Last Monday, President Obama announced that he was lifting the ban on the sale of military weapons in Vietnam. The ban had been in effect since 1975. Some have said that this is the result of China increasing its power in the islands in the Gulf of Tonkin. Obama, however. denied this accusation during his press conference with Vietnamese president Tran Dai Quang. He said that lifting the ban is actually to develop better relations and cooperation between the Unites States and Vietnam.
The possibility of Vietnam becoming a threat gain or just the fact of them acquiring weapons may be enough to create tension in that region of Asia. Specifically, China was mentioned as a threat because they are a known communist country, and they are allies with other communist countries like North Korea. This possible tension and distrust could essentially start another Cold War with a mass buildup of “secret” weapons. The hard truth is if these Cold war like tensions did arise, they would spread to much farther places than this region of Asia because of alliances similar to the previous cold war. Vietnam knows that China will be watching closely, but the Vietnamese claim that their only goal is make their presence known for defense purposes, not to directly start conflict.
The other point of controversy is the bad history that Vietnam has in the human rights area. Many countries have had instances of harsh treatment, imprisonment, or mistreatment to certain groups or people. Times of war are never good for citizens especially in the country where the fighting takes place. Germany was an example of this due to the Holocaust. They have made significant efforts in repairing their relationships with other nations and making sure that everything to do with the Holocaust is in the past and never happens again.
President Obama takes a lot of criticism for the flaws in our economic system, education, and generally anything wrong that goes on in our country. As Commander in Chief of our country, he is responsible, but like with many people in authority, he does not seem to get the recognition when he does something good. The times of riot, violence, and struggling economic issues will be remembered, but opening up relations with once embargoed countries will too. Cuba had an embargo with the United States since the early 1960s, which changed earlier this year when President Obama visited to make amends. One president or government figure cannot make a change overnight; it is a process of many future visits and agreements. With the help of the Obama administration in taking the first steps, America will hopefully move closer in repairing its relationship with once embargoed countries, which will help our country construct a better economy and military.