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Pentagon seeks return to long-abandoned military port in Vietnam
Loas Angeles Times ^ | June 3, 2012 | David S. Cloud

Posted on 06/04/2012 9:15:58 AM PDT by JerseyanExile

Forty-five years ago, American cargo ships filled this vast harbor, unloading supplies day after day for U.S. troops fighting the Viet Cong.

Today, the bay’s azure waters are largely empty, except for local fishing boats. The once-bustling U.S. airbase here, formerly home to fighter squadrons and a combat hospital, is abandoned, a reminder of the U.S. military’s exit from most of Southeast Asia after the Vietnam War.

But the Pentagon is plotting a return.

On Sunday, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta flew in to Cam Ranh Bay, the first Pentagon chief to come to this deep-water port 200 miles north of Ho Chi Minh City since the war. He recalled “the great deal of blood that was spilled in this war on all sides — by Americans and by Vietnamese.”

He also made clear that the U.S. is hoping that hard history will not stand in the way of a U.S. return to the sheltered anchorage off the strategically-important South China Sea.

“Access for United States naval ships into this facility is a key component” of the U.S. relationship with Vietnam, “and we see the tremendous potential here,” Panetta told reporters, standing on the stern of a gray-hulled U.S. Navy supply ship anchored near the bay entrance, undergoing maintenance.

U.S. warships have called regularly at other Vietnamese ports since the guided missile frigate Vandergrift made a port call in Hanoi in November 2003.

“It will be particularly important to use harbors like this as we move out ships from our ports on the West Coast toward our stations here in the Pacific,” Panetta said.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: camranhbay; detente; nationaldefense; vietnam
I have to admit, I've found this detente with Vietnam that has been growing over the past decade to be fascinating. I guess that it does make sense when you think about it - Vietnam fought the US for 8 years, but they've been trying to stay independent of China for more than 2000 years, and the US is the natural counterbalance .
1 posted on 06/04/2012 9:16:09 AM PDT by JerseyanExile
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To: JerseyanExile

Odd indeed.

Never would have had to leave but for lying traitors like Walter Kronkite.


2 posted on 06/04/2012 9:19:26 AM PDT by TheThirdRuffian (I will never vote for Romney. Ever.)
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To: JerseyanExile
but they've been trying to stay independent of China for more than 2000 years, and the US is the natural counterbalance .

Except for when Viet Nam needs men and arms from China when they are killing American soldiers?

3 posted on 06/04/2012 9:19:38 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Obama versus Romney? Cyanide versus arsenic.)
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To: JerseyanExile

The enemy of my enemy is my friend...........


4 posted on 06/04/2012 9:20:32 AM PDT by Red Badger (Think logically. Act normally.................)
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To: TheThirdRuffian

...and Jane Fonda


5 posted on 06/04/2012 9:21:54 AM PDT by GeorgeWashingtonsGhost
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To: Red Badger
On another post, it was said that Cam Ranh was designed and built by American engineering companies.
6 posted on 06/04/2012 9:22:55 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Graybeard58

Vietnamese Negotiator to Panetta: Okay, we got deal on Cam Ranh Bay. BUT WE WILL NOT TAKE JOHN MCCAIN BACK!..........


7 posted on 06/04/2012 9:23:14 AM PDT by Red Badger (Think logically. Act normally.................)
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To: JerseyanExile

45 years! Wow,it seems just like yesterday when I watched the mobs try to push their way into the American embassy in Saigon, the brave Marines who maintained order, the chaos on the roof of the embassy, and the Navy pushing the helicopters off of ship decks to make room for more people.

And the litter of rifles along Highway 1 as the South Vietnam discarded the weapons we Americans paid for.

And now, we’re in Afganstain. Corrupt leaders, populace unwilling to fight for their own freedom, inability to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

I don’t want to waste anymore American blood to fight for freedom for those who refuse to fight for their own freedom.

Our military is the best in the world. God Bless each and everyone of them.


8 posted on 06/04/2012 9:24:14 AM PDT by jayrunner
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Was it for the French?.........


9 posted on 06/04/2012 9:25:07 AM PDT by Red Badger (Think logically. Act normally.................)
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To: JerseyanExile

More than just a military port! India, Burma, Thailand, cambidia and SE Asia are trying to agree on the construction/reconstruction of the Trans S. Asia Highway, India to VietNam!


10 posted on 06/04/2012 9:27:19 AM PDT by WellyP (REAL)
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To: JerseyanExile

I spit on all this.


11 posted on 06/04/2012 9:31:07 AM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: WellyP

http://www.mithisarunachal.com/2011/06/mithi-bats-for-trans-asian-highway.html


12 posted on 06/04/2012 9:31:18 AM PDT by WellyP (REAL)
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To: JerseyanExile
A huge port capable of handling a lot of ships and in 45 years all Vietnam can do with it is use it for local fishing vessels.

That is communistic progress for you.

13 posted on 06/04/2012 9:42:23 AM PDT by riverrunner
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To: jayrunner

Litter of rifles for which there was no ammunition or vehicles for which there were no spare parts because the Democrat controlled congress terminated the sending of supplies of ammunition and replacement parts to the South Vietnamese government and military as President Nixon had promised would continue. Thus the formal full-scale invasion of the south by the North Vietnamese Regular Army was able to overrun the ARVN as it ran out of the means to fight.


14 posted on 06/04/2012 9:43:05 AM PDT by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: Red Badger

LOL!


15 posted on 06/04/2012 9:44:08 AM PDT by rightly_dividing (Tagline lost 06/4/12, please return if found.)
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To: riverrunner

I thought the Russians were using it.


16 posted on 06/04/2012 9:46:11 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

They were until the Soviet(Russian) “economy” cratered in the 1990s and 2000s, they pulled out and came home.


17 posted on 06/04/2012 9:50:15 AM PDT by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: US Navy Vet

I remember a news story on the Russians in Viet Nam. They were called “Americans without money.”


18 posted on 06/04/2012 9:55:05 AM PDT by DIRTYSECRET
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To: GreyFriar
What you said.

Why would the ARVN fight knowing defeat was inevitable?

The North tried the same attack in 1973-- with US air support & advisors, the ARVN defeated the invasion. Giap told the Central Committee at that time that North Vietnam would never win as long as the US supported the South. He was relieved of command.

The North only won because the communist traitors in the Democratic Party and media bamboozled the US public into cutting off aid.

One of the consequences of the fall of South Vietnam was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan: so we are still feeling the consequences of the treason of the Democrats almost 40 years afterwards.

19 posted on 06/04/2012 9:55:32 AM PDT by pierrem15 (Claudius: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.")
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Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

To: TheThirdRuffian

Don’t forget John F’n Kerry. Did you know he was in Vietnam?


21 posted on 06/04/2012 10:17:28 AM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: jayrunner

CAM RANH VIETNAM
In Commemoration of the visit of the President
Of the United States on December 23. 1967

“I can bring you the assurance of what you have fought to achieve:
The enemy cannot win, now, in Vietnam…. Because oh what you men are
Doing here today, you may very well prevent a wider war, a greater war – a
World War III… I pray that you will be strengthened , this Christmas day
In wartime, by the love of your loved ones and your people, by the great
Confidence that you are inspiring in other people, and by your own great
Steadfast courage… May God bless you and may God keep each of you.”

Seal of the President of the United States


22 posted on 06/04/2012 10:23:41 AM PDT by satan (Plumbing new depths of worthlessness on a daily basis.)
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To: JerseyanExile

> the Pentagon is plotting a return.

Plotting?? No BIAS here, is there?


23 posted on 06/04/2012 10:24:38 AM PDT by bill1952 (Choice is an illusion created between those with power - and those without)
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To: Red Badger

Nations have no friends, merely shifting alliances and common interests of the moment.


24 posted on 06/04/2012 10:46:43 AM PDT by Sea Parrot (Youth And Brawn Are No Match For Age And Treachery. I'm Old And May Not Fight. I'll Shoot Instead.)
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To: GreyFriar

All too true. When we left, massiver aid was preposed, but congress disposed.


25 posted on 06/04/2012 10:51:02 AM PDT by Sea Parrot (Youth And Brawn Are No Match For Age And Treachery. I'm Old And May Not Fight. I'll Shoot Instead.)
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To: Sea Parrot

In 1975, the South Vietnamese infantryman was restricted to 30 bullets a month (that’s one clip per MONTH). Half the air force and helicopters were grounded for lack of spare parts.

Because of fuel cost increases after the 1973 OPEC decisions, many tracked vehicles couldn’t be operated (or at least in the way the US used them).

By contract, the northern army was totally resupplied and equipped, before being sent on its offensive.

Who do you think would win under those circumstances?

The congress, refusing any more aid, threw away what
America had fought for during the preceding decade.


26 posted on 06/04/2012 10:58:40 AM PDT by CondorFlight (I)
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To: Sea Parrot

“Nations don’t have allies, they have interests.”....Winston Churchill.........


27 posted on 06/04/2012 11:07:32 AM PDT by Red Badger (Think logically. Act normally.................)
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To: Red Badger

Don’t know if it was for the French but the companies involved were Brown & Root, Raymond International and Morrison-Knudsen.
I think it was WW 2 era.


28 posted on 06/04/2012 1:29:31 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Okay, as long as it wasn’t those eeeeeeeviiiiiillll Halliburton guys..............


29 posted on 06/04/2012 1:45:21 PM PDT by Red Badger (Think logically. Act normally.................)
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To: JerseyanExile

We supported the strong side in the Vietnam War. If we were supportive of Vietnam, they would eventually come to our side just like they are doing right now in the 21st Century.


30 posted on 06/04/2012 1:50:54 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: Graybeard58; JerseyanExile

I agree that this is much too soon; I thought that when BJ Clinton basically pretended the war never happened. Until the Hanoi government gives the South Vietnamese people the freedoms they enjoyed before the fall of Saigon, there is no reason to engage them in diplomatic relations. This sends a horrible message to the people who fought there, the families of those who died there, and the American public in general about fickle we are about our foreign policy. Right now we have troops around the world fighting, and they can’t disregard the possibility that the people they are fighting might be “friends” in 10 years.

Red China resents North Vietnam because their slaves are even cheaper for “American” companies than those in Red China.


31 posted on 06/05/2012 6:25:23 AM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: kearnyirish2

It would hardly be a new development - politics makes strange bedfellows. In the Revolutionary War, France and Spain were allies - just 15 years later we found ourselves at war with the French. In the First World War, Japan and Italy were our allies, and in the Siberian Expedition, the Soviets our enemies. In the Second War, 23 years on, the former friends were our enemies, and the Soviets and Chinese our allies. Two years after the war’s end, the Soviets had become our dire foe, and another three years after that the Chinese were as well, while the Japanese were slowly becoming our valued ally in Asia. Just 30 years ago, India was a Cold-War foe, and Pakistan an ally. Now India is becoming rapidly aligned with the US, and it is Pakistan that has become more and more an enemy.


32 posted on 06/05/2012 10:09:57 AM PDT by JerseyanExile
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To: JerseyanExile

I don’t know if that’s true.

In the War of 1812 we were allied with Napoleon against England. Japan & Italy were our enemies BECAUSE OF WWI, not in spite of it; both felt they had been short-changed by Versailles. The Soviets were hardly an ally in WWII; while the Japanese invaded Alaska the Soviets had a peace treaty with them (until the final months of the war). “China” in the Korean War was the Red Chinese, against whom we had armed Chiang Kaishek; our ally “China” was on Taiwan/Formosa by that point (having lost the civil war in 1949). India is still “non-aligned”; we probably still have more military interaction with Pakistan (as long as they have an officially-secular government we will work with them).

In any case, it doesn’t make it any easier to understand why we’d have such cozy relations with the Hanoi government.


33 posted on 06/05/2012 11:12:42 AM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: kearnyirish2

Well, when I was talking about the French and “15 years later”, I was referring to the Quasi-War.


34 posted on 06/05/2012 1:33:57 PM PDT by JerseyanExile
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To: JerseyanExile

I see; my bad.


35 posted on 06/05/2012 6:06:55 PM PDT by kearnyirish2
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