The highest ranking U.S. military officer to visit Vietnam in more than 40 years is in talks with defense officials there there about increasing U.S. military support for its former enemy. Mana Rabiee reports.
As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey is the highest ranking U.S. military officer to visit Vietnam in more than 40 years. In the capital Hanoi, he met with Vietnam's Deputy Defense Minister Do Ba Ty for talks on further strengthening military cooperation between these two former enemies. Much has changed since April 1975, when the U.S. pulled out the last of its 300,000 troops fighting the Vietnam War. Washington saw the war as the only way to block a communist takeover of Southeast Asia but the conflict left more than 58,000 U.S. troops dead. Relations were normalized in 1995 under President Bill Clinton. Dempsey's visit comes amid strained relations between Vietnam and neighbouring China over maritime sovereignty. His presence in Hanoi is the latest of several gestures from Washington designed to demonstrate America's support for its former enemy