Vietnam in U.S. foreign policy: an association for the strategic balance in Southeast Asia
Little, John William, Jr.
Buss, Claude A.
Winterford, David A.
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This thesis asserts that it is critical for the U.S. to re-evaluate its foreign policy towards Vietnam and to begin viewing that country's strategic potential for meeting future threats to Southeast Asia: specifically, the Chinese military threat, a threat based on China's territorial claims in the South china Sea and an aggressive program of modernization of China's military; and the Japanese economic threat, a threat reinforced by Japan's use of conditional aid, financial control of major industries throughout the region, and a structural dependency on imports of critical raw materials, primarily from Southeast Asia. American's relations with Vietnam have virtually unchanged since U.S. forces were withdrawn in April 1975. However, at the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union have released the U.S. from its need to view Vietnam as an extension of Moscow's influence in Southeast Asia. A policy of constructive engagement with Vietnam permits the U.S. to maintain the balance of power in Southeast Asia against encroaching Chinese and Japanese threats. America's economic interests in Asia, now one-third larger than is Europe, also create an imperative for change and the potential of Vietnam, in resources, manpower, and strategic location, should be made a factor in future policy formation.
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