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Split Personality
U.S. to Vietnam: Stop Hosting Putin’s Jets Please

Russian aircraft have been using a former U.S. airbase in Vietnam for provocative sorties against the U.S. and its allies. Now, Washington is asking it’s sort-of-friend in Hanoi if it would be so kind as to stop enabling Russia’s reckless behavior. Reuters reports:

General Vincent Brooks, commander of the U.S. Army in the Pacific, told Reuters the planes had conducted “provocative” flights, including around the U.S. Pacific Ocean territory of Guam, home to a major American air base.

It is the first time that U.S. officials have confirmed the role of Cam Ranh Bay, a natural deep-water harbor, in Russian bomber plane activity that has increased globally. […]

Washington is keen to secure greater access itself to Cam Ranh Bay as part of its strategic “pivot” to Asia to counter China’s growing strength in the region. U.S. ships have visited for repairs in recent years.

Vietnam, in turn, has sought closer U.S. ties as a hedge against what it sees as China’s aggression, but remains close to Russia in both defense and energy cooperation.

Vietnam’s decision to allow the Russians to use its base highlights the schizophrenic nature of its current relations with the United States. Hanoi wants Washington’s support over issues of Chinese territorial aggression in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, but it’s old friendship with Russia and Russia’s model of government clearly aren’t gone. It will be interesting to watch this play out: How Hanoi responds to Washington’s request may go a ways towards telling us which consideration Vietnam is ultimately more concerned with.

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  • S.C. Schwarz

    As long as Obama is president there is no advantage to being America’s “friend.” Ask Egypt, ask Saudi Arabia or ask Israel. Or ask Ukraine which actually had a written promise from the US that Obama walked away from.

    • Arkeygeezer

      Also ask the folks in Ferguson, MO. Those Russian aircraft are probably guilty of racial profiling.

      • Anthony

        Russian aircraft and Racial profiling! The American capacity (fancy) to draw racial analogies out of thin air – Race (for some) always hovering…

        • Josephbleau

          The old tupoelv 95’s are more a danger to the poor soviet airmen than to the threatened nuclear immolation of Oakland? Are we to cower in the face of Soviet megatons when Obama refuses to modernize our forces?

  • gabrielsyme

    Actually, American and Russian interests in the Far East are closely aligned. Neither wishes to see an expansionist China, both wish to trade with China, and neither are paying enough attention. Picking a fight with Vietnam over military co-operation with Russia strikes me as a pointless and potentially counter-productive endeavour.

  • son nguyen

    Ask any South Vietnamese the historical fact about Shanghai communique and Hoang Sa Island attack by Chinese Navy while the 7th Fleet just sitting there even US promise to defense South Vietnam Now you will learn why we Vietnamese are not trusting USA…:-)

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