Image: National Interest.org
“On May 23 U.S. President Barack Obama lifted a longstanding embargo on arms exports to Vietnam.
Most intriguing for any U.S. mariner is the news that Hanoi might reopen the splendid deepwater harbor at Cam Ranh Bay to U.S. Navy warships as part of the quid pro quo for revoking the arms ban.
Asian politics has seen few stranger bedfellows than Vietnam and the United States. To borrow from Trinculo again, Chinese bellicosity in disputed waters in the South China Sea has created enough misery to unite the former foes in defense of Vietnam’s offshore waters and skies.
Depending on the agreement’s terms, that could let the U.S. Navy mount a regular presence in the western reaches of the South China Sea. Doing so is a must if the United States wants to uphold freedom of navigation in the 1.4 million-square-mile sea. China has challenged the
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