The South China Sea Territorial Disputes: The Catalyst for a United States-Vietnamese Security Partnership
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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As the rebalancing of U.S. power towards the Asia-Pacific occurs, the potential for conflict has increased in the South China Sea SCS due to Chinas assertiveness. In response, the United States has made its intentions clear about its objectives in the region. Vietnam, as the most defiant claimant in the territorial disputes, has actively sought to strengthen its military and security partnerships as a counter-balance to overwhelming Chinese military superiority. This research examines how the aligned interests of the United States and Vietnam US-VN have produced the beginnings of a regional security partnership. The ultimate goal of this research is to discover if the further development of a US-VN partnership aids in achieving U.S. objectives in the SCS. Another goal of this research is to recommend what elements of a security partnership should exist for an optimal and viable US-VN security partnership. In order to identify an optimal option, this research conducted an analysis of Chinas strategy, which assisted in identifying the risk for each US-VN security partnership option. This research ends with recommended option for a more active and long-term security partnership that prevents Chinese domination of the SCS.
- Government and Political Science