By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

Experts dismissed Carter’s demurral. “The lifting of the arms embargo on Vietnam may not be publicly stated as directed against China,” said Andrew Krepinevich, president emeritus of the Center for Strategic & Budgetary Assessments, “[but] diplomatic niceties aside, it is a clear and welcome sign that the United States is becoming serious about maintaining peace and stability in the region in the face of China’s increasingly belligerent behavior.” “Through its overtures to the Philippines and now Vietnam, the United States has the potential to transform China’s militarization of South China Sea islands into a military cul-de-sac, flanked by the Philippines to the east and Vietnam to the west,” said Krepinevich. “Secretary Carter deserves a great deal of credit for these encouraging initiatives to demonstrate U.S. resolve in the defense of peace, stability and respect for the rules-based international order.”

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