Vietnam’s ambitions

Vietnam’s maritime domain is of huge importance.

What the end of the US arms embargo means for Vietnam

Author: Cuong T. Nguyen, University of Chicago

The United States’ complete lifting of the decade-long embargo on arms sales to Vietnam marked a historic milestone in US–Vietnam relations, paving the way for a strategic partnership between the two former foes. So what will this mean for Vietnamese security and domestic politics?

The removal of the embargo will not immediately lead to large Vietnamese procurements of weapons platforms or systems. Rather, Vietnam will focus on procuring surveillance and reconnaissance technology related to maritime security, sophisticated communications systems and intelligence. The key challenge for Vietnam is whether it can afford these technologies.

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