This handbook provides basic reference information on Vietnam, including its geography, history, government, military forces, and communications and transportation networks. This information is intended to familiarize military personnel with local customs and area knowledge to assist them during their assignment to Vietnam.
All Vietnamese media outlets are state-owned and subject to strict party and state control, and journalists continue to be intimidated and imprisoned for critical commentary and zealous reporting. In response to market reforms, however, some segments of the media have begun to air sensitive issues such as political corruption, at least by lower- and mid-ranking officials. Internet use is increasing and provides a forum for political debate between dissident bloggers and official censors.