Checkpoint Charlie

Resolve Cold War POWs

When most Americans think of those missing in action this Memorial Day, they will think of Vietnam. But while there was hope in some quarters in the 1980s and perhaps even 1990s that some POWs might still be alive — the Vietnamese willingness to cooperate on the issue was the major hurdle to re-establishment of relations during the Clinton administration — there is widespread acknowledgment today both that Vietnam holds no POWs and that Vietnamese authorities are generally cooperative on the issue.

But, Vietnam was not the only country to seize, mistreat, and often hold illegally POW/MIAs. During the Cold War, both the Soviet Union and China did as well.

  • simus1

    Diplomacy is often a very cold hearted, cold blooded, zero sum + business when it comes to ordinary foreign citizens who wind up enmeshed in squabbles between countries. When the pawns are supposedly still alive secretly held captive enemy military personnel, the ransom demands might go sky high and be made in totally bad faith.

  • If one wants Russia to ever admit crimes of the past, one is sorely mistaken.

  • Mannie

    While it would be good to investigate and seek closure, it is unlikely to be productive. The Soviets and Chicom will have liquidated the prisoners once they judged that holding them offered fewer benefits and greater risks than terminating them. The remains were probably cremated or buried in remote, unmarked and unrecorded graves.