More than 17 years have passed since the signing of the 1973 Paris Peace Agreement formally ending the Vietnam War. Yet many Americans cannot get the war out of their systems. The national trauma associated with the United States' failure in that conflict has scarred the American psyche, precluding many Americans from dealing with Vietnam in any logical manner. Unlike their vanquished foes from World War II, many Americans seemingly seek to punish Vietnam and extract in peace what they were unable to gain on the battlefield. Today, Vietnam is not the same country Americans knew when they first arrived in the 1960s. Although Hanoi achieved forcible reunification with the South, it has been unable to satisfactorily address the problems associated with governing a country. Thus far, Hanoi has been unsuccessful in translating its battlefield successes into politically and economically viable programs that meet the needs of the people. For more than a decade, the United States has followed a policy of keeping Vietnam politically and economically isolated from the world community. Economically, the degree of suffering inflicted on the Vietnamese by the United States' embargo has been successful beyond anyone's imagination. With a budget deficit of $1.1 billion, an external debt of $8.6 Billion (owed mostly to the Soviets), an inflation rate of 301%, and an unemployment rate of at least 10% and climbing, the problems are not hard to understand. Couple the basic economic problems with the world's fifth largest standing Army, which utilizes 40-50% of the central government's yearly budget, and the size of the problem begins to come into focus. This paper examines the current relationship between the United States and Vietnam, focusing on the two issues that most influence the bilateral relationship: POW/MIA and Cambodia. The authors contend that it is in U.S. interests to improve relations and begin the normalization process. A road map to normalization is included.