September 20, 2021

OUTSIDE THE BOX: Why the US should offer to buy France’s submarines for Vietnam.

These submarines would provide outsize value to the U.S. and broader international security interests were they built for Vietnam. The Shortfin Barracudas would be very quiet and a major threat to the People’s Liberation Army Navy.

Vietnam remains in the control of a communist authoritarian government. That said, its people enjoy a degree of freedom and a heavily capitalist-influenced economy. In 2021, Vietnam is defined by a strong export market and a young, internationally connected population. This population is also hostile toward China — angered by Beijing’s arrogant claim that the South China Sea is its own private swimming pool and angered more by Beijing’s not-so-veiled expectation that Vietnam exists as its feudal state.

I actually love this idea. It boxes in China, undoes much of the diplomatic damage done by Biden’s ham-handed announcement of the AUKUS agreement, and is something no one would have expected, especially the Chinese.

It’s such a good idea that I predict it will never happen.

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