Next year marks the 25th anniversary of US-Vietnamese bilateral relations. Navy Capt. Christopher Sharman, a Hoover Institution National Security Affairs Fellow and former naval attaché to Vietnam and China, explains how Vietnam balances its international relations and the strategic options available to the US, as well as the efficacy of soft power in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.


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  1. Taras Coolidge

    I like Sharman’s explanation of why the Vietnamese Communists got over the war quickly.

    Paraphrasing: “Yes, we fought the U.S. for ten years. But before that we fought the French for a hundred years. And before that we fought the Chinese for one thousand years. And we’ve fought the Chinese twice more since you left!”

    There is a wry amusement to be had in noting that the Leftists and student radicals who supported North Vietnam in the war did it because they valued socialism over what they called “bourgeois democracy” (i.e. holding actual elections).

    What Vietnam eventually got was neither socialism nor democracy.

    • #1
    • October 23, 2019, at 6:30 PM PDT
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