Insights and Analysis

Nothing Is Impossible: Reflections on America’s Astonishing Reconciliation with Vietnam

August 17, 2022

Nothing is ImpossibleIn his recent book, Nothing Is Impossible: America’s Reconciliation with Vietnam, former U.S. ambassador and Asia Foundation trustee Ted Osius chronicles the improbable journey of Vietnam and the United States from implacable foes to friends and partners, a 25-year diplomatic drama in which he was both an astute observer and a principal actor.

Ambassador Osius’s 30-year diplomatic career included postings to Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, and the United Nations, and from 2014 to 2017 he was U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, where he led a team of 900 working to strengthen economic, security, and cultural ties between the two countries. He is now president and CEO of the United States–ASEAN Business Council.

In this searching conversation with InAsia, he reflects on some of the memorable people and events that helped transform relations between the United States and Vietnam.

Listen to an unabridged version of our conversation with former ambassador Ted Osius and expands further on his views of U.S.-Vietnam friendship, the founding of an American-style university in Hanoi, and his regret at the demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and he reflects on his experience—in conservative Vietnam and an equally conservative State Department—as the father of two in a same-sex, interracial marriage. 

Related locations: Vietnam


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InAsia is a bi-weekly in-depth, in-country resource for readers who want to stay abreast of significant events and issues shaping Asia’s development, hosted by The Asia Foundation. Drawing on the first-hand insight of renowned experts, InAsia delivers concentrated analysis on issues affecting each region of Asia, as well as Foundation-produced reports and polls.

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