Skip to comments.Pentagon seeks return to long-abandoned military port in Vietnam
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 bays 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. militarys 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 ...
Don’t forget John F’n Kerry. Did you know he was in Vietnam?
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
> the Pentagon is plotting a return.
Plotting?? No BIAS here, is there?
Nations have no friends, merely shifting alliances and common interests of the moment.
All too true. When we left, massiver aid was preposed, but congress disposed.
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.
“Nations don’t have allies, they have interests.”....Winston Churchill.........
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.
Okay, as long as it wasn’t those eeeeeeeviiiiiillll Halliburton guys..............
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.
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.
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.
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.
Well, when I was talking about the French and “15 years later”, I was referring to the Quasi-War.
I see; my bad.