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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    USS Carl Vinson arrives in Vietnam for first time since end of Vietnam War

    DANANG, Vietnam, March 5 (Reuters) - A U.S. aircraft carrier arrived in Vietnam on Monday for the first time since the end of the Vietnam War, dramatically underscoring the growing strategic ties between the former foes at a time when China's regional influence is rising.


    The imposing grey silhouette of the USS Carl Vinson could be seen from the cliff tops just outside the central Vietnamese city of Danang, where the 103,000-tonne carrier and two other U.S. ships begin a five-day visit.


    "The visit marks an enormously significant milestone in our bilateral relations and demonstrates U.S. support for a strong, prosperous and independent Vietnam," Daniel Kritenbrink, the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam, said in a statement.


    "Through hard work, mutual respect, and by continuing to address the past while we work toward a better future, we have gone from former enemies to close partners."


    The arrival of the Vinson marks the biggest U.S. military presence in Vietnam since 1975 - but it also illustrates Hanoi's complex and evolving relationship with Beijing over the disputed South China Sea as China announced its largest rise in defense spending in three years.


    Vietnamese envoys had been working for months to ease the concerns of their giant Chinese neighbor over the visit and the prospect of broader security cooperation between Hanoi and Washington, according to diplomats and others familiar with the talks.


    U.S. carriers frequently cross the South China Sea in a rising pattern of naval deployments, and are now routinely shadowed by Chinese naval vessels, naval officers in the region say.


    "We've met with numerous international entities. We've seen several, so yes, we've seen Chinese ships," Rear Admiral John Fuller, Commander, Carrier Strike Group 1, told reporters in Danang. "We've seen other ships out there, so nothing extraordinary. It's been a routine deployment and everything we've seen has been exceptionally professional."


    China's rapid construction and build-up of the land it holds in the disputed Spratly islands group has alarmed Vietnam and other regional governments as it seeks to enforce its claims to much of the disputed waterway, through which some $3 trillion in trade passes each year.


    While some Chinese commentators have used the Vinson's presence to demand an even greater Chinese military build-up in the South China Sea, official reaction from Beijing has been relatively muted since the stop was announced in January.


    That announcement came during a two-day visit to Hanoi by U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and followed months of backroom military diplomacy between Hanoi and the Pentagon.


    Although no U.S. aircraft carrier has been to Vietnam since the end of the war, other, smaller U.S. warships have made high-level visits.


    Those include a 2016 visit by submarine tender USS Frank Cable and guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain to Cam Ranh Bay, a crucial logistics complex during the Vietnam War.

    A U.S. Navy band will play a concert in Danang during the Vinson's visit, and sailors from the carrier are to spend time at a treatment center for people who were exposed to Agent Orange chemicals during the war.


    https://www.aol.com/article/news/201...-war/23377387/

  2. #2
    Sukhumvet
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    but it also illustrates Hanoi's complex and evolving relationship with Beijing
    Didn't Ho Chi Min tell Macnamara after the war that the Chinese were never their "ally" as the Koreans have been fighting the Chinese for generations and that they were fighting a foreign occupying force AKA the US. Justas they fought the French another foreign occupying force.

  3. #3
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Vietnam and China have been at war for centuries with Vietnam coming out on top in near all encounters. Hell, they even whupped Genghis 3 times. No love lost between Vietnam and China. Will be a strong ally for the US and an asset to Vietnam. But US better not pull one of it's ya gotta reform politically nonsense.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat david44's Avatar
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    No navigation issues, seeing as how the US built the harbor, forward planning belt and towed !
    Monkey Mountain may well see less insertion at Pattaya

  5. #5
    Totemic Lust User
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    USS Carl Vinson arrives in Vietnam for first time since end of Vietnam War
    The first time ever, since she wasn't commissioned until the 80s.

  6. #6
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    That is the ship SK was the store keeper on for many years. Used to home port in Alameda Ca. I have toured her there in fleet week and have seen her pass under the Golden Gate bridge leaving on deployment..


  7. #7
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    Aren't they worried the planes will fall off in high seas, leaving them like that littered on the deck all higgledy-piggeldy, and looks messy too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    Aren't they worried the planes will fall off in high seas, leaving them like that littered on the deck all higgledy-piggeldy, and looks messy too.
    they're chained down....the flight deck is littered with chain points...

  9. #9
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    Plus they are moved inside within minutes at any sign of weather. They are out for the photo. They are normally stored inside the ship. Salt air and super overpriced aircraft do not mix. The largest contingent of men on the ship are there to make sure they keep flying.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by aging one View Post
    They are normally stored inside the ship.
    Generally speaking, there's not enough room on the hanger deck to house all of the aircraft, even in the worst weather. Protection from the environment is one reason why naval aircraft cost a fair penny.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    Aren't they worried the planes will fall off in high seas,
    I think with the current state of the US navy that they should be more worried about running into another ship.

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    Vietnam and China have been at war for centuries with Vietnam coming out on top in near all encounters. Hell, they even whupped Genghis 3 times.
    And you Yanks

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
    And you Yanks
    Big time dude. "An honorable peace"

  14. #14
    เกี่ยวข้อง HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aging one View Post
    Big time dude. "An honorable peace"
    Of course it was.
    Honorable.

    ....and repeated loudly enough, it all becomes real.


  15. #15
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    I guess the poor Vietnamese have to be surely very impressed by the technique...
    (...and they will think for themselves: All this and much more we had defeated with our "technique"?)

  16. #16
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
    And you Yanks
    Frogs and Cambodians as well. Fiercely independent and persistent folks. I like and respect them.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangLao View Post
    Of course it was.
    Honorable.

    ....and repeated loudly enough, it all becomes real.

    Looked like it was a draw to me

  18. #18
    Totemic Lust User
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    I think from watching the excellent TV series the original interest for the merkins in the early stages was overthrowing French colonialism. As a former colony the USA wanted to see an end to colonialism.
    It should be remembered that merkin interests were originally quite honourable and pro-vietnamese. Things morphed into a shit-fest war on communism sponsored by the usual suspects and things went a bit sideways.
    C'est la vie.

  19. #19
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    Ho Chi Minh was impressed by the American constitution and wrote to Truman in 1946 asking for his help in liberating his country from the French occupation. The thing was, at that time real politik was demanding Truman's attention and there was no way he was going to piss off an ally critical to the preservation of a Europe already being challenged by a triumphal Stalin.
    The stupidity of Vietnam was all down to the crude Dulles theory, a young and naive Kennedy, and a corrupt Pentagon wielding its power like some medieval barony protecting its self interests.

    That it took the Septics some eight years before they realised their grotesque misjudgement is of course a testament to their propensity for imbecility.

  20. #20
    peckerwood SKkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    and a corrupt Pentagon wielding its power like some medieval barony protecting its self interests.
    Here we are today...times that by a thousand.



    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    That it took the Septics some eight years before they realised their grotesque misjudgement is of course a testament to their propensity for imbecility.
    A very profitable eight years...for some.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    Ho Chi Minh was impressed by the American constitution and wrote to Truman in 1946 asking for his help in liberating his country from the French occupation. The thing was, at that time real politik was demanding Truman's attention and there was no way he was going to piss off an ally critical to the preservation of a Europe already being challenged by a triumphal Stalin.
    The stupidity of Vietnam was all down to the crude Dulles theory, a young and naive Kennedy, and a corrupt Pentagon wielding its power like some medieval barony protecting its self interests.

    That it took the Septics some eight years before they realised their grotesque misjudgement is of course a testament to their propensity for imbecility.

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Why Vietnam welcomes America’s return

    USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier's historic docking at Da Nang draws the one-time adversaries into a new and risky strategic embrace

    With the USS Carl Vinson’s arrival this week in Da Nang, the first port of call of an American aircraft carrier to the country since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, the two former battlefield adversaries have taken yet another symbolic step in drawing closer together.


    The giant American naval vessel’s docking comes shortly after US Defense Secretary James Mattis visited Hanoi on January 24, just days after the Pentagon released a new National Defense Strategy (NDS), a policy shift that openly identifies China as a “strategic competitor” in need of a counterbalancing.

    Vietnam had arguably arrived at a similar policy conclusion in mid-2017, when many in the country’s Communist Party leadership, including in the powerful Politburo, recognized the strategic need to lean more towards the US and way from China due to heated developments in the contested South China Sea.


    Vietnam’s less openly apparent policy shift came despite still strong skepticism about the US and its intentions among certain power-wielding Party elites, not least among them Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich. Trong in particular is viewed as being close to China.


    But a series of standoffs with China in nearby waters, including areas known to be rich in oil and gas, has driven the strategic recalibration towards the US. Those sea showdowns intensified in mid-2014, when China deployed a massive oil exploration rig, known as the Haiyang Shiyou 981, in Vietnamese claimed waters.


    During that three-month standoff, Vietnam’s strategic partners, including key arms supplier Russia, turned away rather than dare to confront Beijing. Nor did Vietnam’s Politburo or National Assembly issue a resolution of condemnation, viewed by many as a face-losing humiliation.


    Then US Pacific Commander Admiral Samuel Locklear, however, suggested at the time that the two sides work to develop a deeper strategic partnership to extend what was then only mild military cooperation, hindered largely by a lethal arms embargo held over from the Vietnam War.


    Those US overtures were by and large ignored, however. Meanwhile, Party leader Trong, known for his close ideological ties and open lines to China, reportedly called Chinese President Xi Jinping nearly 20 times to speak about the tensions around the oil rig but the Chinese leader apparently declined to receive his calls.


    Angry nationalistic protestors later targeted Chinese interests in the country, including in industrial areas, forcing Beijing to evacuate hundreds of its nationals. An estimated 21 Chinese nationals were killed and hundreds injured in the melees, according to a The Guardian report.


    Vietnam’s tightrope balancing act between China and the US wobbled further amid Beijing’s assertiveness in the South China Sea in 2017, including around the oil and gas rich Vanguard Bank. Chinese ships intensified their provocations and even shot at Vietnamese fishing boats in the area.


    After one such incident around Vanguard Bank in July 2017, Vietnamese defense chief Lich traveled to Washington to hold talks with his US counterpart Mattis. It is believed the two sides agreed to the USS Carl Vinsson visit during that particular meeting.


    In October 2017, Deputy Defense Minister Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh was the next senior Vietnamese officer to visit Washington. In a meeting with former prisoner of war and current US Senator John McCain, Vinh delivered the letters McCain’s relatives sent to him while he was detained at Hao Lo prison.


    Despite years of diplomatic warming, often spearheaded by McCain himself, Vietnam had until then held onto the family letters. But there is much more at stake for Vietnam in gravitating toward the US than war era reconciliation.


    In early 2017, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc warned of a possible “collapse” of the national fiscal budget, driven in part by a drastic fall in oil export revenues caused by lower global prices and fast declining local output.


    Since 2015, Vietnam’s revenues from crude oil exports have fallen by some 40%. Some industry analysts have estimated Vietnam may run out of oil reserves altogether as early as 2021, the year Vietnam will hold its next five yearly Communist Party Congress. To many in the Party, China threatens to make that dire fiscal situation worse.


    After one such incident around Vanguard Bank in July 2017, Vietnamese defense chief Lich traveled to Washington to hold talks with his US counterpart Mattis. It is believed the two sides agreed to the USS Carl Vinsson visit during that particular meeting.


    In October 2017, Deputy Defense Minister Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh was the next senior Vietnamese officer to visit Washington. In a meeting with former prisoner of war and current US Senator John McCain, Vinh delivered the letters McCain’s relatives sent to him while he was detained at Hao Lo prison.


    Despite years of diplomatic warming, often spearheaded by McCain himself, Vietnam had until then held onto the family letters. But there is much more at stake for Vietnam in gravitating toward the US than war era reconciliation.


    In early 2017, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc warned of a possible “collapse” of the national fiscal budget, driven in part by a drastic fall in oil export revenues caused by lower global prices and fast declining local output.


    Since 2015, Vietnam’s revenues from crude oil exports have fallen by some 40%. Some industry analysts have estimated Vietnam may run out of oil reserves altogether as early as 2021, the year Vietnam will hold its next five yearly Communist Party Congress. To many in the Party, China threatens to make that dire fiscal situation worse.



    While the NDS identifies five major challenges to US national security interests, namely (1) China, (2) Russia, (3) North Korea, (4) Iran, and (5) terrorism, the policy reorientation is expected to focus particularly on the Asia-Pacific, including maintaining freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.


    Beijing has voiced its concerns that the US is bidding to “encircle” its interest through an emerging network of regional alliances and initiatives. China’s critics say it is bidding to turn the maritime area, through which over US$5 trillion of global trade passes every year, into a Beijing-controlled “toll station” for international shippers.


    They believe Chinese President Xi Jinping, now vying to extend his tenure beyond traditional term limits, could move more aggressively in the area after the completion of this month’s Communist Party Congress, in a bid to deflect attention from his power play by stoking nationalistic fires.


    If so, Vietnam-claimed areas of the Spratly islands, a close target geographically for China’s emerging forces in the area, could quickly emerge as a new regional flash point. Tensions are already brewing in the area.


    In August 2016, Reuters cited “intelligence” information in reporting that Vietnam had test-launched missiles in five areas of the Spratlys, which if true would have been meant as a clear provocation towards China.


    In a media interview, Deputy Defense Minister Vinh neither confirmed nor denied the test launches occurred. Strategic analysts saw the move as a counter to China’s test launch of missiles at the contested Woody Island in the Paracel Islands in 2015.


    Whether the US would be willing to intervene in a China versus Vietnam conflict in the name of maintaining freedom of navigation is unclear.


    What is clear is that the US and Vietnamese defense establishments are keen to develop deeper strategic ties, including via more naval exchanges, small weapons sales and the future establishment of a joint military drill mechanism.


    In 2013, three US warships docked at Da Nang with considerable less fanfare than the USS Carl Vinson’s visit to carry out routine “naval exchanges” with Vietnamese naval counterparts.


    Since 2016, Vietnam has ignored at least three instances when US warships have traveled near the Paracel islands in an indirect challenge to China’s claim over the contested archipelago in the South China Sea.


    On two of those occasions, Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in public statements that the American vessels’ presence in the area was harmless and that “US ships have right of freedom in the South China Sea.”


    It’s warm welcome of the USS Carl Vinson now underway at Da Nang, a clear sign of Vietnam’s shifting policy position between the US and China, will have further underscored that point.


    Why Vietnam welcomes America's return | Asia Times

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