We’re quick to complain when the current administration does something wrong, so we should at least acknowledge when it does something right. Or at least continues the policies of previous administrations.

Cam Rahn Bay, in Vietnam, was formerly the home to a massive US logistical port that supplied much of our war effort there. Largely abandoned after the US withdrawal, it was later used by the Soviet Navy. After their departure, and the normalization of US/Vietnamese relations, it has been an occasional port of call for US logistic support ships.

The US Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, was in Cam Rahn Bay recently, and pushing for the Vietnamese to allow US warships to operate from there.

The current US shift in emphasis to the Pacific is largely a counter to China, but also a recognition of the vast number of people that live along the Pacific Rim. Absent a credible threat to the shipping lanes of the North Atlantic, it makes sense that our naval forces would focus on the Pacific. And to do so means we need access to bases.  The Vietnamese, for their own part, want a counter to the Chinese, with whom they’ve never had terribly warm relations. But they are also hesitant to annoy China too much. After all, China is a heck of a lot closer to them than the US, and there’s certainly no guarantee the US is going to go to war on Vietnam’s behalf… again.

Still, establishing cooperation with various countries around the Pacific is a valid goal of any US administration. Small steps at first, followed by further goodwill and hopefully, further cooperation.

2 thoughts on “USN at CRB?”

  1. My boss is Vietnamese, and came to the US as a refugee in 1979. (Amazing guy, but that’s a story for a different time.) He maintains close ties to his family and friends, and visits VN on a regular basis … and according to him, the average VN man on the street would like very few things more than to see the Stars and Stripes flying over Cam Ranh Bay again.

  2. And how the worm turns. It was an open secret that the PLA looted supplies the Soviets sent to North Vietnam. They even replaced radios on MIG’s with crappy chinese versions.

    The PRC is laying claim to a huge stretch of the pacific. Hopefully realpolitik with triumph over some of the silly reasons some raised to bar trade with Vietnam.

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