Estimates of the number of casualties of Vietnam War vary, with one source suggesting up to 3.8 million violent war deaths. 195,000–430,000 South Vietnamese civilians died in the war. 50,000–65,000 North Vietnamese civilians died in the war. The Army of the Republic of Vietnam lost between 171,331 and 220,357 men during the war.
The official US Department of Defense figure was 950,765 communist forces killed in Vietnam from 1965 to 1974. Defense Department officials believed that these body count figures need to be deflated by 30 percent. In addition, Guenter Lewy assumes that one-third of the reported “enemy” killed may have been civilians, concluding that the actual number of deaths of communist military forces was probably closer to 444,000. A detailed demographic study calculated 791,000–1,141,000 war-related deaths for all of Vietnam. Between 200,000 and 300,000 Cambodians died during the war. About 60,000 Laotians also died, and 58,220 U.S. service members were killed.
After a 20-year hiatus of severed ties, then-U.S. President Bill Clinton announced the formal normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States of America and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on July 11, 1995. Subsequent to President Clinton’s normalization announcement, in August 1995, both countries upgraded their Liaison Offices opened during January 1995 to embassy status. As diplomatic ties between the nations grew, the United States opened a consulate general in Ho Chi Minh City, and Vietnam opened a consulate in San Francisco.
U.S. relations with Vietnam have become deeper and more diverse in the years since political normalization. The two countries have broadened their political exchanges through regular and regional security. The annual Bilateral Human Rights Dialogue resumed in 2006 after a two-year hiatus. They signed a Bilateral Trade Agreement in July 2000, which went into force in December 2001. In 2003, the two countries signed a Counternarcotics Letter of Agreement (amended in 2006), a Civil Aviation Agreement, and a textile agreement. In January 2007, Congress approved Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) for Vietnam.
Despite the infamous history of the Vietnam War, Vietnam today is one of the most pro-American countries in Asia, with 71% of Vietnamese people viewing the U.S. favorably in 2002. Vietnamese-Americans, making up roughly 1.8 million people, are mostly immigrants who fled to America after the war and comprise nearly half of all overseas Vietnamese, and as of 2012, Vietnamese students form the 8th largest group of international students studying in the United States, representing 2% of all foreigners pursuing higher education in America.