Vietnam: War's Lasting Legacy

More than three decades after the Vietnam War ended, the Vietnamese people continue to live with the consequences of Agent Orange, a defoliant that has come to symbolize the unintended consequences of warfare.

During the war, American forces sprayed nearly two million gallons of Agent Orange across Vietnam's forests in an attempt to steal cover from insurgent forces that lurked in the dense jungle. The U.S. eventually halted the spraying program, after learning that Agent Orange was tainted with high levels of dioxin. But by then, nearly 18 percent of Vietnam's forests and 20,000 villages had been sprayed with this toxic chemical. For years, Agent Orange's toxic legacy in Vietnam has seemed like an impossible problem. Dioxin has a decades-long half-life and it continues to linger in Vietnam's soil, working its way up the food chain and exposing new generations of Vietnamese. Cleanup costs dwarfed the Vietnamese government's ability to pay, and the logistics of cleanup work looked daunting. But a new era of cooperation between the U.S. and Vietnam has finally led to a shift from finger-pointing to problem solving. Reporter Christie Aschwanden and videographer George Lerner travel to Vietnam to witness Agent Orange's lingering legacy and to find out what's being done to solve the problem.

Vietnam: Lasting Effects of Agent Orange

Examining the lasting effects of Agent Orange in Vietnam. Pediatrician Dr. Mark Rapoport discusses what should be done to help children affected by dioxin poisoning in Vietnam in what was a legacy of Agent Orange spraying during the Vietnam War by the U.S. military in the 1960s and 1970s.

People and Forests of Vietnam's Central Highlands

Vietnam has 54 minority culture groups, and we encountered three of them at A Luoi--the Pako, Ta Oi and Catu.

Yesterday we visited the A Luoi valley in Vietnam's central highlands. Vietnam has 54 minority culture groups, and we encountered three of them at A Luoi--the Pako, Ta Oi and Catu. These groups have their own languages and customs. Because the growing season in the mountains is short, these families often struggle to make ends meet. Ours was the only car in the village, and residents here had fewer motorbikes than the urban dwellers we have met thus far.

B-52 in My Backyard

During the 1972 Christmas air raids, Vietnamese soldiers in Hanoi shot down a B-52 bomber. The plane crashed in Hun Tiep Lake, where it has remained ever since.