Friday, February 2, 2018

The USS Carl Vinson Visits Da Nang

No, it’s not the beginning of the liberation of Vietnam. It’s just a friendly port call for one of the U.S.’s most formidable carrier battle groups – the USS Carl Vinson.

USS Carl Vinson battle group | Getty
It is ironic the carrier is visiting Da Nang, the busiest base in the Vietnam War 50 years after the most celebrated military action that changed the course of the war – the Tet Offensive.

But where a country stands depends on where it sits. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is on the eastern edge of the Indochina Peninsula facing the South China Sea, an area it shares with a newly aggressive China. Vietnam has been realigning itself with allies on the Pacific Rim and especially the U.S. The USS John McCain, a destroyer named for Senator McCain’s father and grandfather, both U.S. Navy admirals, has already visited (2016 Cam Ranh Bay), but the Carl Vinson is an even bigger signal that competition is the South Pacific will be a geopolitical hotspot for the foreseeable future.

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