Assessments

The U.S. Opens Its Arms to Vietnam

May 26, 2016 | 09:30 GMT
On his first visit to Hanoi, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the United States would lift its ban on arms sales and transfers to Vietnam.
On his first visit to Hanoi, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the United States would lift its ban on arms sales and transfers to Vietnam.
(KHAM/AFP/Getty Images)

In the dispute over the South China Sea, Vietnam is a singularly important party. Just over 41 years after Vietnam defeated the United States and its allies, the White House has moved to dispense with another vestige of Cold War-era policy in the service of emerging strategic needs. On May 23, during his first visit to Hanoi and while standing beneath a bust of revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that Washington would lift its longstanding ban on weapons sales or transfers to Vietnam....

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