MIA Facts Site

What Can We Expect?

 
The complete text of the most exhaustive assessment ever done of the cases of Americans missing in Southeast Asia.


Introduction.

Even before the end of the Vietnam War, the military services and the Pentagon were asking just what could we realistically expect in terms of returning to US control men who were missing in Southeast Asia.  We knew that some would return at the end of the war when POWs were released.   In fact, the Vietnamese had released a few men from time to time during the war.

The real question dealt with those who were not prisoners, but who were dead.  We knew that we would be able to recover some remains from battlefields, crash sites, and graves.  There were two questions we could not answer:  How many men can we expect to recover?  When and how do we determine that a man is not recoverable?

For many years, US MIA accounting efforts were crippled by not having access to the old battlefields;  by not having access to the Vietnamese, Lao, and Cambodian records; and by not being able to interview former enemy personnel who had had contact with Americans who were now missing.  WE knew that the answers that we sought were not in some files in Washington, but that they were in Southeast Asia.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the countries of Indochina opened up to US on-the-ground search efforts.  Now (January 1998), we have had almost a decade very increasingly full access the the old battlefields, to records, and to former enemy personnel.  From these sources, we are finding more and more information that allows us to either recover a man's remains, or to make some determination as to his fate and whether or not his remains are recoverable.

While looking at individual cases is the most important part of accounting for missing men, there is a real need to step back and look at the aggregate situation.  That is, based on what we know now that we did not know earlier, just what can we really expect to find as the search for missing men continues?  How many, and who are they, that we will never recover?  How many, and who, do we think we have an excellent, a moderate, or a not-so-good chance of recovering?

And, before anyone thinks that this is an idle analytical exercise, please reconsider.  I believe that the cruelest treatment that can handed to the family of a missing man is to continue to foster their hopes -- hope that he is alive, or,  hope that, if he is not alive, we can find him.  It is this point that the MIA enthusiasts seem to be blind to.  By continuing to claim that men were abandoned, by continuing to trumpet that this or that old soldier is out there looking for the live ones, the enthusiasts raise hopes where there is none.  In October 1990, Senator Jesse Helms stood on the U.S. Capitol steps and stated that he had information that, "in 30, or 60, or 90 days" an American prisoner of war would be freed.  How many families, knowing that there was no hope, still kindled a small spark, only to have it dashed -- again.  In the summer of 1994, Mark Smith (Major, USArmy, retired), himself a returned POW, claimed to have knowledge of the whereabouts of 527 American prisoners -- all alive.  How many families may have fallen for that groundless story?

So, what does all this have to do with this article?  In 1994, the Defense POW-MIA Office (DPMO), working with the Joint Task Force -- Full Accounting (JTF-FA) (the field element operating in Southeast Asia) and the US Army Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI) (click here to read about their work), started the most exhaustive review ever done of what we know, what we need to know, and what we can conclude about the men missing in Southeast Asia.  The results of that study were published on 13 November 1995.  The entire study is reproduced below.  The material below the rainbow line is the text of the DPMO study, Accounting for the Unaccounted in Southeast Asia.

The conclusions of this study are realistic and are a major contribution to the effort to account for our missing in Southeast Asia.

This review is the most exhaustive assessment conducted into accounting for all U.S. service members lost during the war in Southeast Asia. Analysis shows virtually no possibility of recovering remains for some cases.

Volume 11, Number 1

Accounting for the Unaccounted in Southeast Asia

Text of "A Zero-Based Comprehensive Review of Cases Involving Unaccounted for Americans in Southeast Asia," a DoD report to Congress and the nation, prepared by the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs, released on Nov. 13, 1995.

In 1993, President Clinton announced that his administration would pursue four priorities as part of its efforts to achieve the fullest possible accounting for its missing in action from the Vietnam War. These priorities are:

 


In our effort to leave no stone unturned in achieving the fullest possible accounting, the administration decided to undertake a zero-based comprehensive review of all cases involving unaccounted-for Americans in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia resulting from the Vietnam War. This comprehensive review represents the first time such an exhaustive assessment has been conducted. It assesses each case, weighing all related information, including data collected through recent on-site American investigation and research in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. We have found that for any case, it is exceedingly difficult to predict the extent to which evidence of knowledgeability by Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia about some aspect of a U.S. loss could lead to an accounting of the individual.


The conclusions derived from this review allow us to focus our understanding on individual cases, provide the basis for a sound investigation strategy and define next steps for achieving the fullest possible accounting of Americans missing in Southeast Asia.


We have already begun incorporating information derived from this review into field operations in Southeast Asia. Most actions will be carried out in the continuing program of in-country investigations conducted by the U.S. with Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Others require actions by these three Southeast Asian governments. Some case activity will be focused on U.S.-based efforts, such as the forensic analysis of remains already repatriated or the additional research of U.S. records. For those cases where investigative leads have been exhausted, further investigation must await new information.


Some of our general collection initiatives planned or now under way may yield further actions. Our analysis also indicates that there is virtually no possibility that we will ever recover remains for some cases regardless of any future effort put forward by the U.S., Vietnamese, Lao and Cambodian governments.


Information on unaccounted-for Americans is constantly changing as a result of continuing research, investigative and recovery operations, and identifications. The numbers used in this report represent the data base on July 21, 1995, the date on which analytic work was completed. As of that date, there were 2,202 Americans unaccounted for in Southeast Asia: 1,618 in Vietnam, 499 in Laos, 77 in Cambodia and eight in China. Cases involving losses in China were reviewed, but are not discussed as we are pursuing them separately with the Chinese government.


Fifty-eight analysts assigned to the Defense Prisoner of War and Missing in Action Office in Washington, Joint Task Force Full Accounting in Hawaii and the Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii independently reviewed all cases and then shared views to reach a coordinated position on appropriate next steps for further pursuit. The data they reviewed was based on circumstances of the incident, wartime and postwar collection by the U.S. government, information uncovered through the joint investigative process and data turned over by the Vietnamese, Lao and Cambodian governments.


Americans became missing or were killed under a wide range of circumstances. Losses include downed aviators, soldiers known to have died on the battlefield but whose remains were not recovered due to enemy action as well as people drowned while crossing a river but whose remains could not be found.


There are also a small number of individuals who were lost while in U.S. custody (they disappeared from their unit or were lost while off duty in Vietnam, for example). There is no indication these individuals voluntarily disappeared; the assumption is that they met with foul play, although the circumstances and location of their loss remain unknown.


There is another group of cases in which individual remains were known to have been destroyed, for instance, in an aircraft crash or in ground loss-related explosions, but these individuals are still considered unaccounted for because their remains could not be returned.


Finally, there is a small number of cases in which the individual is known to have died and his remains were in U.S. custody at one time, but then were lost. Examples of this latter category include remains falling off an evacuation helicopter as the aircraft received hostile fire or having mistakenly been taken and buried by allied forces.


Wartime efforts to collect information on U.S. losses began, where possible, with investigations by U.S. and allied forces in Southeast Asia at the time of the incident (ground searches of the loss area, investigations among the local population and recovery efforts at known crash sites and graves). During the war and in the years following, the U.S. maintained efforts to acquire additional information on these cases, interviewing enemy POWs, U.S. and allied former POWs, and postwar refugees. We also continued to collect information from foreign media and other sources.


By the beginning of joint investigations in Vietnam in September 1988, in Cambodia in 1991 and in Laos in 1992, we had collected information on 60 percent of the cases. In only about one-third of these, or 20 percent of the total cases, did this new information significantly increase our understanding or ability to pursue new leads.


Since July 1992, as a result of joint operations with Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, our continuing archival collection effort has yielded much information that we can correlate to cases of unaccounted-for individuals. We have also learned that information originally thought to correlate to specific losses was not related to the case. In addition, we now judge that we can no longer automatically assume that previous archival correlations indicate additional information can be produced today.


The joint investigation process in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia has allowed us for the first time to investigate the cases of all individuals except those lost far at sea. With the assistance of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, we have found significant information through the joint investigation process for 38 percent of the cases of Americans who are still unaccounted for.


In Vietnam, we have investigated all of the 1,169 in-country losses at least once. We have also investigated 35 percent of the over-water losses. In Laos, we have investigated 97 percent of the 499 losses; the remainder is scheduled for future investigation. In Cambodia, we have investigated 100 percent of the cases at least once.


While some of these cases have been investigated only once, many have been investigated as many as seven times. Even "off-the-scope" cases have been investigated at least once at their last known location. We have investigated on both sides of the borders between Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. We have also conducted trilateral investigations in Laos, in which Vietnamese witnesses provided firsthand information on U.S. losses.


The cases in which we have not found significant information comprise a wide variety of losses. In many instances, failure to find new or significant case information is not surprising. Some involve off-the-scope losses, and neither the U.S. nor, apparently, the countries where the losses occurred know where to begin to investigate. Others occurred where there were no local witnesses, for instance, in areas controlled by U.S. forces, in remote jungles, in contested battlefields or at sea. In addition, witnesses are often very difficult to locate today. In the years since the war, many Vietnamese, Lao and Cambodians who might have provided information have died or moved. Others are unidentified Vietnamese soldiers who witnessed a battlefield loss but were not native to the area and have long since returned home.


In addition to joint investigations, the Southeast Asian governments have provided information on 831 individuals (38 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia). The information on 506 of these individuals (23 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia) provided new information or leads that enabled us to move the case investigation forward.


Vietnam, which, since 1973, has turned over information on 551 Americans still unaccounted for in Vietnam, 215 in Laos and 11 in Cambodia, has shared the results of its own investigations on captured, missing or killed Americans; provided copies of wartime records on POWs, aircraft downings and other engagements in which Americans became unaccounted for; and turned over records of deaths and burials, and photos from the archives of the Vietnam News Agency, museums, and wartime Vietnamese media reports. They have also facilitated our access to Vietnamese military historians, authors and researchers as well as museums and other collections of data, weaponry and material.


Laos has provided information on seven loss incidents involving 20 individuals, none of which has led to case resolution. The Lao government has steadfastly refused requests to review their wartime archives or to interview military veterans and political officials. Consequently, we only interview local villagers, most of whom were not in the loss areas during the war.


Cambodia has provided data on 20 Americans lost in that country. This information has come principally from wartime periodicals in the Cambodian national archives. We judge it unlikely that many useful governmental records survived the Khmer Rouge. Magazines and books of Vietnamese origin found in the Cambodian archives contain information on 13 Americans lost in Vietnam. Cambodia has provided access to former Khmer Rouge military leaders and officials, who provided useful information.


In addition, all three countries have cooperated in the investigation of possible sightings of live unaccounted-for Americans in Southeast Asia. Since 1991, Vietnam has facilitated the investigation of 96 reports by persons alleging to have seen live Americans held in that country. We have been unable to associate any of these reports with missing Americans. The Lao and Cambodians have each permitted nine joint live-sighting investigations. None of these investigations has surfaced any information relating to unaccounted for Americans.


The most important finding of this comprehensive review is the identification of specific "next-step" actions. In many cases, these next steps are precisely that: next, but not necessarily final. They do not represent an exhaustive array of all the avenues of investigation that might be required to resolve a case. They do represent what is considered the best next step to move a case toward resolution.


This process is evolutionary. For some cases, next steps have been identified, but implementation is contingent upon activity currently taking place. For others, we anticipate new leads will develop out of ongoing investigations. The Department of Defense will continue to evaluate all new leads to ensure those actions that could lead to the fullest possible accounting are pursued.
The review distinguishes the type of actions for each case. The first -- further pursuit -- are those where we have specific next steps to pursue in the investigative process. For some of these, the lead is a single action; in others, several different approaches are necessary. The second group -- deferred -- includes cases where we have exhausted all current leads. We must defer further investigation of these cases until additional leads are developed. The final set -- no further pursuit -- involves those cases where we judge no actions by any government will result in the recovery of remains.


The comprehensive review identifies further investigative leads for cases involving 1,476 individuals (67 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia). Actions have been identified for 942 (58 percent) of the individual losses in Vietnam, 470 (94 percent) of the losses in Laos, 61 (79 percent) of the losses in Cambodia and three of the losses in China.


Our review also allows us to characterize whether these specific actions should be pursued through joint action, U.S. action or Southeast Asian government action. (In the following discussion of the types of actions, the numbers total higher than 1,476 because multiple actions have been identified for some cases.)


Joint activity with the relevant Southeast Asian government: actions on cases involving 741 individuals (37 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia). Such activity involves further in-country investigation, detailed loss-site surveys, full-scale site excavations, joint archival research, witness interviews or other joint effort. Many times, joint activity may be all that is required. In some cases, however, another form of investigation may also be taken concurrently with the scheduled joint efforts.


U.S.-based research, analysis or other collection: actions on cases involving 423 individuals (19 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia). The most prominent example is the forensic analysis of previously recovered remains, which is undertaken at the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii. This includes the emerging technology of mitochondrial DNA, which offers promise for identifying remains that cannot be identified using traditional forensic techniques. Other U.S.-based initiatives involve research into American combat records to clarify loss coordinates or battle details and interviews with American observers to the incident.


Vietnamese, Lao or Cambodian government activity: actions on cases involving 464 individuals (21 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia). In 342 of these individuals' cases, actions by a Southeast Asian government have been identified as necessary for further investigation. For the remaining 122, similar actions have been identified for pursuit in tandem with joint or U.S.-based pursuits. These leads are complex and varied in scope, requiring action at the local, technical or higher levels. The actions fall into two groupings.


For other cases, partial remains were recovered and turned over to CILHI, but are unidentifiable without additional information. It must be emphasized that we cannot be certain that the Southeast Asian government involved can provide additional information due to the loss of records, death of relevant persons and other factors. We have no evidence that information is being deliberately withheld.


In the cases of 159 individuals (7 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia), our analysis indicates that all investigative leads have been exhausted and, currently, no further avenues of pursuit can be identified. Although the investigation of these cases is not complete, we require additional information to develop new leads.


Based on a thorough review of all available information, our analysis indicates that 567 individuals (26 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia) perished and regardless of any future effort by the U.S. government and the governments of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, their cases cannot be resolved through the repatriation of remains. Examples include service members killed in explosions that destroyed their remains, aviators whose planes ditched at sea far from land and who were not recovered, persons who were buried on river banks that have since eroded, others who drowned in flooded rivers and were swept away, and individuals who were buried in areas where the topography has changed significantly.


Although we have concluded analytically that these individuals perished and their cases cannot be resolved through the repatriation of remains, this assessment does not immediately close these cases. Based on the review results, we recommend that the secretary of defense establish a review board to review independently each case. When appropriate, the findings of that board will be forwarded to the relevant service secretary for a final determination whether to continue U.S. government efforts to account for these individuals.


As the final step in our review process, we examined our next steps in the context of those cases which the U.S. government has highlighted in talks with the Vietnamese, Lao and Cambodian governments. The next steps for cases discussed in Secretary of Defense [William J.] Perry's Feb. 17, 1995, report to the Congress include Vietnam -- special remains and photo cases; priority discrepancy and fate not confirmed cases; and priority discrepancy, death confirmed; Laos -- priority discrepancy and Viet-Lao border cases; Cambodia -- priority discrepancy cases.


Special remains cases: In August 1993, the U.S. government presented the Vietnamese with a list of 98 individuals (4 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia) for which we had evidence indicating the Vietnamese had knowledge of an American's death and the disposition of the individual's remains. This list was representative of, not all-inclusive of, these cases. The evidence of Vietnamese knowledge used to select the 98 individuals falls into four categories:


Photo cases: This group of cases focuses on combat photos from Vietnamese files showing deceased American personnel and material in Vietnamese custody. Many of these were given to Vietnam in two so-called "photo books"; one by [former] Secretary of Defense [Richard] Cheney, [former] Secretary of State [Lawrence] Eagleburger and Gen. [John W.] Vessey [special U.S. presidential emissary to Hanoi for POW/MIA affairs] in 1993 (23 individuals); and another by Sen. [John] Kerry in 1993 (71 individuals). Once duplications between the lists are removed and accounted-for individuals are subtracted, these two photo books include 77 unaccounted for Americans (3 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia). All but 10 of these 77 individuals also appear on the special remains case list and/or the last known alive cases list.
We have determined that 66 of these 77 individuals require further investigation. The investigation of three other individuals must be deferred until additional information is developed, and we believe the cases of eight individuals cannot be resolved through the repatriation of remains.
Priority discrepancy cases: The priority discrepancy -- also known as last-known-alive -- cases are those involving American personnel who were known to be alive, not gravely wounded and in proximity to the enemy at the time of their loss. Of the original 296 individuals meeting this definition who were lost in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Of those, 269 individuals (12 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia) remain unaccounted for, and fates have yet to be confirmed for 154 (7 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia).


Resolution of such difficult cases as died-in-captivity, over-water, and off-the-scope cases has been, and will continue to be, a major challenge for our accounting effort.


Died-in-captivity cases: At the conclusion of Operation Homecoming in 1973, the military services -- or in the cases of civilians, the Department of State -- identified 97 Americans as prisoners who did not come home. At about the same time, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the north and the provisional revolutionary government in the south provided lists that altogether named 59 unaccounted-for Americans said to have died in captivity. The two lists were combined, and 15 duplications were removed to create the current list.


Removing the names of the 76 Americans who have been accounted for since 1973 leaves 65 unaccounted-for Americans (3 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia). These individuals have long been a focus of U.S. investigation because available evidence indicates that the Vietnamese and Lao governments should be able to help provide information on their remains.
As a result of joint investigative work and information from the Southeast Asian governments, we have confirmed that seven graves are no longer locatable due to their remote location, the passage of time or changes in topography. In 57 cases, however, we believe recovering identifiable remains is still possible. Work on one case must be deferred until additional information is discovered.


Over-water losses: There are 470 unaccounted-for individuals (21 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia) who were involved in at-sea losses: 449 in Vietnamese waters, 15 in Cambodian waters and six in Chinese waters. These include aviators whose planes crashed at sea, persons who perished when their vessels sank, those who fell or were swept overboard and a few swimmers swept out to sea.


Most of these losses were not known to the Indochinese governments, and our analysis indicates the individuals involved perished and their cases cannot be resolved through the repatriation of remains. After reviewing the cases of every over-water loss, 366 individuals were determined to have been lost at sea, and their remains are not believed to be recoverable. This number includes five of the six over-water losses in China. The cases of 96 individuals, most of whom were lost near shore or an enemy maritime force, merit further investigation. Investigation of the cases of eight individuals lack any leads to pursue.


Off-the-scope cases: 308 individuals (14 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia) were never heard from again after embarking on long-range ground or air reconnaissance missions or after their aircraft were last seen visually on radar heading toward a given target. This type of loss is referred to as off-the-(radar) scope because the location and circumstances of loss are still unknown. Some of these cases are also over-water losses.


Many of these cases will be very difficult to investigate because we do not know where to focus our efforts. However, we will continue to investigate the cases for 215 of these individuals. For 39 individuals, we have no leads to pursue and must defer further action. Our analysis indicates we cannot resolve the cases of 54 individuals who perished in incidents far at sea.
This analytic review represents the first time the U.S. government has assessed all information and material collected since the war's end. Our analytic judgments are based on the evidence, as well as on Southeast Asian cultural and historical practices and operational realities. The results provide a basis for a comprehensive work plan to forward systematically the accounting process.


These results will be presented to the governments of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in late November by the presidential delegation headed by Deputy Secretary for Veteran Affairs Hershel Gober, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Kent Weidemann, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs James Wold and representatives from the National League of Families and veteran service organizations.
Our conclusions and judgments have allowed us to identify the best next steps to move cases toward resolution. There is no certainty, of course, that every case will ultimately be resolved. Many of these actions are already incorporated in JTF-FA's work plan. In some cases, investigative steps have already been completed and assessed. We will continue to analyze results as they become available and reassess cases based on those results.


The Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Office will contact primary next-of-kin for all Americans lost in Southeast Asia who remain unaccounted for via letter through the service casualty offices to advise them of the impact of this review on their specific case. In all cases, information pertaining to individual cases will be shared with the families before it is made available to the public.

Published for internal information use by the American Forces Information Service, a field activity of the Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs), Washington, D.C. Parenthetical entries are speaker/author notes; bracketed entries are editorial notes. This material is in the public domain and may be reprinted without permission. Defense Issues is available on the Internet via the World Wide Web at http://www.dtic. mil/defenselink/pubs/di_index.html
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bulletConcrete results from efforts by Vietnam to recover and repatriate American remains;
bulletContinued resolution of discrepancy cases;
bulletFurther assistance in implementing trilateral investigations with Laos; and
bulletAccelerated efforts to provide all POW/MIA-related documents that will help lead to genuine answers. The administration has reported separately to the Congress on the significant progress which has been achieved in all four of these areas. We will continue to seek additional, tangible progress from Vietnam in these priority areas.
bulletGroup 1: applicable to 75 of these 464 individuals. These are cases where we have concluded that based on central government knowledgeability at some point in the past, there is the greatest possibility that Southeast Asian government actions could help us to account for individuals. In many cases, evidence suggests that the respective government instigated a formal remains recovery operation or that the respective government could identify the individual or individuals cognizant of the disposition of an American's remains. This conclusion is further supported in some cases by documentary evidence or testimony by foreign government officials and local witnesses indicating specific remains were recovered by the central government, but were never turned over.
bulletGroup 2: applicable to 389 of the 464 individuals. For these cases there is a lesser possibility that a Southeast Asian government has further information that could lead to further investigative steps. In these cases, the information we have is generally not sufficient to allow further U.S. or joint investigation unless the Vietnamese, Lao or Cambodians provide additional or clarifying information. Examples include documents that credit specific military units with the shootdown of U.S. aircraft, evidence pointing to the presence of unaccounted-for Americans in certain hospitals and testimony by Vietnamese villagers identifying other Vietnamese (who have yet to be found) as witnesses in possession of key information. We expect that although most leads will result in further activity, some may lead to case resolution.
bulletPhotographs depicting the remains of Americans who were killed and whose remains were not repatriated;
bulletOfficial Vietnamese graves registration documents which list the names of Americans killed in various provinces, but whose remains have not yet been repatriated;
bulletCases of Americans officially reported by the Vietnamese government to have died while in captivity, but whose remains were not repatriated; and
bulletInstances where it has been reliably reported that remains have already been recovered, but the remains have not yet been repatriated. As of July 21, 1995, four of the 98 individuals have been accounted for through the return of identifiable remains. We assess that cases involving 80 of the remaining 94 individuals require further investigation. The investigations of five other individuals must be deferred until new leads are developed. For the nine remaining individuals, we believe they perished and no amount of effort will succeed in the recovery of their remains.
bulletVietnam: Of the original 196 last-known-alive individuals in Vietnam, one is a foreign national and 25 have been accounted for through the return and identification of remains. Of the remaining 170 Americans, DoD has confirmed the deaths of 115, and the fates of 55 are still under investigation. To pursue the fullest possible accounting for all 170 individuals, we have identified the following next steps: The cases involving the 55 individuals all require further investigation. Of the 115 whose deaths have been confirmed, our review found that the cases of 90 individuals require further investigation and that the cases of 15 individuals cannot be resolved through the repatriation of remains. We have deferred further investigation on 10 individuals because we have no leads to pursue.
bulletLaos: Our assessment of the last-known-alive cases in Laos involving 81 individuals indicates that all warrant further investigation.
bulletCambodia: One individual originally identified with a last-known-alive case in Cambodia has been accounted for by the return of identified remains, reducing the number from 19 to 18. The assessment of the remaining cases reveals that further investigation is necessary for 17. We have no leads to pursue in the 18th case. Viet-Lao border cases: We have presented the cases of 49 individuals (2 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia) to both Vietnamese and Lao officials. A list of these individuals was first given to Vietnam in 1992. Of the 49 names appearing on the list, 43 also appear on the Lao priority discrepancy case list. The remaining six individuals were addressed separately in Secretary Perry's Feb. 17 report as losses associated with Laos. We believe that all 49 require further pursuit.