award. An excerpt of the Abrams biography won the Peterson Prize as the year's best scholarly article on a topic in military history.

His 1999 book, A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His edited work Vietnam Chronicles: The Abrams Tapes, 1968-1972 was published in 2004 and his most recent book is Westmoreland: the General Who Lost Vietnam (2011).

Dr. Sorley serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Army Historical Foundation and is Executive Director of the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States.

Dr. Marin Strmecki

November 14: Strategic Assessment from Kennedy to Nixon

Marin StrmeckiDr. Strmecki holds a Ph.D. from Columbia and a J.D. from Yale Law School. He is Senior Vice President and Director of Programs at the Smith Richardson Foundation in Westport, Connecticut. Before joining the Foundation in 1994, he served as a professional staff member on both the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He also served as a member of the Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State. Dr. Strmecki served from 1978 to 1994 as a foreign policy assistant to former President Richard Nixon, assisting with the research and writing of seven books on foreign policy and politics (including No More Vietnams).